I struggled up out of sleep later than intended - no surf for me this morning, which was just as well because my wetsuit was still clammy hanging on the shower-rod. Memorandum for note: leave it outside, like everyone else does. Pray no one steals it. My head started to clear by the time I got out the door - the Pacific was the same color as the sky. This happens from time to time, but usually on cloudy days when the mist smudges the horizon out of existence and everything looks like one big blue-white wall. Today they were both distinctily blue - a sort of slatey blue color, but both were the same shade, and barely distinct from each other. Anyway. I drove up Main Street, and passed a Starbucks. I was a little early so I decided on a whim to stop for one of my very favorite things - reading a book while drinking coffee outdoors. A parking spot opened up right in front of me. Perfect.
Next to where I parked was a little cafe called "Amelia's" - it looked small and cozy in that brightly-lit European way, so why not. With Starbucks you always know what you get, and well... you know, pretty mediocre, and perhaps evil.. Man, am I glad I chose Amelia's.
I chose a cranberry muffin and a coffee - straightforward. The muffin had an orange glaze over it, just light enough to be tasty, but not so heavy as to be icing. It was crumbly but moist, and the cranberries were fresh, plump, and very tart. The muffin itself wasn't very sweet, leaving that to the orange glaze, which is just how I like it. But the coffee! I took a sip. It was hot enough to be bracing but not so scalding as to be undrinkable. It was rich, deep, smooth with just a hint of earthiness and chocolate. It was the best coffee I've had in a long time. I mean, I love coffee, but it's become such a daily staple that unless it's really bad, I just enjoy it's flavor without a lot of remark. But this was different - it's velvety darkness demanded my attention. I sat up straight and looked closer at the cup (a proper porcelain cup and saucer, and not gigantic, which is how it oughta be, by crackey.) Another sip. Yes, it really is that good. This was coffee bliss, so good it brought back memories of my first cup of coffee at Basic Training after 12 weeks without any - as good as that iced latte the day I realized I was addicted to caffeine, as good as the coffee in the hotel in Venice the night after the Ballo di Sospiri when I drank all the champangne in Venice and shouted at the Grand Canale from the deck of the vaporetto; as good as that cup in the bookstore when I read Billy Collins' poem about the dog to *her* lo these many moons past. This was nostalgia and motivation all in one, in a cup, wrapped in velvet and soaked in sunshine and dewy mountainside. Fucking amazing coffee.
Their breakfast menu is simple but everything looks good. You'd better believe I'm going back - not as crowded or trendy as the Urth Cafe, a great place to enjoy a cup of the best coffee in LA and read a book.