Like most natives of Los Angeles, I always try to figure out where Vincent Chase and his crew are dining during each episode. It can be a challenge, but can also turn into a fun game if you watch closely.
Recently, I noticed that the boys were outside of the newest coffee shop to hit Sunset Plaza. So of course, I decided that I must stop in and see what the buzz is all about.
Caffe Primo just recently opened its doors and is situated at the front of the outdoor corridor (below Ketchup) that is semi-hidden along the Sunset Strip. Located in close proximity to celeb-infested Equinox gym, Caffe Primo has been booming with business throughout the past few months.
The outside of the cafe boasts a large patio, where you can people-watch along one of the busiest blocks in L.A. This outdoor seating area is also lined with a garden of olive, lemon, lime and cypress trees.
Inside, the café boasts a trendy, yet cozy decor that head manager Oscar says makes the venue a “cool, chill spot.” In the back of the restaurant, you can find dark, modish Armani couches to lounge with your friends. There are flat screen televisions on the back wall, which often play European soccer matches for sports fans.
Caffe Primo also offers free wireless Internet to all of its patrons. Numerous people were plugging away at their laptops on the high, slate tables near the front door. This would be a great place to hide away for a study break, to write that term paper you’ve been putting off or to meet potential mates if you’d rather procrastinate.
When I asked Oscar about creating Caffe Primo, he explained that it’s an ‘Italian experience” that they are trying to build. He talked about the café’s recent success and explained that business is picking up, and they’re seeing more celebrities stop in for a cup of coffee.
“We were really excited that ‘Entourage’ was filmed here, too, because it has brought in business as well.”
I agreed with Campus Circle writer Camilla Warner when she declared that Urth Cafe has the best coffee in Los Angeles earlier in the year. Now, however, after trying Caffe Primo’s latte, I challenge readers to set up a blind taste test to see which cup they prefer. I think it would be a close call, because the latte at Caffe Primo is impressive to say the least.
What makes the Primo coffee so great? One reason is the rare espresso maker that you find on the coffee stand.
It’s bright orange, and one of the helpful baristas explained that this rare La Marzocco machine was actually painted by Ferrari. It’s a nice addition to the surroundings at Cafe Primo, adding to the Italian feel of the setting.
Let me make one thing clear, though – Caffe Primo is more than just a coffee shop. They have an extensive menu consisting of waffles, frittatas, soups, salads, sandwiches, pasta, baked dishes and pizza. The food is delicious, and their dessert options are also vast. When I looked at the dessert case, filled with cupcakes and muffin tops, an onlooker came up and said, “I could eat everything in that case, I swear. I love this place.”
When you walk through the front door, you see a huge display of gelato being showcased to customers. The staff informed me that no cream or eggs are used to create their Primo Gelato, making it much healthier the than regular ice cream that you might find at other nearby competitors. Over 40 flavors are available on a daily basis, and I admit that I wanted to try them all.
I believe that Johnny Drama would agree with me when I say that as a new place to dine in Los Angeles, Caffe Primo is celebrating a VICTORY. It’s a cool place to check out whether you are alone or with friends, to escape from the hustle and bustle of Hollywood. ‘Entourage’ has turned attention to Caffe Primo, but the ambiance, food and drinks will keep the customers coming back for more.
Caffe Primo is open Sun, 8 a.m.-11 p.m.; Mon-Thu, 7 a.m.-11 p.m.; Fri & Sat, 8 a.m.-midnight. For more information, call (310) 289-8895 or visit www.iloveprimo.com.