The Dish List: Kofee Klatch

One of the hippest spots along Orange County’s rich coastline, Laguna Beach’s Koffee Klatch is a coffee shop complete with an outdoor patio, a funky indoor lounge, delicious coffee and tasty food.

Purple curtains shade the large picture window at the front of the Klatch. Gathered around the window is an assortment of comfy brown couches. The menu, handwritten on a blackboard with matching purple ink, lies on the wall behind the couches. With its neutral-colored walls decorated with framed French posters, mini antique lamps on each of the glass-and-metal tables and small mock-fireplace, the Klatch’s interior is just as artsy as any Laguna Beach art gallery. Even with all this artistic flair, technology is not forgotten, as the Klatch also offers free Wi-Fi to customers.

Koffee Klatch serves a wide variety of fresh and reasonably priced caffeinated beverages, served hot or over ice and ranging from Caramel Macchiatos to Mexican Hot Cocoa, and Iced Blended Drinks in flavors such as Aztec Mocha, Chocolate Peanut Butter and Red Velvet. I tried the Iced Mocha Latte, which was delicious and quite strong. The prices are as exciting as the drinks — a medium 16-ounce House Koffee for only $2.00 and a small for only $1.50!

For breakfast, Koffee Klatch features a unique selection of items, including seasonal fresh fruit bowls, scrambled eggs with or without cheese, the “Love” bagel with cream cheese, tomatoes and lemon pepper, a breakfast croissant with eggs and cheese and an assortment of muffins and freshly-baked pastries. I highly recommend the scrambled eggs with cheddar cheese, which are served steaming hot and flavorful, and come with a choice of a croissant, bagel or toast on the side.

If you’re in the mood for a special treat, try one of the Klatch’s fruit smoothies, which come in flavors such as Strawberry, Passion Orange Guava and Blueberry Pomegranate.

For lunch, choose between a sandwich and one of the Klatch’s freshly made specialty salads, such as their Sweet Bistro Salad, which features a raspberry vinaigrette dressing. Guests can complement their meals with a cup of the Soup du Jour, or with homemade pastries, such as a Butter Brickle Blondie (butter brickle and chocolate chips in a ‘blondie’ brownie) or Kahlua Cake, featuring the famous coffee liqueur. The Klatch also serves a Greek Stuffed Pita — lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, crumbled feta cheese, Kalamata olives and balsamic vinaigrette dressing stuffed into a hunk of pita bread.

Koffee Klatch might owe some of its old-fashioned charm to its ownership. The shop has been locally and independently owned since Sam Omar, who lives just up the street, having purchased it 15 years ago.

“We took it from the lesbians,” joked Joey, a friendly local who works the kitchen and cashier.

Koffee Klatch is located at the heart of what has historically been and continues to serve as Laguna Beach’s small yet significant LGBT scene.

“It used to be the triangle — here, next door, The Boom and then Woody’s,” explained Chris, another local Koffee Klatch employee.

The latter two establishments have since closed, yet both the Klatch and Bounce, a gay dive bar next door, remain popular destinations for Orange County’s LGBT crowd today.

“We’re not so much a gay establishment anymore. I mean, we are, but we don’t claim it or anything, whereas before it used to be really gay,” Chris playfully continued. “We used to tell people we’re gay owned and operated but not anymore, that’s the thing.

“Since it’s independent, it’s really loosely operated. So pretty much whoever’s on shift is the manager,” said Chris, stating one of his favorite things about working at the Klatch. “And there’s a cool crowd; there’s always cool people in here.”

Cool people and a friendly atmosphere are just part of the experience. Koffee Klatch is a wonderfully unusual spot. Koffee Klatch’s lunches are nothing special, but the intriguing atmosphere and priceless location make the afternoon food its least important feature.

Affordable – unlike most other restaurants in Laguna Beach, delicious – like some, and quite relaxing, Koffee Klatch makes any visitor feel welcome.