If you live in Echo Park you’re pretty spoilt for coffee choices. With no less than five decent spots within a half mile radius, your days of lining up for a hit of caffeine are behind you.
Nestled between a new British gastro pub ‘The Lost Knight’ and a Mexican herbal medicine spot you’ll find Woodcat Coffee Bar. Woodcat opened its doors in September 2014 after 9 months of designing and building with their own hands. How many people do you know who’ve designed and built their own coffee bar?
Saadat and Janine Awan are the powerhouse coffee couple you’ve all dreamt about. Saadat was previously an engineer/architect and Janine is a graphic designer. That’s some skills to have to start your own business. They moved from Washington DC 2 ½ years ago an saw a need for an espresso coffee bar in the neighborhood. Between their genius brains they built everything in the place. Janine designed the logo, print decals and the menu. If you’re a design nerd you’ll love the type and hand drawn signs she’s created.
Woodcat serves Wrecking Ball Coffee, roasted by their friend Nicholas Cho out of San Francisco. Nicholas met the Awan’s from his previous coffee spot out in DC called Murky Coffee. Their staff are all either talented musicians or artists from as far as NY to Brazil. Miles worked at Joe’s in NY, Sophia from Intelligentsia, and Samira (from the band Winters) is from Brazil. They all brew a great cup of Joe if you like it traditional American style or can make a delicious flat white, cappuccino or cold brew. On this late afternoon we all drank a little too much of each and our conversations resembled a 4am post music festival conversation. The Wreaking Ball Coffee is sustainably sourced from great coffee regions of Brazil, Peru, Ethiopia and Indonesia. On this day they served the Pillow fight espresso, which is clean, smooth and has a hint of fruity flavor. It was brewed to perfection with a great crema on top. Any good coffee spot should give you a cup of sparkling water if you have an espresso. They serve Topo Chico sparkling water imported from Mexico. It’s a little sparklier than Pellegrino and my favorite sparkling water. It’s the Evian of sparkling water.
We sampled the amazingly delicious Sugarbloom Bakery and Sugarbird Sweets & Teas treats they offer. You best get there early as they usually sell out by lunchtime. If you take a female friend you’re trying to sweeten up, get her the lavender cookie. If you’re more of the savory type get the ham and cheese croissant or the Elvis morning bun (pictured) which is a brioche donuty pastry filled with caramelized banana, peanut almond cream and topped with house made nuttier cream, banana chips, almond streusel and candied bacon. Are you fucken kidding me?! If you have the time to enjoy your coffee there, it’s a lucky dip of what cup you’ll be getting as they’ve collected mugs from their favorite coffee spots around the world.
The interior furniture has an industrial influence, and all the stools, shelves and counters are built from rustic reclaimed wood from a lumberyard they picked themselves. The bench top is made of paper stone that is eco friendly and water/heat proof. Vintage metallic chairs and tables litter the floor. Some lavender flowers stored in old milk bottles add a sense of calm.
I love everything they’ve done here. The attention to detail, the vibe and most importantly the coffee is all bloody amazing. If you’re in the area or looking for a good cup, I highly recommend it.
Woodcat is located at:
1532 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
See a gallery of images here: