Encapsulating the surfy culture of the Venice beach area, Dogtown Coffee or DTC, boasts of organic micro roasted coffee, some tasty eats and a staff dress code that says “by looking at us you probably think we don’t give a dam”.
Walking into Dogtown is quite refreshing and definitely a departure from the common clean industrial looks of so many cafes. In fact, it probably was a little dirty (or was that just clutter on the walls?). You wont find staff buttoned in vests, with bowties, plaid shirts and suspenders here. The surfer/skater look, which has managed to transcend time is definitely the dominant theme here.
The service was pretty standard. I asked for my usual. I will reveal something for you all here. I have named my usual.
Enter “the hybrid”. Of course this is yet to catch on in the States but give it time. A hybrid is the cross between a long black and flat white. I don’t like to drink too much milk but I do love a little. And I prefer a water based drink and the strength of the double shot in a long black, but I don’t like all the water that is in a long black. Difficult right? But I am sure you understand. Therefore, the hybrid combines the too and voila! I keep my coffee and dairy addictions subdued for another day, or another two hours.
Now rest assured I did not ask the poor kid behind the counter for a hybrid but I did simply ask for an 8oz Americano with steamed milk. On their menu, the translated to a small version of that they call “the Gringo”. You have to be specific with the sizes here as their smallest size is 12 oz. Come on Dogtown, get with the times.
What I love about a lot of places here (ahh yes, can you sense the sarcasm? Here comes another rant) more often than not the person serving me loves to listen to the first half of my order before quickly turn their back to begin making my coffee before I can even finish saying steamed milk! Gosh it really gets me. The amount of times I think to myself, ‘Here we go again. That’s fine, I will just wait until they hand me my coffee but this time they only have to listen to me say “Can I have some steamed milk please?” Surely they can wait long enough for me to say that!’
What I received in the end looked like an oversized babycino. I took a sip and wasn’t even sure I had tasted anything that slightly resembled coffee. They had filled up the 12oz cup to the top and most of if looked like a white fluffy cloud. So, I stood at the counter waiting for someone to at least look at me so I could catch their eye and ask them for the 8oz coffee I originally wanted. This sounds easier than it was. I was there for a while. There was plenty of chat and movement behind the counter amongst themselves with little customer interaction. Actually let me rephrase this. There was no customer interaction. So I cut the air with my Australian accent “Excuse me. I asked for an 8oz is it possible to have this remade?” I may be giving you a bad impression of me here. I actually have a lot more grace for baristas than it would seem. But this just wasn’t what I ordered, or what I would drink. The barista, with a little reluctance, obliged and I thanked her sincerely.
It was just not meant to be. I received this next:
Still an Americano, but with an overly foamy layer on top and still more than the 8oz ordered. I gave up. We left the café and made a comment that maybe their food would be better and we may just have to come back to try it. They can still redeem themselves somehow. I will just stick to water though.
We strolled along Main Street in Venice, which I definitely recommend. There are plenty of shops, bars and eateries along the way. I still had my coffee in my hand as we browsed the farmers market when it suddenly dawned on me, “Why am I still drinking this? I am not even enjoying it.”
Yes I did, I threw it in the bin. If ever in Venice, in need of a coffee and Dogtown is in view, I suggest you dog it.