Menotti’s @ Pacific & Windward

It might just look like another coffee shop from the outside, but given its history, that makes sense.  Menotti’s is a coffee shop named after Cesar Menotti, an Italian immigrant that ran the speakeasy next door during Prohibition. They keep the speakeasy history alive by having a “secret” menu on the back of a picture of Menotti next to where you order.  Flip it around and have yourself a look.  “Barista” means “bartender” in Italian, so the comparisons to coffee and booze run deeper than one might think.  Menotti’s has embraced the similarities by even serving their milk in old liquor bottles.  Whatever you end up ordering, take comfort in knowing it will be made by one of the best baristas you can find.  One of their baristas, Christopher “nicely” Abel Alameda, is internationally recognized as one of the best baristas for latte art.  In fact, he’s won multiple world latte art competitions.  So you basically have to order a latte here to see what all the fuss is about.  Come on, give it a shot.  Get more info on Menotti’s at

And if you’re still in the speakeasy mode, check out Townhouse Venice next door, which has continuously run as a bar since 1915.  Or if you need a bite to eat, Bank of Venice has great food, and you get to eat in a former bank!  Win/Win.