The Laurel Canyon Country store & coffee cart is more a fecund Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole than a convenient liquor cabin. Behind the multi coloured heart-shaped wood paneling, is a riddle talking caterpillar that keeps the mood definitively informal and viscerally esoteric.
Having been around since the 1950s and being the perennial nucleus for moon chasers and guitar strummers, it radiates emotional intelligence, originality and attracts many like-minded wanderlusters and existential dreamers. The community spirit is as alive as it was when it first opened and the current Mama Cass is a less rotund Lily who runs the coffee stand.
The coffee is made with love and is cheaper than most places in Hollywood. She remembers my order and always imparts words of wisdom whilst passing over the honey. Once there, it is impossible to leave. A vortex of shared ideas, cathartic experiences, scribbled illustrations and you (sometimes) leave with a jar of homemade soup or a dog-eared well loved book donated by an ailing rock star.
If you’re lucky you’ll catch the resident parrot, Egg, who’ll sit on your shoulder for a nibble on your croissant. A truly soul massaging experience. As they say in the canyon, “dig below the surface and you’ll find a pot of gold”. Side note, Pace’s Organic Italian Canyon restaurant is below the canyon store.