Archive for the ‘coffee & cafes’ Category


m cafe de chaya (culver city)

April 17, 2009

m cafe de chaya
9343 culver boulevard
culver city, ca 90232
(310) 838-4300
sun-thurs 9am – 9pm
friday & sat 9am – 10pm

i’ve been a fan of chaya brasserie ever since the first time my friend took me there back in college, and is probably one of my top favorite restaurants in LA. i’ve been to chaya venice as well, but the chaya on robertson boulevard is still my favorite. :) so anyway, we’ve driven by m cafe on culver many times, but it was only after finding out that it was owned/operated by the chaya family, that we made it a point to check it out. the photos on this post were taken back in nov 2008 on our first visit to m cafe. ask permission to use image

it is located at ‘downtown culver city’ where all the little cool shops are, and right across the trader joe’s building.  there are outdoor seating, but indoor is as comfy and cozy.  inside, at one end is a whole row of counter display of salads, sandwich ingredients and desserts.  you place your order and pay at the counter,  get a table, and they will serve your food to your table when it’s ready.  m cafe practices macrobiotics method of making food using only natural and organic ingredients with no refined sugar, eggs, red meat, poultry, or dairy products.
m cafe de chaya ask permission to use image

we arrived pretty late in the morning before heading to the gallery, so we decided to share a light brekkie. ask permission to use image
the $2 ice coffee was refreshing. :) ask permission to use image
the $3.95 small bowl of mushroom barley soup has carrots, mushroom, barley, potato, and celery.  it’s a little too oily, but otherwise, very flavorful. ask permission to use image
the breakfast panini costs $11.45, but it is grilled crispy hot.  it has scrambled tofu, soy mozzarella, and is delish.  :)

i really love this place… friendly staff, nice, relaxed, unpretentious ambient, with good choices of vegan/macrobiotic/healthy/vegetarian menu.  however, at one point, the chef came out of the kitchen and saw me snapping shots of the interior, and she asked a staff to politely tell me that they’re okay with taking photos, but not with the interior which would concern them.  most of the time, it is usually asian (particularly chinese) restaurants that do not like photos taken of their restaurants interior and/or food, so this is my first such encounter in a non-asian establishment.  it’s understandable, i guess, but in my experience, usually the more upscale a restaurant is, the less concern they are with customers taking photos. anyway, love m cafe nonetheless!  i’ve never been to their melrose location, but i love this culver city location lots.  it’s closeby and a really nice and relaxing place to hang out with friends, or you can simply enjoy a quiet meal on your own finishing some readings/writings. :)  oh, and don’t forget to try out their desserts as well!  ;)


starbucks’ gingerbread man cookie (culver city)

December 25, 2008

starbucks (jefferson x centinela location)
12313 jefferson blvd
los angeles, ca 90230
(310) 823-3479 X centinela

so christmas morning, we were heading to the union station homeless services at pasadena to volunteer for their christmas dinner in the park event. with only a few hours of sleep the night before, and having forgotten to brew my own coffee, we stopped by the nearest starbucks on the way to the 10E. i don’t usually crave for gingerbread at all, but since it’s christmas, i just had to grab one to share on the road. :) ask permission to use image

isn’t the gingerbread man cute? whenever i see one, it always reminds me of the gingerbread man from the candyland board game, and it instantly put a big smile on my face. :)   i can still remember vividly that my mom bought me that cute board game from toys”r”us the very first time i visited the u.s. (specifically san francisco)! :) i had loved all the cute graphics and characters of candyland and imagined that i had shrunk to their size and lived in candyland with them for awhile. i was such a silly girl! :) anyway, this starbucks‘ gingerbread man cookie is actually pretty good. it’s not hard crunchy, but easy to bite into and the aroma of the ginger and cinnamon is not overwhelming. i also like that it’s not overly decorated with the icing. what a nice way to start the day! have a merry christmas, everyone! :)


panini coffee & cafe (marina del rey)

December 14, 2008

panini coffee & cafe
4325 glencoe ave., suite 8
marina del rey, ca 90292
(310) 823-4446

(sorry for the blurry pics…all photos on this entry taken by my iphone.)
my friend picked me up for dinner around the neighborhood, and after dinner, we decided to walk around the block before heading home. as we passed by panini coffee & cafe, we looked at each other with a chuckle, and went straight in looking to satisfy our sweet teeth. ;) though they’ve been around for years, but i don’t know why i never gotten a chance to check it out. as we stepped inside, i was immediately attracted by the cute, warm, ‘british cafe’ style atmosphere (though unpretentious, and very pleasant). the server, who just walked out of the kitchen with a dish on his hand, greeted me with a friendly nod and smile. i really love how the cafe is divided into two rooms by a wall in between, which makes the place more cozy, instead of one big spaceous room. there were a variety of desserts and specialty coffee to choose from over the counter, on top of the delicious list on the menu. we were looking at all the choices of desserts that evening, and decided upon a pecan pie, a chocolate cake, and a cafe mocha to share. ask permission to use ask permission to use image

while waiting for our orders, i looked around and checked out their cute decor. there were about two visible servers working behind the counter and one on the serving floor. the staffs are very nice and the guy over the counter apologized for taking so long to get our desserts, but we didn’t mind at all, as the warm atmosphere really put us in a relaxing mood. :) ask permission to use ask permission to use image

my pecan pie was extremely sweet. i didn’t quite enjoy the texture of the fillings. for someone who always finishes her pecan pie, i wasn’t able to. ask permission to use image

my friend had the chocolate cake, and it was yummy! very moist and simply devilicious! :) ask permission to use image

the generous cup of warm cafe mocha was heavenly, and just perfect to warm up a cold evening. ask permission to use image

as we were enjoying our desserts, we caught ourselves paying attention to all the dishes the server brought out, and went “mmm mmm mm” each time he passed by. i really like this place, but it is abit on the pricey side (though the portions are fairly generous). this is a great place where you can either enjoy company of good friends, or would simply feel at home dining alone, perhaps with a good book.