The majority of the activity at Code Blue Cafe takes place outside. Under a canopy and warmed by heating lamps, guests lounge on couches and nibble on American and Middle Eastern dishes while puffing flavored smoke from elegant hookahs. Dishes include burgers loaded with onion rings or guacamole, beef kebab sandwiches, and gigantic ice-cream cookies. Fifteen flavors of Al Fakher hookah and 44 of Exotic Starbuzz hookah range from the straightforward such as spearmint, mango, and royal grape, to the more mysterious such as Pirates Cave, Passion Kiss, and Pink.
Just looking at the quaint interior of Marys Little House of Coffee, you might give the impression that it is a cherry little spot to sip on a latte and get some work done. But the chefs manning the kitchen do more than just whip up scones, providing Middle Eastern delicacies that complement their pours of espresso and fruity smoothies. In the morning, guests can find eggs, Armenian-style pizzas, as well as the sweet aroma of sahleb, a warm cinnamony drink made popular by street vendors in the former Ottoman empire. As the day progresses, chefs turn their attention to delicacies such as tongue sandwiches, stuffed grape leaves, and baklava, curating a café menu that plays up the flavors of the East and traditional Western favorites.
Tucked away in the kitchen of each Paris Baguette, bakers trained in French techniques craft buttery, flaky croissants and tart crusts, and their success at this has earned attention from the likes of the New York Times. In addition to pastries and sweets such as mocha rice balls, the bakers knead bread for their namesake baguettes and yeasty creations that hold an Asian twist, such as red-bean-paste-filled donuts. The experts also create fondant-cloaked cakes that venture beyond classic flavors into green tea, cappuccino, and sweet potato, delighting partygoers bored of the same laminated sheet cake that makes its appearance at each year’s birthday celebration.
To wash down these treats, patrons sip cups of java or more exotic drinks such as wheatgrass and black-sesame lattes, persimmon smoothies, and bubble tea. At lunchtime, many locations layer sandwiches, filling hungry stomachs with croque monsieurs and baguettes stuffed with chicken and pesto.
Although Urartu Coffee's convenient online ordering system helps guests to nosh on the go, its free WiFi and stylish seating urges them to stay awhile as they savor the menu of fresh pastries and build-your-own sandwiches. Bread and bagels insulate deli-style meats with garnishes such as basil leaves and olives as croissants brim with fruit, chocolate, and cheese, all dunk-worthy in the café’s myriad coffees and teas. For a fruity jolt more satisfying than shoving a strawberry into a light socket, Urartu’s skilled baristas blend smoothies and squeeze juice daily in a wide array of flavors.
From its first location in West Hollywood to its free-range food truck, Rounds Premium Burgers doles out mighty American burgers made with beef, turkey, chicken, or veggie patties along with a large selection of fries. Specialty rounds include The Slopper, a messy pile of chili, cheese, and onions. Custom burgers start with a foundation of daily-baked bread and a patty, which are then slathered with exotic sauces (from chipotle aioli to buttermilk ranch and tabasco ketchup) and layered with toppings such as crispy onion strings, breaded jalapeños, and grilled pineapple. From the burgers to the sweet-potato fries, the griddlemasters make all of their hearty, old-fashioned fare by hand.