When you get out to the fringes of SF, you often places that don’t seem like part of the city. This odd mix of an Irish pub and Outer Sunset beach café across the street from public Ocean Beach bathrooms, at the Muni N Judah turnabout, is a good example.

Popular with the beach and surf set, this café has an almost SoCal feel — even if the weather feels like SoCal for only a couple of weeks out of the year (including today). Packed with an outdoorsy crowd from the bar and several tables inside to the sidewalk patio seating outdoors (tables, benches). Some even sit across La Playa on the benches in the small garden nearby.

A sunny day outside Java Beach Bench seating in the park across La Playa

They heavily brand their use of organic coffees, and they recently (Spring 2006) added some smaller, ceramic espresso cups (even if they are cheap Tuxton cups). Using a three-group La Spaziale, they pull an espresso with a ring of medium brown crema around a bare center. It also has a strong ashy aroma and flavor.

A ‘typical’ California beach espresso, meaning: pass on it. The general rule still reigns here: proximity to water equates to weak espresso.

Read the review.

Behind the counter at the La Spaziale The 'I can't believe it's espresso' from Java Beach