I remember about six years ago when Urth Caffe on Melrose was just a quaint organic coffeehouse. I would duck in for a nice cup of tea and a brownie after visiting the new age store next door, the Bodhi Tree. Back then there weren’t any tables and chairs clogging up the sidewalk, seating was contained indoors and on the patio. As for lines? What lines? You just stepped up to the counter and placed your order. But now?
Now, I’m too intimidated by all the oh-so-fabulous agents/actors/models/glorified PAs basking in their own fabulousness on the patio, sidewalk and in the languorously slow-moving line. I don’t want to be judged when I just want a cup of tea. And that’s what it feels like when you pass the first group of tables on the sidewalk.
But when an Urth Caffe opened up on Main Street in Santa Monica, I thought, FINALLY, I can enjoy a divine spicy chai in the comfort of my down-to-earth, laidback West L.A. And, yes, it’s not as guilty of judgy hipsters as the WeHo location, but they’re still there. This time with their rolled-up yoga mats to accompany their tiny dogs and Sidekicks. There’s still a bit of a preening nature evident in the displayed crowd, but for some reason it’s not as intimidating to me. Maybe it’s just because the caffe isn’t as crowded as the other location or that I’m more comfortable on Main Street. Who knows? But I’ve already been there twice in two days.
It’s a great place to grab lunch or to share a cuppa with your friends. Yesterday it was a Divine Spicy Chai ($3.25) and a slice of Chocolate Crown Cake (which was on sale for $3 since it was made in the morning) before my mani/pedi.
Today, it was Chicken Curry sandwich on rustic bread with a side of fresh fruit ($10.95) and lemonade. The gourmet/organic food, pastries, coffee and tea selections are impressive. I just want to press my face against the dessert case and ogle the chocolate cakes and apple pies.
Eating here doesn’t leave you feeling bulbous since all food contains natural ingredients prepared in simply yet tasty ways.
The service is pretty efficient and everyone who works there seems so nice and accommodating. I’ve seen them handle self-entitled a-holes with a smile and nary a trace of attitude.
The patio is small and although I had no problem finding a seat there in the evening and during lunch time, I know that when summer comes around the place will be packed. As it is, grab a chair next to the railing under a heating lamp and people watch the passers-by to your heart’s content, but remember, only love here.
2327 Main Street
Santa Monica, California 90405
8565 Melrose Avenue
West Hollywood, California 90069