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Two New — And Very Different — Specialty Coffee Options Open Downtown

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Bulletproof Coffee and Cognoscenti Coffee both opened this week, but take wildly differing approaches

Cognoscenti Coffee, Downtown
Cognoscenti Coffee, Downtown
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Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Head Downtown this morning and you’ll find a couple of brand new coffee names to choose from, beyond the usual slew of third-wave shops, corner Starbucks, and hotel lobby options. Yet despite their near-simultaneous arrival, the new Cognoscenti Coffee and Bulletproof Coffee could not be further apart in their approach to the morning ritual.

The first up is Cognoscenti Coffee, which is soft opening only today on Olive Street inside the brand new Level Hotel. The move into the glittery building should immediately bring South Park’s coffee game up a level, as Cog is known citywide as a strong place for high quality coffee. Their Culver City location is a standard bearer for the craft, and over the years Cog has also done pop-ups in places all over town. The brand new location will keep hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily moving forward. 868 S. Olive Street, Los Angeles.

Nearly at the other end of the spectrum is Bulletproof Coffee, which has been threatening to move into the Arts District for a while now. Known mostly as a place for health junkies to down black coffee and butter in the mornings — a potential pseudo-science trick that might just be a marketing ploy — Bulletproof Coffee began eyeing the One Santa Fe building last year but only just soft opened earlier this week. Yahoo Finance was all over the opening of the 1,700 square foot cafe space, which claims to use biohacking technology like circadian rhythm-compliant lighting and built in HVAC systems for guarding against "environmental mold." Hours run daily from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. or later. 300 S. Santa Fe Ave., Los Angeles.