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Touring Downtown WIFI: High Point Coffee

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Monday, January 19, 2009, at 09:47AM
High Point Coffee Ed Fuentes

High Point Coffee at First and Hope.

Across from DWP and Walt Disney Concert Hill is a gourmet cafe with an appropriate name: High Point Coffee. It’s only by chance that the name fits the higher Downtown grade at the corner of First and Hope.

Chain licensee owner Sal Fakhoury hopes to position himself to build a client base and open another retail spot in the Grand Avenue Project. Since he (like all of us) will be waiting quite a while for that to happen, there’s plenty of time to have a cup of coffee and a hot panini.

PROS: Frankly, Downtown L.A.’s High Point Coffee is pretty close to WIFI heaven on the hill. Every table has an outlet nearby. The connection didn’t fry, stop, or drop out, and there are no ads lingering on your browser. There’s very little glare from outside light. Also, they are opened on weekends -- until 9pm on Saturday and 8pm on Sunday.

CONS: Three years ago, the menu would have been described as beyond solid, with 17 different coffees supplemented by ten teas. Bonus points would be assigned for hot pressed Paninis and desserts.

My coffee radar may still be clouded by Urth Caffe, but it feels as if we have evolved so much in our cafe demands that the place now seems quaint.

I will say the coffee is better then some other national corporate places, and the family and staff is warm and friendly. That is not typical of the corporate coffee experience.

EXTRAS: With a few days notice, you can have items off the catering menu and served in the cafe. Maybe it's time for a meetup. Homemade Sicilian lasagna anyone? You can have some gelato for dessert afterwards.

Also, the art on the walls is generic for now, but Fakhoury is planning to have a few shows curated and the lighting is better most cafes.

THE WILD CARD: They have a high def screen that will be switched from CNN to watch the Lakers, even if the game goes past the 8pm closing time. Sal's son, Ivano, claims the T.V. is off at 8pm sharp if it’s a Clippers game. Just warning you.

As the standard for all our featured spots, there is no guilt-stare from the barista. Still, we always encourage you patronize each establishment. Buy to try WIFI, we say.

High Point Coffee / Promenade Plaza, 714 W 1st (at Hope) / 213-229-0030 / M-F 7am to 8pm, Sat 8am to 8pm, Sun 8:30am to 8pm / DASH A or D

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Touring Downtown WIFI

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