Spazio Caffé : A Taste of Italy in Santa Monica

By Tsz on February 11, 2013

Gastrophoria is a steaming glass of latte macchiato from Spazio Caffé.

Ever since a life altering trip to Europe 2 years ago, I’ve been on a search for a good, straight forward cup of latte and had been coming up short. Not in the quality of coffee, thanks to a bevy of craft coffee houses available, but in the attitude.

In a coffee culture that encourage the choose-your-own-adventure cup of brew, it inevitably breeds coffee prima donnas. The ones with the highly specific drink orders that takes at least 5 minutes to spell out and undoubtedly includes the use of skimmed soy milk, pumps of sugar-free hazelnut syrup, blonde roast, etc.

Such an 180 from European neighborhood cafes, where the baristas feature one superior roast and from it, create drinks that are simple, yet delicious. The patrons appreciate it as-is—no fussing and definitely no requests of non-fat milk.

Fortunately, the newly opened Spazio Caffé does just that. Their team of baristas craft traditional espressos and espresso-based drinks daily that has the ability to transport you to Italy (without the highly priced plane ticket).

Using Italian Manuel beans, espressos are bold yet brightly flavored without bitterness. My favorite is the latte macchiato, where steamed milk and fluffy foam mellows out shots of espresso. Think less of a jolt of caffeine but more of a hug—the drink equivalent of a warm, fluffy blanket. Just remember to mix in layer of caramel on the bottom before drinking!

If you’re in a chocolatey mood, Baciami incorporates alternating layers of dark chocolate syrup, cocoa powder and espresso, resulting in mocha on steroids. Or better yet, there are 18 different flavors of drinking chocolate. This is not the watery brown water of your childhood (ie. Swiss Miss), but smooth chocolate bisque. I’m particular to their coconut chocolate as there’s little coconut bits incorporated throughout.

For a savory accompaniment, there are finger sandwiches featuring a selection of omelets, smoked salmon and Italian cured meats and cheeses for a savory accompaniment. Since Spazio’s chef, Pierpaolo Mattei, hails from northern Italy bordering France, he takes pride in serving up French influenced cafe fares such as savory crepes bathed in light cream sauces (oxymoron, but it’s possible!) and various grain salads. And of course, dreamy tiramisu makes an appearance. Ciao bella!

Spazio Caffé
1511-C Montana Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90403
Phone : (310) 899-6769

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