Korean American co-founders Joonmo Kim and Jacob Park named the cafe after the old Korean word for mountaintop, “san ma ru,” inspired by Jacob’s childhood growing up in a mountain temple in Korea. This Los Feliz cafe emulates that same tranquility, using lots of wood and neutral tones in the design complemented by lots of natural light. Over the past year, with the support of the employees and the community, they were able to stay open, but Kim said it was hard seeing peers in the industry struggle, although he was able to use his background in finance to help friends and other small business owners get loans early in the pandemic. Looking forward, he hopes to open up indoors and give customers the experience they’ve been craving for the past year: sitting in a coffee shop alone, but not alone, while creating a community space to be comfortable in - whether in Los Feliz, the Arts District, or a potential third location coming later this year.
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It’s hot. You’re tired. Here are 18 great places to grab a cold brew, iced latte, or anything else cool and caffeinated in Los Angeles.
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