Ever since I moved to Los Angeles, and to my dear Fairfax District, I’ve been meaning to eat at the historical Johnie’s Coffee Shop on Wilshire and Fairfax. Of course, as with most things LA, the shop is a familiar combination of wide repute and complete unreality. During a week of fiction, simulacrum, and frenzied media creation of a whole lot of expensive something out of almost nothing, it seemed like a fine time for a meal and a photograph: A garish pop star with a history of strange behaviors and legal troubles had died, thereby disrupting all Los Angeles streets, costing the city millions, and turning all national TV news into tawdry melodramatic fiction. Like the city that hosts it, Johnie’s is a movie prop.
This came to my inbox.
It apparently happened around Monday or Tuesday March 17th or 18th and has been confirmed by the County Coroner. He apparently has no family but he has a trust and its executors have been notified. There is a votive memorial in front of the former location of the Onyx on Vermont Avenue (now Cafe Figaro) in Los Feliz. Initial planning for a fitting memorial to John has begun. More on that soon.
John was one of the rarest things in this world: a genuine philosophical Bohemian in the very best sense of the word who created an austere unpretentious Cafe which was, by his design, a magical safe zone for artists, musicians, poets, scientists, intellectuals and outsiders of all stripes…
Like zillions of other humanoids, I’m a coffee addict. And I’m fussy about my beans….not just any coffee will do. For maximum happiness, it must be a perfectly pulled Espresso culled from a rich organic roast, preferably with a smooth finish. If I’m opting for a Latte…. I want a good creamy foam and a sweet design on top. I could bore you with my preferences, or just move to Italy, but instead I’m gonna tell you where I found the perfect cup.
Today I had a lunch meeting in Venice, where I’m in the process of moving to, and was publicly bitching about the lack of decent coffee on that side of town. Of course I was missing the Silver Lake Intelligentsia which in addition to being the best coffee EVAR is also mere blocks from my current house. Luckily it was pointed out to me that my worries will be short lived as Intelligentsia is opening a Venice location at the end of next month (baring any delays). I don’t know how I missed this amazing bit of info, but it’s also going to be one of the most, if not THE most innovative coffee shop in the world. Certainly in LA. Just take a peak at these renderings. Wow. I’m going to try and get photos myself as soon as possible, but let’s just say I’m pretty much as excited as I can be. Intelligentsia changed how look at and think about coffee and stupidly excited this mecca is going to be opening right around the corner from where I’ll be living. OK who am I kidding, I’ll be paying rent for a place right around the corner but living here.
I completely forgot to mention this, but the top spots at the 2009 Western Regional Barista Championship all went to coffee folks from the Silver Lake Intelligentsia. Nick Griffith took first, Devin Pedde second, and Ryan Willbur completed the shut out with third. If you keep hearing about the amazing coffee making talent we have in LA but have yet to try it, now would be a good time to go order a cup. It’ll will be worth it. Trust me.