Paramount Coffee Project DTLA

The ROW DTLA space, which features the bustling Smorgasburg LA market on Sundays, now offers visitors a bold taste of Australia. Paramount Coffee Project, an import from Down Under, is generating quite a buzz. It has opened its second location in Los Angeles after the success of its first shop on Fairfax Avenue.

 

Taking my daughters for lunch recently, we discovered the thoughtful Cali-Aussie cuisine has a grab-and-go coffee bar, and on-site roastery.IMG_5296

Walking inside the corner doorway, we noticed the bright and airy inside with metal and glass garage doors are rolled-up to allow the outside in. Designed by LA-based architecture firm Otto Designs, the modern industrial dining space offers concrete and terrazzo elements.IMG_5271-2 Light wood booths and tables, are surrounded by green leaf plants and succulents. Sitting in one of the booths, we admired the whimsical graphic wall painting of a large cat wearing a shark mask over its snout. Near the coffee counter is the same cat holding a rose between its teeth and a turquoise shark fin on it’s back. The artwork was created by Sonny Day from Webuyyourkids. IMG_5273-2Looking at the pointillism menu with PCP DTLA in the center, I noticed in the coffee section, there are single origin coffees from all over the world. At the back of the cafe, the on-site roasting room has a glass window for guests to observe the commercial Loring Smart roasting machine.IMG_5276 My older daughter ordered an espresso with milk made with Prospect Parlor’s signature blend. Taking a sip she noticed distinctive floral and spice notes married to cocoa, grapefruit and marzipan. It’s made with 50% Colombia San Sebastian and 50% Ethiopia Sidamo offering a sweet and bright expression with a beautiful design on the foam.

Kenya is one of the elite coffee growing areas in the world. On the menu is a Nguruerl, Kenya espresso that offers notes of cherry cola, tangerine and brown sugar. You can order a single or double Americano. IMG_5295To those who prefer tea, they have four different artisan Song Teas that can be served iced or hot. I ordered an iced Taiwanese Buddha’s Hand. It’s a high-oxidized oolong tea offering dark chocolate, sugar and malted barley flavors. IMG_5280My younger daughter order the Fruit Loop soda with 3/4 of the glass foamy white with crushed Fruit Loops on top. It was a little too sugary for her liking. They also make a Cracker-Jak milkshake.IMG_5290Our informative server Gretchen welcomed us and asked if we were familiar with the PCP concept. She told us that Executive chef Ria Barbosa has created some unexpected twists on toasts, eggs, greens and sweets.

On the menu i noticed the bread is made by my favorite Los Angeles based Bub & Grandma’s Bread. Besides toast served with seasonal jam, they offer an uni toast on sesame sourdough with a hole in the middle filled with an urchin compound butter and a warm onsen egg. Onsen is a traditional Japanese low temperature egg that originally was slow cooked in the water of Onsen hot springs. This toast is topped with a fresh herb salad. 

I ordered an avocado toast on a slice of thick and crusty sourdough bread that’s topped with Persian cucumber slices, pea tendrils and a scattering of toasted hazelnuts. I added two eggs on the side for protein. IMG_5283There are two egg dishes that include the PCP Breakfast sandwich layered with house cured ham and a curried egg. One can add pea tendrils to offer a earthy flavor and avocado. My daughter ordered the eggs and ham plate. It arrived with two bright orange yolks enhanced with harissa, a dollop of guacamole, and the best house cured ham. It’s served with a sliced baguette for those who want to construct their own open face sandwich.

Heartier Australian-California delights include a lamb sausage roll with harissa ketchup, and a roasted lamb sandwich layered with harissa, lime yoghurt, dandelion greens on sourdough bread. Barbosa also makes a savory pork collar sliced thinly and sandwiched between a baguette with brie, stone fruit and drizzled with olive oil and persimmon vinegar.

This talented chef includes flavors of the Philippines when making a lumpia sausage, also known as a Filipino spring rolls. Also on the menu is a Dutch Baby, sometimes called a German pancake; a Bismarck or a Dutch puff. It’s served with seasonal jam and whipped ricotta or you can order it with peas and carrots, smoked salmon and creme fraiche. For a few dollars extra add sunny side up or scrambled eggs.IMG_5282My older daughter ordered the Tea Leaf salad in a bowl filled with market greens, and topped with bright red tomatoes, roasted peanuts, sunflower seeds, crispy lentils and a fermented green tea dressing. You can jazz it up more by adding sliced lamb.

Sweet items include coconut oats with almond macadamia nut butter and seasonal fruit. The old fashioned rolled oats and flax seeds are soaked in almond macadamia milk and dairy free coconut milk yogurt overnight. It’s served with an extra dollop of the yogurt and fresh fruit.

As we got up to leave the general manager Hugh asked how we enjoyed our meal. I told him I really liked the vibe, food and caffeinated beverages served at PCP. He asked if I have been to the sister cafe on Fairfax. When I told him no, I added that it will be bumped to the top of my list. $$

Both Paramount Coffee Project locations are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

1320 E. 7th St. (323)746-6480 and 456 N. Fairfax Ave. (323)746-5480.

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