5. Caffe Luxxe Frizzante ($4): At this far Westside specialty coffee chain from Gary Chau and Mark Wain, they pretty much play by the book, but they do have a couple fun Italianate drinks like the Frizzante. This 12-ounce coffee soda combines soda water, simple syrup and fresh pulled espresso over ice, which packs a punch.
6. Fundamental LA Real Vanilla Cream Soda ($3): Sure, they’ve got wine and beer at Woogene Lee and Jeff Faust’s minimalist Westwood café. However, the one glass I can’t resist contains vanilla syrup, rich manufacturing cream and soda water. This drink is simple, but devastating, and can easily double as dessert.
7. G&B Coffee Fizzy Hoppy Tea ($3.50): At the signature DTLA bar from coffee meisters Kyle Glanville and Charles Babinski, this fantastic summer beverage features cold brew iced tea infused with Citra hops and carbonation. The tea rotates, but during my visit, consisted of Song Tea Silver Needle from Fujian, There’s also a 50/50 blend of Golden Needles and Old Tree Yunnan, which, according to Babinski, brings out “smoky, incense quality and gives it a bit more sweetness.”
8. Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese Hand Crafted Seltzer ($3) [CLOSED]
Eric Greenspan and his partners Foundation Hospitality Group took their time in opening Greenspan’s Grilled Cheese on Melrose, and they’ve kept everything simple and good. The space, designed by Kris Keith’s SPACECRAFT Group, features reclaimed wood and cheddar yellow walls, stainless steel tables out front, and an overhead LCD menu. Hand-Crafted Seltzers incorporate a quartet of fruit purees: blood orange creamsicle, Key lime rickey, pineapple cassis and tart orange-hued *passion fruit peach, the latter being my favorite.