Natalie’s L.A. Spotlight – The Coffee Shop Office

Photo: Roderiques Photography

Photo: Roderiques Photography

by: Natalie Lipka

Once I moved to Los Angeles, I started drinking way more coffee. After kicking my Jersey-born caffeinated soda addiction pretty quickly, my caffeine fix started coming mainly from coffee and green tea. Coffee for me has become one of my favorite morning rituals in addition to being one of the fun features about taking meetings.

As we create our own careers in the entertainment industry, most of us do not have our own offices yet. So when we take business meetings, whether with scene partners or business partners, I’ve found it important to have a few go-to coffee shops throughout the city that I can call on to make that next meeting plan a little easier. Of course, there is a Starbucks or Coffee Bean on just about every other corner that can always work in a pinch. But I feel that having a mom and pop coffee shop option has proven to be more intimate. It adds a local flair and often provides a great conversation starter for those initial meetings. Since I am a Valley girl myself, I am going to share my top three coffee spots in the 818.

Priscilla’s Burbank, CA
This coffee shop was introduced to me by the one and only Wayne Frazier. (You may have heard of him, he hosts Hollywood Close-Up.) We had our first meeting there back in 2006 and have continued to have meetings at this prime gourmet coffee house located just on the border of Toluca Lake and Burbank. When you walk into Priscilla’s, I swear you can feel the creativity brewing. I think most of the tables are filled with people who are, in one way or another, part of the entertainment industry. My favorite beverage there is simply regular coffee with steamed milk. On many occasions their amazing baristas have made me a heart, leaf or some kind of cute image in my foam. I’m a sucker for that.

Marie et Cie. Valley Village, CA
This one provides another walk down memory lane, as Wayne and I had numerous meetings here while producing our first short film. This French-inspired cafe is so charming and attached to a cute boutique that carries all kinds of home decor from all over the world. I’ve not been to Paris yet, but I do imagine that this is a taste of that European capital right in the Valley. Their hot vanilla lattes are by far my fav! And they have everything bagels, what more does a gal need? Any time I’ve ever stopped in, there has been plenty of seating, whether inside or out. Marie et Cie. is a relaxed environment that generates the space to help your creative juices flow.

Crave Cafe Sherman Oaks, CA
Open 24 hours, Monday through Saturday, this is a great place if you need to pull a creative all nighter! Add to this amazing desserts like peanut butter, chocolate cupcakes and breakfast 24/7. This is the perfect place to go after a late night shoot or when those writing meetings run to the wee hours of the morning. I must warn you, there tends to be a line every time I go, no matter what time I go, but that is only because it is so good. They also have another location in Studio City, so there are options. They make their espresso drinks with illy coffee, which is super rich and delicious and their regular coffee is Intelligentsia. You honestly can’t go wrong with either.

What’s your favorite coffee shop?