Coffee shop speak: “Would you care for the cayenne garnish?”

No thanks, like a badly built skyscraper that’s just wrong on so many levels.

I’m keen on coffee shops and they are here too in Los Angleles, so we tried one out on Sunset Boulevard. Intelligentsia was the rather pseudo name for the place and I was sent there while others had other things to do. They thought rightly that I’d be amused by a good coffee and a sticky cake, and I was.

The guy making the coffee was smiley and pleasant and the one taking the money was the opposite, looking at me as if he could just about stay awake. He committed the ultimate sin of not engaging and worse still: forgetting my cake! He apologised in due course but the tone was like an automatic answering machine.

I sat on an available stool which was so uncomfortable that I thought they’d done this on purpose to keep people moving. The guy next to me was doing a small watercolour with the tiniest watercolour set that I’d ever seen, in his handy sketchbook. Turns out he was an illustrator so, as in my normal way I engaged with him. Matt Phelan is his name and you can find him here

We only had a few minutes to chat, but it was a pleasant interlude, and good to meet someone else who took the brave steps of drawing for a living.

Almost forgotten sticky cake, unforgettable.

So what of Intelligentsia, good coffee ( not as good as I can get in Sheffield ) excellent cake and good company.

On the way to the coffee shop I mooched, seeing a shop selling ex army gear I thought I’d have a mooch in there. Here I could buy an ex army Japanese Machine Gun for 5 cents short of 300 dollars, or perhaps a gas mask from a large selection including an Israeli army edition and loads of others.

The man in the shop was happy enough to let me take some pictures. Like the cayenne garnish I’ll pass on either gas mask or machine gun.