HILLTOP COFFEE + KITCHEN
A CAFÉ FOR CREATORS OF ALL WALKS
Sometimes a restaurant and a bar are just a restaurant and a bar, but other times they are so much more than simply that. Think of Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen as way more than just a coffeeshop and/or a restaurant.
A black-owned business from founders Yonnie Hagos and Ajay Relan, along with partner Issa Rae of HBO’s “Insecure”, Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen is a community hub that aims to be a place for creators of all walks.
“We are driven by our mission to bring quality ingredients and good vibes to the communities we serve in an environment conducive to creativity, community, and connection,” the powers-that-be state. “We hope to leave you better than we find you and remind you that we’re all in this together.”
With locations on Slauson Avenue in Ladera Heights, Inglewood, Eagle Rock, and DTLA, Hilltop takes pride in being a community-driven café. The new DTLA location will be serving the community at least through the summer.
During our recent visit for weekday lunch, I was taken by the energy and atmosphere at the DTLA shop. The place was packed with several folks working away on their laptops.
We started our experience with the lovely Smoked Salmon Droptop with dill cream cheese, pickled red onion, crispy capers, hardboiled egg, and cucumber on multigrain toast. This was a very nice alternative to the very popular avocado toast. It’s a fantastic option is you’re looking for something light and tasty.
If you have a hearty appetite, opt for the sensational Soul Bowl with poached egg, creamy grits, braised collard green, and charred corn. Per recommendation, we added a side of blackened shrimp to the dish and relished every wonderful bite.
A menu staple is the Bangin’ Breakfast Sandwich with fried egg, cheddar cheese, bacon, and spicy mayo on a brioche bun. And just like the name says, it’s bangin’. Consider this one a must-have.
There’s also a Bangin’ Breakfast Burrito with scrambled eggs, hash browns, black beans, cheddar cheese, peppers, onions, chipotle crema in a flour tortilla served with salsa verde on the side. I’ll have to try that one next time.
And make sure to order a side of Cornbread. Smothered with melting butter, this is one of the best pieces of cornbread that I can recall. It was phenomenal. This with a cup of coffee or beverage of your choice and you’re good.
If you’re feeling more like lunch than brunch, the Crispy Chicken Sandwich with spicy slaw, butter pickles, pimento cheese on a brioche bun is a knockout option. The bread is legit and the chicken is crispy yet tender. This one does not disappoint.
In keeping with its mission to support creators who are on their own climb, the Hilltop team has partnered with SoLA Contemporary, a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) women-led nomadic arts non-profit that serves as a cornerstone of cultural and artistic innovation.
At Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen, they feed the body and the soul. I love that it’s a community driven location determined to improve the areas it serves while serving delicious food at the same time. Go for solid eats and enjoy the fact that the space is open to all with a vibrant sense of community and servitude.
Hilltop Coffee + Kitchen DTLA is currently open weekdays from 8am to 3pm with weekend brunch coming soon. Takeout and delivery available. Call (213) 567-9800.
Story and Food Photography By: Jose Martinez
Photography By: Ed Rudolph