For the coffee enthusiast (fanatic, fiend, addict), living this far south of downtown poses the horrifying threat of utter deprivation from a decent coffee experience. The only prepared cup of coffee to be found on or near this block, from what I have seen so far, is from either McDonald's, Burger King, or Subway. An important creature comfort for me is to be able to sip well-made coffee in a comfortable atmosphere close to home, and those three options certainly do not fit the bill by any stretch of the imagination.
When I lived in El Sereno, I was lucky enough to have Antigua Cultural Coffeehouse a very walkable 1.5 miles from my apartment. I had planned on venturing there again on Monday night despite the 8-mile drive for their almost mystical Mayan Mocha, but an announcement on Angelenic that Lost Souls Cafe had acquired a liquor license intrigued me enough that I decided to change my plans and keep my business in downtown instead. I convinced my friends Robbie and Jessica, themselves new Koreatown residents, to join me on my excursion to the cafe.
We took Metro bus 45 from the corner of Broadway and Washington to 4th and Broadway, and a short two-and-a-half block walk later we came upon the infamous gated alleyway through which the entrance to Lost Souls can be found. Inside we were greeted by an industrial/bohemian/urban atmosphere, with tulip-adorned cafe tables in the front of the space, sofas at the rear, exposed ventilation ducts above, string lights over the bar, and clamp lamps along the wall. An inviting array of board games and books were stacked on a few tables and low shelves among the sofas.
Beverages offered ranges from their "House Drip" coffee to iced teas to Kombucha to a variety of beers. I ordered the "Soul Drip," which is their House Drip plus condensed milk and half-and-half. Since I am accustomed to drinking my coffee with either one or the other, I was intrigued at the combination. The beverage had a good mouth-feel, and the sweetness of the condensed milk was tempered by the half-and-half. The true test will not come, though, until I try a regular latte or cappuccino.
On a Monday night, the place was far from bustling, and we three comprised half of the patrons that night. I imagine it to be much more lively on their many nights with events and on weekends. I'm glad we made it here and I'm excited to check it out again alone in the near future to see if this can become a home for me the way Antigua did.
Lost Souls Cafe
124 W. 4th St.
Metro bus 45 from Broadway & Washington to Broadway & 4th.
Bus fare: 2.50 (round trip)
Soul Drip: 2.15 (small)