Maru Coffee: Bringing Style and Tasty Brews to The Arts District
If you’ve found yourself craving a cup of joe in Los Feliz within the last year or so, chances are that either by google search or a good, old-fashioned neighborhood recommendation, you’ve been directed to Maru Coffee on Hillhurst. With only over a year of business under their belt, an itty bitty spot with a mighty reputation of serving some of the best coffee in the neighborhood was bound to expand, and that’s exactly what encouraged owners Jacob Park and Joonmo Kim to take up a second residence in the in the Arts District.
Off of South Santa Fe Ave between 7th and 8th Street in the former Rabbit Crew space lies Maru Coffee’s second location. A spacious warehouse-style spot with natural light galore, Maru sets the vibe with their bright and inviting minimalist atmosphere, which doesn't overshadow the real star of the show, their java.
The pair behind Maru Coffee met while working at another prominent coffee shop in L, where Jacob trained Joonmo and they began to share a friendship, along with aspirations of owning their own shop one day. Where Jacob works closely with the roasting himself, spending the last decade in the coffee industry, Joonmo brings an innate sense of hospitality to the table, which just so happens to make them a fantastic duo.
“We kind of had the same direction,” says Jacob. “He (Joonmo) has a really good philosophy and a really good taste. What I also liked about him, he loves Korean culture, and he wants to present Korean culture to people. Coffee is not a Korean thing, so we focus on interior and presentation to achieve a similar aesthetic.”
Without a neighborhood in mind and a year and a half under their belt in Los Feliz, they set out searching for an additional location that would serve their needs when it came to roasting. What they found was an open, beautifully lit space that would serve both their production and conceptual needs.
“Our original plan was roasting but then our landlord in Los Feliz wouldn’t allow it so we started looking for a roasting facility. After a year and a half we found this location and we thought this could be a really good place to be a roastery.”
While the menu may seem simple at a glance, look closer and you’ll find anything from a classic cappuccino to high-grade Matcha, to their signature Spiced Cold Brew. Made with a peppered cold brew that’ll kick you into shape with hints of cayenne and cinnamon and served with sweet cream, if you prefer flavors on the spicier side, it’s bound to light up your morning in the most sultry way possible.
Additionally, Maru Coffee provides an array of pastries and arguably the best granola you’ll find downtown, made with millet, black sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, maple syrup, and served over your choice of Straus yogurt, almond, oat, or whole milk.
Next time you’re in the neighborhood looking for a new place to facilitate your morning routine, head on into Maru any day of the week and get your caffeine fix with Jacob, Joonmo, or one of their other talented baristas.
Written by Dakota Nate | Photography by Caleb Thal