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Welcome to 100 Miles, an exploration of sustaining life by going no further away than 100 miles to gather the things we need to live. This web log is my journal of food-based experiences, memories, thoughts, and recipes. I hope you enjoy reading it. To subscribe, so as not to miss each new edition, please enter your email address.

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      *The Local Report – Kaldi Coffee & Tea

      March 4, 2011

      018

      .8 miles, about 3 minutes (driving), or about 16 minutes (walking), from my home in Atwater Village.

      Small, medium or large.  Or maybe it’s just medium and large.  I can’t remember exactly.  The point is they’re not some kind of faux-Italian words made up for coffee sizes.  Very old-fashioned but Kaldi Coffee & Tea is a throw back coffee place.  They roast their own coffee, and it’s good coffee.  You can buy it in bulk, or order it there.  The choices seemingly endless on the very large chalk board.  And if you want tea there’s a really great selection to choose from.

      Kaldi sits smack dab in the middle of my neighborhood, Atwater Village, the few blocks that run just east of the 5 Freeway and Silver Lake almost to San Fernando Road.  It’s in the middle of a mish-mash of businesses that are constantly changing, (when the casket shop closed two doors down a marijuana dispensary — I think that’s what it was — opened, it lasted about six to eight months.  The gift shop right next door where I bought several Christmas and birthday gifts recently shuttered, now both businesses sit empty).  There’s a bookstore, a few hair salons, two liquor stores, several restaurants, a Starbucks, a wine shop, a pizza place, a Bikram yoga studio all close at hand that along with Kaldi make up the “village” part of Atwater Village.

      I like Kaldi for obvious reasons; it’s a small, localized business, they roast their own coffee, they offer something to the community.  The coffee is stellar and the counter guys are super friendly.  Most every time I stop in every table is taken — granted it’s library-quiet because everyone is on a laptop, some with ear buds firmly planted.  That’s okay, it’s place to go, a refuge for folks in the neighborhood.  Often when I’m working at home, and need a break, I’ll walk over for an afternoon coffee.  Robert and I frequently eat at one of the restaurants along the boulevard, and if we time it right we make it to Kaldi just before they close to grab an end-of-day brownie or cookie that are sold at half-price just before closing.

      Kaldi Coffee & Tea, 3147 Glendale Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90039, (323) 660-6005

      *The Local Report(s): are occasional blog posts on restaurants, and/or businesses that either support the idea of one-hundred miles, and ‘living life locally’; or are small, localized businesses in my neighborhood, and/or within one-hundred miles of my residence, that I prefer to support over the larger, national, corporate chains. For other The Local Report(s) please go the Archives section of this blog. Also, I’d love to hear from my readers about businesses that they support in their neighborhoods: write to me at charlesgthompson@100miles.com, or leave a comment here.

      Follow The Local Report on Twitter: @TheLocalReport

      Update: A follow up to my post on Graham Kerr ~ his new book “Growing at the Speed of Life,” all about starting his first kitchen garden, was published on March 1, 2011 if you’d like to learn more about what he’s been up to lately.

      100 Miles Shout Outs! Local events, mini-reviews, and mentions of things happening in the world of food:

      #1 – Sunday, March 6, 2011 ~ 7th Annual Cassoulet Night ~ Lucques Restaurant, 8474 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA  323-655-6277 ~ http://www.lucques.com/

      #2 – Monday, March 14, 2011 – Blood, Bones and Butter ~ A Dinner in Honor of the Publication of Prune Chef, Gabrielle Hamilton’s First Book ~ Lucques Restaurant, 8474 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA  323-655-6277 ~ http://www.lucques.com/

      My Status: Still enjoying winter in So Cal and the lovely winter produce: amazing citrus, kale, broccoli, collard greens, beets and fennel.  Trying to bone up my citrus knowledge so bought a pomelo and some Sumo mandarins (aka the Dekopan in Japan), a new crossbreed of citrus recently introduced to the U.S.  Continuing to blog, cook, and eat.

      I’m published!! My recipe “Chef Wally’s Baked Papaya” was selected to be in the cookbook: “Foodista Best of Food Blogs Cookbook: 100 Great Recipes, Photographs, and Voices.”  You may order it here.

      Upcoming Posts: More on my great-grandmother’s garden, and my California childhood.  A visit and tour of Ojai Valley citrus grower Friend’s Ranch. More The Local Reports coming soon. Cookbook Reviews: “The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook” by Rachel Saunders, “Grilled Cheese, Please! by Laura Werlin, and Southern My Way by Gena Fox.

      5 Comments on “*The Local Report – Kaldi Coffee & Tea”

      1. robert g. says:

        I’m glad Atwater Village has an alternative to Starbucks. I love going to Kaldi and doing my crossword puzzle. Great vibe, excellent beverages, and nice staff!

      2. pierre says:

        hi charles I have a nice coffee brulerie close to my home just love the smell when close to the shop !!!Pierre

      3. Sean Sulivan says:

        “The trouble with the world today, it seems to me, is coffee in a cardboard cup. The trouble with the affluent society is coffee in a cardboard cup.” — Prophets Kander and Ebb

      4. Sounds like a wonderful coffee shop!

      5. suzanne says:

        Hi Charles. I’ve tried emailing you four times to let you know your papaya recipe is posted on my blog, but the email keeps getting bounced back! Thanks again for the terrific recipe! Suzanne

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