LA Hipsters can be revolting, partly because so many of them actually are cool. You know, they work in the entertainment or design business. They can afford a $1500 studio in Downtown. They have something I want. But please, gods let me never become like them. I’ll get religion just to avoid that fate. You know what I mean. The people who think it’s cool to read Vice, but would never do anything in it.
What brought this on, Jean? Oh, just an innocent cup of coffee. I have been reading a book for potential adaptation all day. I needed a break and I needed to get out of my apartment – out of Koreatown for a bit too. So I drove to Grafitti on La Brea, which advertises “sublime coffee”. I expected it to be be as pretentious as an Eraserhead haircut, but I also expected to enjoy it as a change from the tatty but loveable life I live day to day.
I mean, look at this place. It’s like a laboratory in an airport bathroom, and everybody’s wearing black. Even that one customer there.
This should have been a clue to me that I should just leave, but instead I got into the line-of-one on the pretentious carpet and before I entered, read the rules. Yes, the rules. Which are posted all over the place, including as you walk in.
Now at THIS point, I really should have known to leave. There’s also a sign telling parents that their kids may not raise their voices or play in the coffeeshop. It felt unnecessarily aggressive. This isn’t the kind of place you bring kids, but if you do, it’s clearly a quiet environment. So why make a thing of it?
The Barista shot me a bored look. I felt out of place, like he could tell my clothes came from a thrift store – and not a trendy one.
But I’m stubborn, as we all know. So, feeling a little nervous, I ordered a pour over. And a glass of tap water. Now, the first thing I noticed is that despite the eco-conscious, profiteering use of peace signs and organic wadawada-wa they use disposible paper and plastic cups. God forbid their hands should get wet or something… Where do these idiots think paper and plastic come from. Trees? Well, yes, but it’s more complicated than that.
I got my glass of water. When it was empty, I tried to refill it from the handily positioned tap on the counter but I couldn’t figure out how to open the tap, so I gave up. I got my coffee and sat down. The music was soothing and I settled into a trendy but uncomfortable chair to enjoy it and keep reading when… along came the Barista. I smiled at him. He didn’t smile back.
“I just came to inform you,” he said, with a glance up above the counter, “That sometimes they watch on the camera up there. And they saw you trying to take a glass of water. It’s against health regulations.”
I thought he was kidding. Surely he was kidding. No. He was not kidding.
“Oh… what?” He kinda hovered, so I felt obliged to say. “Well, I failed to figure out how your tap works.”
“Well I just wanted to inform you.”
It was humiliating. I sat there for a while as he walked away, feeling like a kid caught stealing, even though taking a glass of water shouldn’t be a crime when you’re buying a $4.35 cup of coffee.
For a while, I tried to stay, but I couldn’t. I left my coffee (which was good, but I couldn’t bear to drink) on the counter for the dude to clean up.
It looks like these guys just realized they broke a rule. Maybe that’s not a real Mac?
So twee it makes me want to vomit…. but wait! Look! There’s a sign there that says “Water Closet” in the far right corner. Maybe that’s where I was meant to get my second plastic cup of the precious liquid? Or maybe the barista could pee in the cup – I’m sure his urine is pure as the sunlight of angels.
Turns out my infringement recorded on their CCTV had nothing to do with hygiene, and everything to do with profit. They charge – get it, CHARGE – $1 per cup of water after the first one.
What should be written on all parts of the sidewalk outside Graffiti.
Anyhow, I felt like shit driving home. So much for my big treat of the day. But I felt a little better when I went to yelp looking for pictures and found that many – no, most – of the reviewers who had some hilarious and completely right on things to say about this pretentious bleached asshole of an establishment.
Here’s a short selection:
“The space is not welcoming at all, in fact there is signs everywhere with there different rules. I don’t have children and I was offended by there sign about keeping children’s noise level low and it won’t be tolerated..I don’t know if they know but children aren’t that easy to teach to keep there voices down..they are kids for gd sake!” Dadli Y.
“…my friend and I decided it definitely smells like a pool (you know that weird humid-chlorine kind of air thing?)” – Kira S.
“I appreciate the space. I think its beautiful. What I did not love are all the signs with rules everywhere. “kids cant talk loud” “kids cant run around” “Every person inside must make a purchase.” “One wifi password per person. No outside food or drinks.” It made me feel like such a bad bad kid. After blowing 10 bucks on a juice I decided I probably will …. never go back.” – Molly s.
“Overalls they come off as cheap and unhappy, however it’s apparently for a good reason- to keep away moochers. Though they don’t even give free water continuously, the first cup is free, then $1 per cup.” – Josh H.
“Stay away from this place. Aside from the overpriced coffee, and list of rules (literally, there is a list of rules to follow when you are inside), the customer service is atrocious. The baristas were condescending and cold. They were blatantly making fun of a customer right in front of me. I had to sit outside so I wouldn’t have to overhear anymore jackass conversations.
Also, what’s with their list of rules? I felt like a child in a catholic school where every move I made was being watched. “Every person inside must make a purchase. One wifi password per person. No outside food or drinks.” DId the owners forget this is JUST a coffee shop.” – Marina M.
“EEK! I’m surprised they don’t have a dress code!” – Ami S.
“We were in line ordering our 2 coffees, and a hot chocolate for our daughter (which would have cost us about $20), when our 8-year old daughter went to sit in a chair about 10 feet from us. Out of nowhere, the barista starts waving at us to get our attention… in front of our faces… and says, “We aren’t kid-friendly, so can you keep her close to you?”. Was she going to damage the gigantic stainless steel table in front of her?
At first, I thought there’s no way this woman just said this to me, but when I said, “excuse me”, she repeated herself. With no shame, said again, “Yeah we aren’t kid-friendly”. Kid-friendly?! The kid who gets excited to go to Graffiti to get a hot chocolate, who was sitting quietly in an empty chair. Our daughter couldn’t understand what she did wrong that we weren’t welcome anymore.
Needless to say, we walked out. As soon as we got in the car, our daughter then tells us that the owner yelled at her to get off of the chair she was sitting in. Where do you get off?! You overgrown steroid geriatric a$$hole dressed like you’re 15!” - Noah W.
The people have spoken.