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“O.K. latte in unattractive setting”
Review of The Cow's End Cafe

The Cow's End Cafe
Ranked #2 of 342 Coffee & Tea in Los Angeles
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $1 - $20
Cuisines: Delicatessen, American, Cafe
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Families with children, Kids
Dining options: Lunch, Brunch, Breakfast, Cash Only, Free Wifi, Outdoor Seating, Seating, Takeout
Neighborhood: Venice
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
80 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 91 helpful votes
“O.K. latte in unattractive setting”
Reviewed August 31, 2012

On a Friday around 7 a.m., the sidewalk tables and chairs were in the shade and the air was cool (locals wore tank tops and shorts and flip-flops). Our latte was fine. The decaf coffee (only Colombian was available) was O.K., not watery, not with the typical sour taste of Colombian, not bitter, not fragrant, not rich. The chai latte was fine. The croissant was an American croissant: three times larger than an authentic French croissant, with no lightness or light crunch to it at all, just soft and plain. The total for the four items was only $10.

The upstairs lounge has a deeper room with many large sofas along the walls and an outer room with wooden tables and chairs. The deeper room was hot. The outer room was stuffy. No one was up there.

Downstairs, there were three high chairs at the counter inside the window (but only one chair available), and 5-6 small tables on the sidewalk along the wall, with seating either on the wooden bench built-in on the wall or on weathered chairs. The two of us were lucky that one table was available.

Our table was slanted (but not tippy) so we were extra careful not to spill our cups. People lining up across the sidewalk and into the door to buy coffee had to be careful to avoid bumping the back of my husband's chair.

While we enjoyed chatting together, we had to pause for several minutes while other customers had a conversation so loud that we could no longer hear each other. We paused again when a big noisy trash truck came along to pick up trash a few yards away at the end of the block. Between the tables and the edge of the sidewalk, there is only enough space for passers-by to walk single file, and for a row of benches near the curb, so car traffic noise and exhaust was that close to us while we sipped our beverages. The block is essentially a dead end, so there wasn't a lot of traffic, but it was still unpleasant.

After we had parked (which was really easy at this hour, when many parking spaces were empty even in the block where Cow's End is located) and paid for parking, we walked past several closed restaurants to get to Cow's End. The sidewalk was dirty with caked-on gum and who-knows-what, the buildings looked a bit run-down, and many spots smelled bad (typical restaurant-type trash smell).

I would not go back to sit there for coffee, but if I wanted a latte or wrap to go, I would get it there. Walking along the Venice Beach boardwalk is among my most favorite things to do in L.A., and often the first thing I do with foreign guests. I don't mind and in fact prefer "rustic," "eclectic," "local," "one-of-a-kind," "vintage" shops--but not when the neighborhood looks unhygienic or smells bad, or when exposed to car noises and exhaust.

That said, if I needed to observe friendly L.A. bikers or neighbors and dogs meeting over coffee, this would be a good place to do so.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Factual
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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174 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    97
    64
    10
    3
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
94 reviews
59 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“Support your local Coffee Shop”
Reviewed July 12, 2012

Whenever we're at the beach, this is our Coffee Stop! It has an eclectic interior, and serves a good selection of drinks, pastries and coffee-shop fast food -- wraps etc. This is a popular local hangout, and very close to the beach. Great Coffee!

  • Visited April 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Jay A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Palm Harbor, FL
Level Contributor
165 reviews
127 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
“Eclectic beach atmosphere with fresh and delicious wraps and smoothies.”
Reviewed January 5, 2012

Sandwhiches and wraps always fresh, made to order and delish! Atmosphere is rustic, just steps from Venice beach. Always fun to people-watch outside while having breakfast, lunch or snack, but a table is tough to get. Locals like to hang out forever with a great cup of coffee and use the WiFi. Dogs are welcome out front. Love it!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank VPBunnie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
York, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
13 reviews
4 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Great Cafe”
Reviewed December 9, 2011

Excellent wholesome food and friendly atmosphere. Best cafe in the area.

Visited November 2011
Helpful?
Thank Foxmeister33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
107 reviews
46 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Perfect location for breakfast, service is a bit slow”
Reviewed November 4, 2011

We went there for breakfast after a 20 min bike ride on the beach. It is a bit off the path, but it's well worth it. There's always a small crowd, the food is perfect, great selection of smoothies and coffee.

Our sandwiches took 15+ minutes to get ready, but I feel it was well worth it and I think most of the times it must be faster.

  • Visited September 2011
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank IMNash
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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