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A Valley Coffeehouse Goes 24 Hours

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Photo by Zach Behrens/LAist

Photo by Zach Behrens/LAist
A late-night coffeehouse is tough to find. One open all night long is even harder. Sure, there are all-night diners like Norms and the 101 Coffee Shop, but true coffeehouses, whether it be one with an eclectic menu, cozy couches, hand-picked teas or other unique tendencies, are sorely needed in Los Angeles.

When Crave Cafe opened a little over a year ago, it was a welcome addition to one of Sherman Oaks' busiest intersections at Ventura and Van Nuys. It boasted outdoor seating (heat lamps included), brick exposed walls, a smattering of round tables, couches against the walls and menu beyond coffee and tea. We're not talking just bagels and baked sweet goods, there's eggs and omelettes, crepes and pancakes, salads and organic based soups, paninis and self serve frozen frozen yogurt with toppings.

One could argue that doesn't sound very coffeehouse-like--more like a cafe as its name suggests--but the place still keeps that artsy-rustic coffeehouse vibe. And opening a coffee-related small business during a recession in a Starbucks-laden town (there's five in Sherman Oaks alone and two more just on the neighborhood's outskirts), diversification may be a winning move. So winning, in fact, last November, the owner decided to go with a 24-hour operation, save for Sunday evenings, midnight until 8 a.m. on Mondays (in case you're wondering, the kitchen serves throughout the night).

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There's WiFi (just ask for the password at the register); just know that outlets here are at a premium. But that's okay, it doesn't seem to deter the crowds. Late last night, Crave was lively with groups of friends chatting about, students working quietly away on homework and relaxed-looking folks comfortably molded into the couches reading. And If you're in need of some reading material yourself, a 24-hour newspaper and magazine stand is a few feet away around the corner. Go a few more feet during regular business hours and you're at Pita Kitchen--same owner as Crave-- which serves up some of the best falafel in the city (trust us, read about it here).

Hollywood has its Solar de Cahuenga (open 'til 1 a.m daily), downtown has its all-night L.A. Cafe and L.A. Live Starbucks (currently testing late-night hours) and now one Valley area can hold its own. Do you have a favorite coffeehouse, late-night or otherwise? Let us know in the comments.

Related Late-Night & Recent Coffee Posts
- LAist's Late-Night Eats
- Lamill Debuts Their Beer, Wine, and Sake Drinks Menu
- Third Local Intelligentsia Coffee to Open in Pasadena

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