After an enticing photo on Mattatouille's excellent blog, I had to sample the new Paper or Plastik Cafe which recently opened on Pico, just east of Fairfax.
I really like the look of this place. Paper or Plastik has a great, industrial looking space with exposed brick and a small second floor internal balcony. It is also connected to an avant garde dance studio, and while it makes for interesting drinking, one of the nights I was there the music from the studio was pretty loud. It's hard to have a conversation over atonal braying, but it was entertaining to see the dancers through the open door connecting the two spaces.
But on to the main event: the coffee. The place is still getting going so I don't want to be too judgmental, but it shows great promise. They use Intelligentsia and Ecco coffee, with espresso drinks using Intelligentsia's Black Cat. The espresso had a good start to it; it was smoky and deep with less tannin than I get at Intelligentsia, though it had a rather salty finish, and I wished there were a stronger head of crema. The cappuccino, while good, was not as silky smooth as the originals at Intelligentsia.
The biggest problem right now is they don't have decaf, but they told me they would be getting it soon.
As I said, while they are still working out some kinks, I think this place has great potential to be the best coffee between Santa Monica and Silverlake.
Paper or Plastik Cafe
5772 West Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90019