Sen Bistro’s menu of slow-cooked beef stews, shrimp stir-fries, and rice-vermicelli plates expands palates with the authentic tastes of distant Vietnam. Spring rolls pop with the fresh colors of local produce, and crunchy-chewy baguettes conceal slices of grilled pork, chicken, or lemongrass and tofu. Bowls of pho unite noodles with sliced, rare brisket and fragrant Vietnamese spices, warming mouths with hot broth before after-dinner treats of small-batch iced coffee.
Euro Caffe's intimate space abounds with European atmosphere, thanks to touches such as tile floors and outdoor patio umbrellas adorned with lights. This European sensibility also extends to the kitchen, which serves up simple eats such as grilled Italian-style paninis, waffles, and its main offering—savory and sweet crepes.
Savory options arrive tableside stuffed with smoked bacon and avocado or housemade pesto and prosciutto. Sweet ones ooze with Nutella and peaches or melted brownies and vanilla ice cream. Everything is made in-house daily using ingredients from local suppliers or the refrigerator of a neighbor. And like any good European cafe, Euro Caffe plies patrons with organic Italian Illy coffee, espresso drinks, and fine teas.
Top notch Arabica beans arrive green at Javatinis, each pack mule still wet from its long journey over sea. With 11 blends of African, Latin American, and Asian beans, you can have a different cup of liquid alchemy for almost every day of week (12 oz. bags start at $11). Javatinis allows you to choose your roast level, picking from nine stages of increasingly deadly heat, with the final roast level applied by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
In order to open Kaffa!, the Kim family decided their first requirement was to create the ideal cup of coffee. Hours of experimentation and a decade of business later, they've found several approaches to this goal. For one, they never let drip coffee sit—every 60 minutes, they pour out the old batch and brew a new one from freshly ground, micro-roasted beans. Cups of joe are also available in pour-over and french-press styles for an ultra-pure taste, and their iced coffee is cold brewed to bring out a strong flavor with little bitterness. As far as espresso, the coffee shop serves theirs in a short-pull ristretto style, which brews a bolder, fuller liquid with less water than standard espresso. These techniques beget a range of specialty drinks, such as lattes and mochas flavored with Monin syrup and topped with artistic froth designs, and iced coffee beverages blended with mint and crushed Oreos. To pair with drinks, the staff crafts a range of paninis and salads that contain more vegetables than the evidence locker from Peter Rabbit's trial.
The Cozy Cave, or living room, of Chapman Coffee House pays homage to Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'i faith. For a two-year period, the spiritual leader sought refuge in a cave, embracing seclusion as an opportunity for meditation. Acknowledging his example, the founders of Chapman Coffee House established the Cozy Cave as "a place for meaningful conversation." On the walls, chalkboards display words of wisdom, dictated by Bahá'u'lláh, as well as artwork from Orange High School students. Groups meet here for daily interfaith devotions; individuals often come to quietly contemplate.
In the kitchen, baristas accentuate Diedrich coffee beverages with artistic flair, manipulating foam into the shape of hearts, houses, and flowers. Cooks dedicate their attention to preparing white-chocolate brownies—a house specialty—as well as grilled paninis. On occasion, live musicians fill the dining area with song. In the winter, a fire crackles in the cozy cave to warm up the dwarves who live in the back.