Triniti in Echo Park looks like a lot of Eastside coffee shops. There are artfully arranged plants, black walls, not entirely comfortable places to sit, and impractically low tables. There’s a coffee machine that looks like a spaceship, nitro cold brew, almond milk draft lattes, and more than one type of matcha. You’ll find a guy with a beard reading Kafka while drinking his single origin cortado in one corner, and a couple with prominent stick-and-poke tattoos having iced coffees in another.
But Triniti isn’t just another Eastside coffee shop. Triniti is a coffee shop with truly excellent food. Modern, exciting food that you’d happily eat in a restaurant with white tablecloths for double the price.
The small menu changes every week, and is full of much more creative lunch dishes than the not-great grain salad you tried to make last weekend. There are excellent salads (like the little gem with an XO dressing that should be bottled and preserved for future generations), heartier things like grits with mushrooms and broccoli, and a very unexpected but impressive piece of fish. Mondays and Tuesdays are what they call “R&D Days,” when the menu is a little shorter and they might run out of some stuff, but you get to try the more unusual dishes that the kitchen is experimenting with. Which makes you the best kind of lab rat.
Whichever day you come, and whatever you end up eating here, it will be unusual, tasty, and probably not something that pairs well with the oat milk latte you just ordered. But that’s what make Triniti so interesting - you walk in expecting mediocre pastries, and you leave having had a piece of perfectly-cooked ocean trout with charred cabbage.
Even with the slightly too-cool coffee shop feel, Triniti still manages to feel like a place you want to hang out in. So go ahead and treat it like your local coffee shop. The barista will remember your order, and you can hang out in a corner reading about a guy who turns into a cockroach. And you can eat some incredible food while you’re at it.
Even if you’ve held onto your childhood aversion to salads, you should still get involved with this spicy, crunchy plate of leaves. The dressing alone will convert you to the salad life. It isn’t always on the menu, but if it is, do not miss it.
We had this on an R&D day, when it came with mushroom, broccoli, and shaved fennel on top. The grits are creamy and rich, and the lemony roasted broccoli is our ideal form of vegetable.
By market greens, they mean kale, but this is not your average kale salad. It comes out warm, with a lot of goat cheese on the bottom and a dressing full of mustard seeds. It’s our current favorite thing to eat.
This is the dish that made us all in on Triniti. A perfectly-cooked piece of trout - crispy skin, just-cooked-enough in the middle - with a noticeably sake-y sauce and super soft cabbage that’s been charred. It wouldn’t be out of place in a fancy restaurant on Melrose, but somehow it ended up here.
This is a heavy option for lunch, and probably our least favorite thing we’ve had at Triniti. Which says a lot, because this salad-entree hybrid dish is still pretty delicious. There are just other things we’d order ahead of it.