Hidden just about a block further down the street from the vastly popular Urth Caffé in Pasadena, the Art+Science Cafe is the perfect spot for anyone who shuns mainstream coffee chains.
A place where Starbucks-meets-hipster, the Art+Science Cafe features quaint art pieces such as a sparkly shark head on the wall and a few pig statues on the counters, in addition to the few pieces on display for sale. There are a handful of tables and chairs inside, as well as some on the lit outdoor courtyard.
It was obvious that one of the main focuses of the cafe is customer service. I walked in at about 5p.m. on a Tuesday night, was greeted right after walking in the door and was immediately made to feel at home — the space was quiet and it was comfortable — often expectations that coffee shops like Starbucks and Urth just aren’t able to live up to.
Their food menu is relatively small, with avocado toast, an Italian club and nutella fruit toast as the only offerings, in addition to a number of pastries like croissants and blueberry muffins.The coffee menu, however, is much larger, featuring uniquely-flavored lattes: lavender, red velvet and a matcha-espresso “military” latte.
I tried the avocado toast and the military latte, and I was very much impressed. Now, to be clear, I’m not an avocado person. And when I say that, I mean I’m an I-only-like-avocado-if-I’m-eating-Chipotle-guacamole type of person. And this toast was good. It’s basically sourdough bread covered in slices of avocado, topped with pieces of beets, radishes and baby arugula. Under normal circumstances, I probably would have gone with the Nutella fruit toast, but I’m glad I didn’t.
As far as drinks go, I ordered the military latte, which combines matcha and espresso for a slightly sweet pick-me-up. First of all, the latte art was gorgeous. I started drinking my coffee with a straw, in attempt to preserve the intricate design. The taste of the drink was something that I wasn’t quite used to; at first taste it reminded me of a wheatgrass shot that you’d find at Jamba Juice. However, unlike the tiny shots of liquified turf, the earthy flavor of the latte didn’t immediately repulse me. I also found out that matcha has about 137 times the amount of antioxidants found in one cup of green tea, so that probably had something to do with why I liked it so much.
Overall, I enjoyed everything about this cafe — the experience, the atmosphere, the coffee, the food, it was all good. If you’re nearby, and even if you’re not, definitely give this place a whirl. 5 out of 5 stars.