Posted by: Tangled Web | March 17, 2010

Bitter Taste of Irony at Insomnia Cafe

Insomnia Cafe Bathroom

Bitter Taste of Irony at

Insomnia Cafe

West LA

After a scintillating rehearsal with my UCB Improv (click for review) team in Pan Pacific Park (click for review) on Beverly, I decided that instead of staring blankly at the parking lot outside my window while trying to think of things to write, I would stare at some fellow caffeine freaks also typing their dreams into reality at the Insomnia Cafe.

Insomnia Cafe

I like the irony of naming your coffee shop “Insomnia”.  It reflects the self-destructive stereotype of Hollywood youth: if you’re healthy, why not medicate yourself into a self-induced sleepless haze of caffeine?  If you truly suffer from insomnia, go ahead and take a dose of the worst possible substance for your problem: a cuppa joe.

Insomnia Interior

The walls of Insomnia are rusty yellow. Antique chandeliers hang from the wall.  Most of the tables are small, made for solitary espresso sippers huddled around their laptops, but there are a few antique couches that flank larger work spaces.  You better have something to read or write, though, because the wireless costs money here. (LAME)

Savin' Up for Those Stoves

Not having access to free wireless did keep me from going to Facebook a million times while writing this review, though. (BONUS)  Other points of interest include a tall bookshelf covered in ancient looking literature, and a series of modern photographs on display.  Only $75.00 for the picture of the stoves.

Unlike Literati Café (click for review) or Funnel Mill (click for review), people do not hold their lunch meetings here.  This is a place of work and intimate conversation.  If you show up hungry like I did, though, there is a menu of salads, pizzas, and sandwiches to choose from.

Lunch, Work, Coffee, Price Listing for Photographs

The barista announced to me that they were out of ‘chicken’ and ‘all soups’ when I tried to order, which took out about ¾ of the menu, but the ham & cheese pizza with basil and tomatoes was actually very nice.

Insomnia has one of those bathrooms where people are encouraged to write freaky/profound stuff on the walls for people to read while they poop.  Since I came here by myself, I was working hard to get a photo of me and the wall.

The Work of Former High School Punks: Insomnia Bathroom

I was having fun getting creative with my posing ingenuity and self-photography until it hit home that I was alone in a bathroom taking photos of myself.  I got depressed and went back to my table-for-one and had some more pizza.

I was just about to write a gripe about how severely mediocre the coffee was, when they started playing Neutral Milk Hotel’s Aeroplane Over the Sea, and now, all is forgiven.  You have to have your priorities straight when choosing a coffee shop.  Do you want great coffee and mellow zen wind chimes?

No Splenda?!?!? What's with that???!!! Make sure to bring your own!

Or do you need 90 different choices of mocha latte chai tea frappachinos today?  Or are you willing to settle for run-of the-mill coffee in exchange for awesome tunes, a nice workspace, and the ability to order a pizza pie?  It’s all about knowing what you want and going after it. Ooo now they’re playing Beirut.

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