If only all cafe's could be this great. I visited Espresso Cielo on a gloomy Monday and Espresso Cielo was just the pick me up I needed. I came in for some caffeine not even knowing what I wanted for sure. Coffee places are usually a walk in - order - and go kind of place for me; they're usually tiny, over crowded and occupied by laptops and their users, but I got a different vibe at Espresso Cielo. It's a very bright and open space; elegant crystal pendants hang from the high ceilings , Blue wooden counters topped with marble separate the dining area with the back of the house, and for dining in - wooden farmhouse tables and chairs are available. The walls to the left of the cafe are adorned with the type coffee and tea that they serve; It was all very gallery like and the art was the food and drinks that were about to be presented to me because I stayed and order a latte for here not to-go (two things I NEVER do). Tea or an iced mocha are my go to's but I felt like having something a little more extravagant today and a latte with pretty art work was going to jazz up my day and fit so well with the ambiance. Since I decided to stay I thought "why not also grab a bite to eat?" I saw the food coming through the pass and I just couldn't resist. Avocado toast so big and beautiful it was definitely in my order and almond butter with honey toast also just popped out of the menu; It sounded so simple and great I just had to order it.
I found a perfect seat on one of the beautiful wooden farm tables up front where I had daylight and a view of the street. My latte came and it was a masterpiece. I took my pictures of it (of course) and then went in for the first sip. It was wonderful just how I would have liked it, if I had been ordering lattes all my life - a nice espresso flavor and creamy, but good creamy - not heavy at all. I didn't feel like I had ingested a stick of butter afterwards.
The rest of my order came and it was all so much more than I ever thought I could get at a coffee shop. Most places have only the usual sweets and IF (that's a big IF), there is savory food - it's usually pre-packaged stuff I don't even bother looking at, but out of this little cafe came a gorgeous collection of culinary and espresso art. The toasts were big and gorgeous and tasted just as great as they looked and were organic as well. The tomatoes on the avocado toast were marinated and had such a great flavor on their own and the bread was impressive the bread really made the toast spectacular. Nosy me just had to know where they got their bread from so I asked the Diane the owner (who can be found working around the cafe) and she said it's from Larder Baking Company - if you've had it then you know what I'm talking about if not you gotta go and try these toasts.
By the time I received my food a really great "I'm on vacation" vibe had taken over me. The place had filled up with more me's - happy cafe going lovers, not the usual coffee crowd occupying the space like their living room - intimidating you to leave so they can have their work space. It was families, and groups of friends or co-workers sitting, enjoying and having a good time. I wondered why the vibe was so different why I felt like I was on vacation? And well I guess there's two answers for that. First of all they're not just any coffee shop they're a cafe. but I'd say their an edible art gallery and they serve really great food to go with those really great coffees, but also location, location, location, they're in the heart of Santa Monica a tourist heavy area so a lot of the people that come in - come in -- in good spirits cheerful, perky, relaxed, well rested and looking forward to the rest of their day - you know like yourself when your on vacation.
So if the regular coffee shop vibe is not your thing and you just want to relax and enjoy a Cup of Joe, maybe even feel like your in a far away land. I encourage you to hop on board the espresso train to Cielo town (which by the way cielo means sky) and feel like you're on cloud nine and hey even if your looking for a quiet work space there's also a quiet little corner at the back of the cafe that seems to be reserved for that sort of visit too and also stool seats that look to the outside of the cafe although that seems a little dangerous if you ask me. If what you really want to do is work the stools are more of the people watching seat and you'd be distracted all day.
Food served until 3:00 p.m.
1431 Second Street Santa Monica, CA 90401 310-260-1268
3101 Main Street Santa Monica, CA 90405 310-314-9999