Valerie Herrera, a skillful cake manipulator and civil engineer, builds humble egg and flour foundations into towering dessert structures. The light texture of vanilla tres leches cakes ($20) wins over pitchfork-toting tongue mobs outraged at its unnatural fusion of three milk types, and strawberries doused in chocolate and dusted with sprinkles ($20 a dozen) tempt even even-tempered palates. Batches of nine walnut-infused brownies ($7.58) and batches of 24 carrot cupcakes ($21.65) prove desirable additions to any permanent dessert collection.
Kinley's House is a cozy coffee shop home to a large selection of specialty teas, coffees, and delicious non-coffees, as well as a menu of treats. Charge up your cranial battery with a breakfast bagel, which is served all day and features ham, swiss cheese, and egg on a post-toaster bagel ($3.25), then let the espresso, hazelnut, and steamed milk of a small nutty cow latte ($2.95) guide the crumbs down your stomach slide. The Sri Lankan style and citrusy oils of a large Earl Grey tea ($2.10) pair well with a veggie noodle bowl, which offers a tasty concoction of Japanese ramen noodles, romaine lettuce, sweet corn, broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots ($5.60).
The hum of live performances echoes across The Percolator, where guests meet over mugs of organic coffee and plates of gourmet sandwiches and sushi. Chefs usher in the day with eggs, meat, and vegetarian breakfast wraps before moving on to lunch and dinner to assemble chicken pesto or herbed goat–cheese sandwiches along with seven specialty sushi rolls. Lattes, mochas, and creamy coffee frappés start days or cap off meals, and a selection of beer and wine rinses off incisors. As customers sip and dine, they lounge at the cafe's numerous tabletops beneath local artwork and vibrant murals on the crimson walls. A stage hosts a rotating schedule of live music, poetry slams, and theater nearly every day, offering visitors a welcome reprieve from frustrating evenings of teaching a pet tortoise to roll over.
At Healthy Bite, patrons can retreat to the café for a menu of grilled sandwiches, refreshing salads, and fresh juices. Fluffy slices of ciabatta bread carry bounties such as turkey and Monterey jack cheese, or fresh tomatoes, pesto, and mozzarella. Salads set beds of romaine lettuce or baby spinach for fresh fruits, slivered almonds, and feta cheeses. Meanwhile, fresh juice blends include papaya, orange, and celery, alongside daily soups and fruit smoothies.
Headed by chef Lourdes Flores, Malu serves up breakfast dishes, sandwiches, and nearly 20 types of coffee and espresso drinks. On any given day, guests can enjoy items such as turkey clubs; sausage, egg, and cheese sandwiches; and fresh-baked banana bread.