Chimney Coffee House
Chimney Coffee House occupies an unassuming space in the hinterland of Chinatown. East of the busyness and buzz of Hill and Broadway, Chimney is nestled in a nondescript mini-mall that shares a parking lot with an Asian food importer. Blink and you’ll miss it - this stretch of Main Street doesn’t see the foot traffic one finds a few blocks away, and the inconspicuous location belies the burgeoning business Chimney has been doing here for the past six years.
“Remote is a good word for it,” laughs owner Amnaj Bholsangnam, “but we’ve had a community of artists from neighboring lofts like The Brewery, that have supported us here from the beginning.” Chef Royce Burke adds that, “In LA, location can be used as a crutch for why a business isn’t busier, but the location is actually a big plus if the food is done correctly.”
People aren’t lining up outside this coffee house for the quotidian Panini. Patrons are drawn to Asian-influenced creations such as their famous Larb Burger – inspired by the pork meat salad burgers found in 7-Eleven’s in Thailand, or the Rick Ross Salad – born out of an interview Bholsangnam and Burke heard, wherein the Hip Hop icon waxed poetic about his love of Korean pears. Not to be missed, is the Matcha Brick Toast; which features a hefty slice of milk bread topped with Matcha green tea butter, Fosselman’s green tea ice cream, house-made maple syrup, Pocky sticks and whipped cream. It could easily be shared with a friend or three, and you’ll want a coffee to help stave off the coma. This quirky fusion ethos is also evident in coffee and tea offerings which include a Thai Tea Latte and Bangkok Iced Coffee, in addition to more traditional coffee house standards.
In its six years, Chimney has evolved from a coffee house offering a small selection of pastries, into a coffee-forward café featuring Asian inspired dishes with house-cured meats and bread baked onsite. Chimney recently added a second kitchen to keep up with the demands of the business they receive from Ubereats, where they make upwards of 600 sandwiches a day. In spite of the growth, “Our mission is still the same,” Bholsangnam says, “We wanted to create a place where people could come together to meet a friend or work on things – it doesn’t really matter, as long as they feel really welcome in the space we create.” Chimney Coffee House celebrates its six-year anniversary on December 12th.
Written by Christopher Min
Photographed by Miles Fortune