Cafe Tomo is so tantalizing to me because it is about half a mile from my future house; an easy bike ride to a great shop to study and enjoy a drink. My brother has been raving about this place for a while so I finally went with him today.
Disclaimer: this is a pending review, the current score is subject to change after I visit next time. Today’s visit was, I think, a bit abnormal.
It was later in the evening, and the staff was busy roasting and cleaning. They do their own roasting, which is really exciting to me Like I do at every store, I order a cap to measure the quality of the shop’s abilities and techniques. I was really excited because they use an updated Linea, Mazzers, and a decent brew bar to do their coffee.
However, every step of the process was mired by mis-communication between the baristas and poor technique. Sorry guys, I have to be critical, it is my job as a reviewer and a professional barista (No, I do not work at a third wave hipster-im too cool for you shop nor do I work at a second wave mass produced coffee Starbux, I work for an artisan roasting company and I study the trade on my free time and I have won a small competition, period). There were tons of little knit picky details I do not want to get into, they are like .01% of the process (such as pouring shots straight into the glass).
The first blaring error was that they put my and my brothers drink out onto the counter, away from the machine, with the espresso in cup and no milk was being steamed. So, our shots sat, and sat, for about 2 minutes. Not the end of the world, but espresso has a life span. Then, the barista pulled my milk like a latte, then realizing it was a cap, tried to pull the milk foamier after she had reached drinkable temperature, basically making crazy amounts of foam and ruining the texture of the milk. Halfway through serving it, she realized that it was not up to snuff, apologized, and remade it. I really appreciated it and everyone was really nice about it. No worries. Then, this obnoxious prick came up and started distracting her while she was working, no tact, just started asking for a refund on his food that had just been made but was not fast enough for him (ten minutes isn’t unreasonable for fresh food dude). Anyway, she seemed really shaken by the whole ordeal. She served my cap and I was kind of sad. The milk was way over 135 and not comfortable to drink, the foam had separated from the milk, the milk had scolded, the texture was poor, and the shot was burned. Overall, my cap, which was way to big at around 14oz for me, was undrinkable. I hardly ever leave anything in my cup when I leave, but today I did. My brother, who is learning the coffee trade and new to the art of espresso, could tell immediately what I was talking about when I handed him the cup. I do not want to blame her, she was a little stressed out, and I will definitely give this place another chance. My rating right now is provisional since I think this was an abnormal circumstance (people rave to me about this place), but based on this visit, I cannot exactly praise the store.
My brother’s “tomo-latte” was neat and interesting. The creative side and aesthetic is where this place really shines. I look forward to trying their other neat little creations. Overall, this place has a lot of heart and they are trying to be a good little shop. I think once the kinks get worked out, it will be much better.
- Great location
- Good ambiance
- Interesting menu items that depart from many other shop
11309 Mississippi Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90025
TEL : (310) 444-9390
- MON-THU 7:30 AM ~ 10 PM
- FRI 7:30 AM ~ 10: 30 PM
- SAT 9 AM ~ 10:30 PM
- SUN 9 AM-9 PM
3 Comments Add yours
I’d encourage you to revisit! Coffee Tomo is one of my favorite spots to hang out with friends, and enjoy a good cup of coffee. I’m certainly not any coffee expert, but I like the coffee they serve. I’ve yet to have a bad experience there, and I’d like to know what you think of the place under normal circumstances.
Thank you for visiting and taking the time to reconsider. I agree, it is a really great spot. I suppose I should have emphasized that more; the space is self is fantastic.
In all fairness, I actually have revisited many times as I frequent that neighborhood. My experiences have been mixed. I was a bit dissatisfied with my coffee last time as I felt the roast profile didn’t do their Brazillian justice. Since I have a bit of roasting experience, I guess I am just hyper critical of things like that. Good, but not great for me.
Also, unfortunately, the customer service has not improved.
I agree that the customer service is not always up to par. I enjoy my experience there for the most part, though, partly because I order the Ethiopia Yergacheffee every time—but mostly because I could probably do with expanding my horizons when it comes to coffee.
Anyway, I enjoyed reading your review!