Stone Street L.A. on Melrose Avenue, which opened in June, brews beans sourced from countries all over the world. Stone Street Coffee Company, founded in Brooklyn, roasts beans that are not only organic, but Fairtrade and Rainforest Association certified.
We met managing partner Laura Parkening on a Sunday afternoon at the lively café. She joined us at a table along the metal frame windows and glass accordion-style doors overlooking the street.
Guests sitting at nearby tables were enjoying cups of coffee and sparkling mimosas with plates of challah French toast, Stone Street burgers and omelets.
As we perused the menu, Parkening told us about the history of Stone Street Coffee Company, which opened in New York in 2010. The store was a functioning front for the now-famed Bathtub Gin speakeasy.
“From the beginning, we knew Bathtub Gin and Stone Street would be perfect in L.A.,” Parkening said. “When we found this multi-use space at the former Sandbox restaurant, we could visualize the cafe and bar with a lively dining and event space on the outdoor back patio.”
The concept offers signature artisanal coffee and breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner menus featuring creative items paying homage to New York City.
The nod to the Big Apple extends to the décor, with its unfinished ceiling and metal shelves, which reminded me of a cozy Brooklyn loft. A window mural depicts a sprawling image of the Brooklyn Bridge.
The café opens at 8 a.m. offering a day menu, with breakfast items, and a more expanded menu from 10 a.m. serving sandwiches, flat breads, burgers and salads. Happy hour, featuring oysters, burgers and small bites, starts at 3 p.m. and an evening menu serving small and larger plates is served from 6 to 10 p.m.
Known for their coffee, we were eager to sample a brew. One of the most popular coffees is a knee buckling espresso. When ordered with a brioche French toast topped with candied pecans, powdered sugar, butter, seasonal fruit and a side of bourbon maple syrup to pour on top, it makes for a sweet, eye-opening breakfast.
The all-day menu features avocado toast and mushroom toast as well as low-gluten flatbreads with a pinsa crust, which is lighter and airier than regular pizza crust. I ordered the maitake mushroom flatbread, which came loaded with mushrooms. Other flatbreads include margherita, barbecue chicken and pear gorgonzola.
My husband ordered the prosciutto tart, which arrived as a thick puff pastry topped with tomatoes, crispy shallots, prosciutto, a poached egg and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. It was served with a house green salad that was dressed with a pleasing, light vinaigrette.
We also tried an omelet made with organic eggs sourced from Chino Valley Ranchers. The eggs are too good to believe, with rich, deep yellow yolks. It arrived filled with a variety of sautéed vegetables and was served with a salad.
The restaurant offers weekly stand-up comedy on Wednesdays, live music on Thursdays and DJ-hosted Sunday brunches. An upstairs area will soon transform into a speakeasy.
Stone Street is currently participating in Dine LA Restaurant Week with a $25 prix fixe dine-in dinner menu. Guests choose two dinner items among a half dozen oysters, the Stone Street burger, maitake mushrooms and a fennel apple salad. For dessert, diners can choose a cookie plate or affogato. The special menu is available from 6-10 p.m. through Oct. 15.
Also during the month of October, Stone Street is hosting Saturday movie nights starting at 7 p.m. On Oct. 16, Stone Street will screen “Scream,” and on Oct. 23, “Hatchet” will play with special guest hosts actors Adam Green and Joel David Moore
Order a cocktail special, such as the whiskey-based “She Wants a Motive” or the rye and cognac-based “On the Bayou,” from the well-stocked bar. Mixologists craft cocktails and on-tap and frozen slushies. Guests can purchase movies snack packs before the movie starts at 8 p.m.
The back dining patio is pet friendly and surrounded by wood and greenery. It’s a pleasant spot whether you’re coming for morning coffee, lunch or an entertaining dinner. Stonestreetcoffeecompanyla.com 7174 Melrose Ave., (323)433-7690.
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