The Boy & The Bear and Coffee and Plants Are Two New Places to Grab a Cuppa’ Joe

Pipin’ hot.

The Boy & The Bear 

The Boy & The Bear started in 2012 with the simple goal of brewing high-quality Colombian coffee beans while forming close ties with their coffee farmers. With four locations in the LA metro area, the brand recently opened their fifth in Sherman Oaks. 

Each bag of espresso beans—for sale at the front counter—displays the names of the farmers who grew them. I ordered a cappuccino made with their crowd-pleasing Vibrant Espresso blend, and it was one of the best I’ve enjoyed in Los Angeles. 

The cafe offers a variety of thoughtfully crafted drinks that include lattes, cortados, and their Stockholm Fog, a best-selling amalgam of mocha and chai. 

A glass case displays an eclectic array of fruity pastries, croissants, and what the barista fondly described as a “fancy hot pocket” filled with lentils. I had a bombolini (Italian donut) filled with apricot jam. Delish. 

Design details abound inside The Boy & The Bear, including the logo’s metallic copper finish, symbolizing the reddish tan-colored crema that foams atop their skillfully brewed coffees. (The Boy & The Bear name is derived from an old Swedish bedtime story.) Walls of pale turquoise with light woods and copper accents create a relaxed vibe for an overall enjoyable experience.


Coffee and Plants 

Walk into Coffee and Plants and it’s easy to grasp their eco-friendly business model. Displayed in neon lights on a wall: “drink coffee, plant trees.” For every 100 coffees sold, the company plants one tree in partnership with the National Forest Foundation. 

Founded by British singer Leona Lewis, the flora-filled cafe opened this past spring in Studio City. Their vegan menu is designed to serve both the planet and our palates. I ordered the Laurel Latte, a signature concoction named for Laurel Canyon, featuring maple flavoring and sea salt sprinkled on top. Although pleasant, it tasted like nothing more than a standard latte to me. The almond cherry muffin was more impressive: gooey hot pockets of cherry suspended in a moist almond cake. 

In addition to classic coffee drinks, they also serve elaborate specialty drinks. The Blue Lavender Latte is tinted with butterfly pea powder. The Rose Bowl Latte features a rose and hibiscus syrup. The 24k Charcoal Latte is garnished with edible gold leaf.

Noshes include an assortment of pastries as well as savory tartines with JustEgg, a vegan egg alternative. 

The setting seems to have been designed for photo ops—a combination of a gardener’s greenhouse and Barbie’s dreamhouse. The quaint, outdoor patio has a romantic vibe, with white wicker chairs, small round tables and artificial cascading roses on the building’s facade. 

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