News / Harmless Fun

The 11 people who are always at Intelligentsia in Silver Lake

intelligentsia, silver lake
Photograph: Courtesy of Intelligentsia

If you live in LA, you know how important it is to get your coffee on. And while the city has many diverse options for single-origin, third wave, micro-roasted coffee, nothing beats the granddaddy of artisanal coffee: Intelligentsia. Both the Venice and Pasadena locations offer up quite a scene, but for now, here are the 11 folks you're likely to encounter at the Intelligentsia in Silver Lake.

1. The barista. With his tweed vest and tie tucked neatly into his shirt, he's dressed as if it's 1930s Russia with the austere personality to match—which makes sense seeing as you just stood in line for an hour to acquire something that should be pretty easy to get.

2. The coffee snob. Commissary. Bru. Lamill. He hates them all. He barely likes Intelligentsia. He’s the guy who sits at the bar making incessant small talk with the baristas about the subtle notes of elderberry and brown butter in his Americano. “Why ruin your coffee by adding cream or sugar? I’m a purist.” He applied for a job at this Intelligentsia, but didn’t get it because even they thought he was too pretentious.

3. The scene girl. The common LA stereotype is that no one ever leaves the house without full hair and make up—unless you're in Silver Lake where you dress up to look like you didn't dress up. From the 1980s Alf sweatshirt to the perfectly coordinated clashing pants, every inch of her is styled without looking like she tried. Her daily trip to Intelligentsia is more about having people look at her than getting her morning cold brew.

4. The 1890s hipster. Modern life has allowed him the luxury to live as if it is the late nineteenth century. His perfectly curled villain mustache gives him the guilty look of someone who just tied his girlfriend to a train track. Right now, he's taking a break from his antiquated profession (artisanal metal welder?) to indulge in a 2015 pleasure.

5. The trust fund hipster. Living in Silver Lake can be expensive, especially when you add a $5 per day latte habit to the mix. Thankfully, his parents pay his rent so he can spend his days walking to Intelligentsia (because it's totes green), idly read half a chapter of a self help book, journal his thoughts and pretend like he's doing something with his liberal arts degree.

6. The “writer.” She has a whole folder of unwritten screenplays. She’s wearing headphones. Is she listening to music or is she just trying to silence the latte machine? Doesn’t really matter, because she isn’t doing anything productive. Facebook. Twitter. Then back to Facebook. Can’t wait to read that buddy comedy with the hilarious premise you keep talking about.

7. The writer. She’s on her third cup of coffee, and it’s not even 11am. She has a set schedule. She has a weathered moleskin. She’s written fifteen short stories, five full-length novels and two screenplays. She just hasn’t sold anything yet. But at least she’s determined.

8. The actual writer. You know that episode of Scandal you just watched last night? Yep, she wrote it. She has an IMDB with over ten credits and a profile picture. You might even recognize her. She heads to Intelligentsia only because she understands how stale that at-home writing process can get.

9. The guys having a business meeting. It might sound like a creative meeting is going on, but it's really two guys loudly spouting off their current projects at each other—like an IRL version of Twitter. By the end of their meeting, the whole cafe knows about their historical romance/sci-fi web series that would be perfect to pitch to Hulu. Because there's no point in working on a project if you can't advertise it loudly and broadly.

10. The PC guy. He’s the guy that thought it would be okay to bring his PC laptop into an Intelligentsia. He had every intention of taking it out, but upon lifting it out of his backpack and setting it up, he realized he was surrounded by a sea of MacBooks. He self-consciously sips his latte.

11. The guy with the clean shaven face. This guy is particularly noteworthy for being the only person at Intelligentsia who does not have facial hair. Even the most hairless of German men are still attempting to grow patchy, scraggly hipster beards. He stands out like the only man at a Liz Phair concert. What's he doing here? Avoid him at all costs.

Did you get a laugh? Check out the 10 people you see at Runyon Canyon.

RECOMMENDED: See more in our neighborhood guide to Silver Lake.

 

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Comments

5 comments
Jordan B

Amazing breakdown of the clientele, and so very accurate! While we didn't mention The PC guy and The "writer" specifically, we did mention Intelligentsia as one of the best coffees in LA, and a great people-watching spot (maybe bring this post as a checklist - first person to see all 11 wins?). Here's the full post, titled The 15 Coolest Neighborhoods in the World in 2016: http://www.howitravel.co/the-15-coolest-neighborhoods-in-the-world-in-2016/

Jordan
Editor // How I Travel


Daniel B

You need to make one for The Oaks in Franklin Village 

Daniel B

Nailed it! Why do people line up for a F##king Coffee? 

Brock B

Clearly written by someone who's never been there and read it about somewhere else or maybe went there once. #s 5,8,9 may be sorta true, but they're also true at Denny's.  #'s 1, 2, 3 & 4: totally fake.  

Carmelo Brian V

So the only real writers In Los Angeles are TV writers? I don't think so; also Dinosaur coffee is much better...