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, and often comforting 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 usually a couple of excellent salads (like the little gem with an XO dressing that should be bottled and preserved for future generations), heartier things like chickpea stew, and a very unexpected but impressive piece of fish. If you come for breakfast, you’ll find simple dishes like soft scrambled eggs with creme fraiche and oatmeal with cocoa nibs.
Whatever you end up eating here will be unusual, tasty, and probably not at all what you were expecting from a coffee shop. It will, however, be the food equivalent of a big hug, whether you order one of the stews, or a “salad” that’s mostly just warm potatoes. 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. Previous versions had avocado and more crunchy things, which we preferred, but still - this is a great dish.
This is another salad for people who think they don’t like salads. The green beans are covered in a fantastic tarragon dressing and piled on top of burrata, so this isn’t really a salad at all. But we’ll continue pretending it’s good for us, just so we can eat it once a week.
If we’re feeling even a little bit sick, this is a dish we’d consider leaving the house for. It’s hearty without being heavy, and we hope it stays on the menu forever. It’s probably already left the menu.
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 is still pretty delicious. There are just other things we’d prefer to order instead.
This is the dish that had us all in on Triniti. A perfectly cooked piece of trout - crispy skin, barely-cooked in the middle - with a noticeably boozy sauce and super soft cabbage that had been charred. It wouldn’t be out of place in a fancy restaurant on Melrose, but somehow it ended up here.
There’s a small case of pastries up front that you might think you should skip, but absolutely do not do that. The cinnamon-y kouign amann are flaky and perfect, and we’ll be thinking about the caramelized banana bread for a long time to come.