Creating and maintaining a community is one of the many challenges of living in this fair city. And for me, eating is part of being in community. But finding that neighborhood place that’s friendly, remembers your name and how you like your coffee is hard. I’m on a quest to find places that exude that kind of energy…so it means finding places that are owned personally by someone, rather than a corporation. I personally can’t stand Starbucks. I walked into Caffe Etc. a new place in Hollywood on the corner of Selma and Cahuenga and was immediately met by Vivianna, one of the owners of the place. Talk about friendly and passionate!! She guided me through their extensive coffee selections…all organic, shipped down from Thanksgiving Coffee, a family run co-op in Northern California that uses sustainable farming, and then laid on me the specials for that day. I’ve been back over and over, not only because the food is outstanding…fresh pea and arugula soup one day, amazing panini, great organic salads, warm chocolate cake, not to mention the great espresso banana milkshakes…but mostly because Vivianna remembers me and is so warm! She opened the place 8 months ago with her husband Brian Pollack, whose real job is writing for TV. He grew up in Hollywood and has seen this particular corner change from down and out to the more happening club area Hollywood has turned into. Vivianna hails from Argentina, but studied cooking in Thailand, Singapore, France and Italy. Her background is Art & Food and it shows in the simple and sophisticated way this place feels. There are tons of books about ‘the biz’ on the borrowers bookshelves, as well as a full magazine stand. And they always remember your name!