The coffee shop Andante is a “laid-back coffee specialist” located on Beverly Blvd. in West Hollywood (or as the kids call it, WeHo). A ring of similar cafes surrounds the area, from the Coffee Commissary and the Stir Crazy Coffee Shop to Alfred Coffee and “Go Get Em Tiger” (which I will be visiting very soon). The coffee is delicious, the location is excellent, even the blueberry muffins are incredible. The atmosphere is a little weird, however. The ceilings are very high up and despite a couple of fans circulating the air, it’s a bit warm and stuffy. There are several long tables which provide plenty of seating, but almost everyone is sitting on the side by the wall because that’s where the outlets are (yes, this place has outlets!), so it would be awkward to sit on the opposite side of the table across from a stranger. There’s a little more diversity in technology – only half of the people using laptops are on MacBooks, and several people are actually having conversations. The music is no older than ten years, ranging from folk and alternative to acoustic rock, and it provides a nice background noise, but it is impossible to tell exactly what songs are playing because of the odd acoustics of the space.
In spite of the odd atmosphere and just a little-too-quiet music, the coffee is some of the best I’ve ever had, and visiting on a Wednesday made it a more pleasant experience than it would have been if I had come during the weekend. It seems like the kind of place that people visit with their friends or to just relax, and there isn’t as much work being done, even though it is in the middle of the work week. I don’t see any other college students, so I feel a bit out of place, but it is a nice, welcoming cafe with friendly workers.
Music: 5.5/10. Too quiet, not sure what is playing most of the time. One of the only songs I could identify was by the Smiths, and I really hate the Smiths, but the rest of the music was unoffensive. As I was leaving, they were playing a really good song – Avril 14th by Aphex Twin.
Atmosphere: 5.5/10. Wide open space if you like that kind of thing, but I was getting some weird vibes.
Coffee: 9.5/10. The espresso is incredibly smooth and delicious. They have plenty of soy milk, as well as coconut and almond milk. Extra credit for the blueberry muffins.
Location: 8/10. Free two-hour parking and in a great location, but for some reason the streets felt a little less safe than those in Santa Monica or Malibu.