We welcome Intelligentsia to Old Pasadena

The long-awaited opening of Intelligentsia has finally come upon us.  We are so pleased that they opened on the East side of Colorado close to Raymond (near our offices), that they cherished the 1885 building’s architectural details, and finally, that they have great coffee!  The blog-o-sphere has been a-twitter with news and reviews of the new concept Intelligentsia Pasadena “Cafe”, which includes collaborations with various well-known foodie chefs, caterers, micro-breweries, etc.  Be sure to give them a try and stay tuned as they roll-out their dinner offerings, select beer and wine bar, etc.

More great information  from Amy Scattergood’s LA Weekly blog:

Photo: Amy Scattergood

The baristas have been trained by Michael Phillips, Intelligentsia’s director of education and the 2010 World Barista Champion. The pastries are from Bottega Louis and Cake Monkey. But as soon as Intelligentsia gets its liquor license, hopefully in a few weeks, it will be adding small plates, a dinner menu and charcuterie from caterer Matthew Poley (Heirloom-LA); a wine list from Matthew Kaner (Bar Covell); and beer, both in bottles and on tap. This is the first Intelligentsia coffeehouse — there are three locations in Chicago and, now, three in Los Angeles — that will go beyond coffee, tea and pastries, and the downstairs has been converted into a small kitchen. There is also space for a second coffee bar downstairs, should the upstairs becomes too crowded.

On a personal note, I love a good Cappuccino… one good bracing caffeine indulgence a day for me.  I had read about the infamous Black Cat Espresso, to quote the Intelligentsia websiteThis syrupy and sweet espresso blend has been the staple of our lineup since the very beginning. It is a product of intensive lot selection and close, direct work with the farmers who produce its components. The Black Cat Classic Espresso’s hallmark is its supreme balance and wonderful sweetness. And, yes, I can confirm that all of this is true… and more.  It was absolutely divine!  In fact, as I write about it, I am overcome with the urge to run out and buy one this very moment.  Seriously, it was unparalleled.

From their Mission statement, yes, they have a Black Cat Project mission statement:

The Black Cat Project™ is by design a pursuit of something we’ll never catch: the perfect espresso in all of its manifestations. But that doesn’t mean we’ll ever stop chasing it. This project is rooted in our belief that espresso brewing is still coffee brewing and that only the best coffees can make the best espressos. We want to push the boundaries on flavor. We want you to experience amazing single origin, Micro-Lot, and seasonal espressos with truly distinct flavor profiles that reach far beyond “chocolate” or “caramel.”

They even have a great Espresso Video on Vimeo, which has been viewed 112,000 times since it was posted in January! These guys are serious about their coffee.

Check out a great review of the lunch bags at the L.A. and O.C. Foodventures blog as well as a listing of many other write-ups:

What Do Others Say?
- FoodGPS’s Joshua Lurie provided a “what to expect” report for Feast LA.
- Mattatouille attended the media preview (and snapped a photo of me!) and simply called it “one of my favorite places in the city” and looking forward to more from their menu, beer & wine selections and of course, the coffee.
- Gourmet Pigs gave it a first look from the media preview, found it “a definite upgrade in the space that used to be Wok ‘n Roll . . . [and] easily the best restaurant in Old Town”
- LA Weekly’s Squid Ink filed a more objective outlook but said it’s “a beautiful space”
- LA Times’ Daily Dish also provided a brief report and some photos from the media preview
- Eater LA checked it out in soft opening phase, deemed it “appropriately hipster-marvelous”
- Gmangoman also went during its soft opening, called it it a “much needed addition to the Old Town Pasadena restaurant mix”

Intelligentsia Pasadena Cafe
55 E. Colorado Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91105

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2 Responses to “We welcome Intelligentsia to Old Pasadena”

  1. Homes In Pasadena Says:

    Nice to see Intelligentsia is getting good coverage. I went there 2 weeks ago and it’s a great addition to the restaurants here in Pasadena. I wish them great success!

  2. jswartz Says:

    I so agree… I want them to succeed and continue to pull foot traffic to the East Colorado area which is booming. We have so many recent additions to that stretch of Colorado: Crossroads Trading, Eileen Fisher, Choza Mama, Seafood Grill, IX Tapa Cantina, and the upcoming remodel of the Green and Green building (Crown City Loan)!

    I can’t wait until they add their specialty brews (beer that is) and select wine menu… stay tuned.

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