We finally got ourselves over to the Blu Elefant Café on a lazy summer Sunday afternoon. The spot is on a relatively quiet mid-town piece of Washington Blvd., so I couldn’t miss the sparkly elephant sculpture and sidewalk tables.
Though I need to return during the week to compare, I’m betting the atmosphere is just about as relaxed as we found it. The music is actually background music, though still interesting. There’s local art hung everywhere, murals where there isn’t, and an imposing wall mosaic of the café’s namesake glitters in the sunlight that streams through the floor-to-ceiling storefront window.
An acoustic and electric guitar suggest frequent live events, and fliers advertise a community clothes drive.
Food: Very good
Wifi: Effortless, solid
Ambience/Decor: Small, but airy and bright
Ambience/Business: Good for solo work and small meetings
Service: Friendly, quick
Clientele: Locals, families
Bathroom: A little dusty, no place to put your stuff
There are small tables, huge couches and a counter for seating, as well as plenty of tables on the wide sidewalk out front. The furniture is a collection of fantastic finds, much of it recently reupholstered. Every indoor spot has proximity to power for your mobile device, if you need it.
When we mentioned my son wanted to eat, the barista quickly sized him up, asked if he was a “tuna guy” (he wasn’t in the mood) and recommended a few good possibilities. My latte was flavorful—the real deal, though I would have liked it a little stronger. My son’s hot chocolate was very yummy, as was his veggie “panini” (served on grilled whole wheat bread).
We got onto the wifi without a hitch. This is one of the few times I’m actually composing my review on location! There is only one other person online besides us right now, and my son is helping me test the connection by watching a video (from the ign.com site, and yes, he’s using earbuds). All good.
Blu Elefant Café
2024 W. Washington Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90018
Penina’s Wifi Etiquette
- Buy stuff. Do I really need to say this? After seeing otherwise with my own eyes, it turns out I do. My rule of thumb is to buy something about every two hours.
- Be gracious. Your two coffees and a scone aren’t doing all that much to pay the rent for the hours you spend in a café. Help make it a friendly, welcoming place so they can attract and keep more customers.
- Follow the rules. Busy urban areas limit wifi use because higher costs require them to generate quicker turnover. Sometimes plug placement is limited: if your power cord is a tripping hazard, then don’t use it (or negotiate with the wifier closer in to swap locations so you can charge up).
- Be considerate. Go outside to make phone calls.
- Be very considerate. Your laptop should not make a sound—not even little beeps: use headphones. Same for the radio you brought to follow the game.
- Tip generously. And tip again if you’re there through a shift change.
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