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‘Discoveries’

Perry’s Joint

WHY Can’t beat the soundtrack—great jazz on the stereo. WHAT A sophisticated, spacious spot, Perry’s is a terrific place to hold small business meetings or to work on your laptop (free WiFi). Good coffee, tasty sandwiches and Dreyer’s ice cream. WHO The hipper sorts of Northwest Pasadenans, after-school kids and employees of local nonprofits. 2051 […]

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Café Bolivar

WHY It’s the perfect place to sit and finish your novel (the one you’re reading or the one you’re writing), while sipping coffee and eating some addictive arepas (stuffed cornmeal patties). WHAT This friendly, relaxed place is a real find in a sleeper Ocean Park neighborhood. It’s got an open, modern look and warm Latin […]

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Peet’s Coffee & Tea

WHY Major Dickason’s blend. WHAT If you must drink at a chain, this estimable Bay Area institution is the one to pick. The coffee drinks are robust and made by actual baristas, the take-home beans are addictive and thoughtfully ground, and all the locations were carefully chosen to showcase Peets’ outdoor tables in lively, people-watching […]

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The Coffee Gallery

WHY You can hang out as long as you like, and the private room is great for a committee meeting. WHAT Maybe it’s not the best coffee in town—and the service is often bizarrely slow—but there’s something endearing about this appealingly scruffy place anyway. For one thing, the live music in the separate concert room […]

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Kaldi

WHY An authentic and appealing slice of European-style café life, right in the middle of Small Town, U.S.A. WHAT The sultry purple neon sign beckons passersby into this popular hangout in a handsome old brick building across from the library. On the menu: well-made espresso drinks and sunny sidewalk tables, but not much to eat. […]

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Monte Alban

WHY The many moles—black, yellow, green, red, colorado—served in tamales, with chicken, in all sorts of dishes. Good huevos for breakfast, too. WHAT A fine and most affordable Oaxacan café known for its moles and its breakfast (good cinnamon-infused coffee). Try the mole negro tamale and the huitlachoche and frijoladas, a wonderful mix of beans, […]

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Totoraku Teriyaki House

WHY To pole-vault into the league of the coolest foodies in town. WHAT One might assume from the ‘Pico Teriyaki House’ sign outside that this might be a divey neighborhood spot for a cheap plate of chicken teriyaki and shrimp tempura. And one would be very, very wrong. This is L.A.’s great ‘secret’ restaurant, where […]

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Tomato Pie Pizza Joint

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WHY All the standards (plus an excellent white pie), as well as calzones, subs and pastas. WHAT Flavorful New York—style pizzas are turned out at this modest shop with a few locations, each of which has friendly service and efficient delivery. 2457 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake, 323.661.6474, tomatopiepizzajoint.com. L & D daily. MC, V. Type: […]

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Dino’s Chicken & Burgers

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WHY Orange-red chicken marinated in a chile-laced sauce and grilled, resting on a bed of fries deliciously imbued with chicken juice. ; WHAT Despite the name, it’s not about the burgers at this very modest stand; the half-chicken plate has achieved near-legendary status among connoisseurs of cheap eats. ; 2575 W. Pico Blvd., Mid-city, 213.380.3554, […]

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Beverly Hills Juice Club

WHY Cold-pressed apple-juice blends that are totally delish—try the apple strawberry or apple ginger. WHAT It’s not really in Beverly Hills, but a harmless bit of false advertising is no reason to shun this teeny place, which specializes in cold-pressed fruit juices, wheatgrass, carrot juices and smoothie-like banana-based creations. WHO Healthful sorts on their way […]

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