I only see one listing for this establishment on the site, but there are actually two different "dining experiences" happening here. The Coffee Table Cafe is a casual spot with good casual fare - sandwiches, salads, pasta and the like - and usually the food served is fresh and tasty. It's a nice change from fast food, and has a comfort food quality that leaves me sated after my meal. The chicken salad is a favorite of mine, which speaks volumes because it has cranberries in it and I don't usually like raisins or berries mixed into other foods. The salad is perfectly balanced between creamy and chunky, without being runny or dry. I usually enjoy it on ciabatta bread, which is always fresh and tasty. The immediately adjacent Coffee Table Lounge is also decidedly casual, though it has a more sports-bar like atmosphere, as evidenced by the huge screen that engulfs the entire back wall over the bar. However, where the Cafe is brightly lit and has a more organic feel, what with its mosaic tile tables and other homey touches, the Lounge is hip, replete with tall stainless steel tables, dark lighting and the Uber TV. I'm pretty sure both establishments share a single kitchen, and the food quality is good overall. But what I love the most about the Lounge is the selection of bottled beers - well over 100 - and for the few times I've been there, the beers are stored well and fresh upon opening. They also have a decent selection of beers on tap. On my last visit I enjoyed the Los Feliz Burger - a.k.a. cheese burger - and it was definitely decent. Now that I think of it, the server didn't ask how I wanted it cooked, but I had no complaints. The only weird issue was a sudden lapse in service after our food and second round of drinks were served. It appeared that our server was working alone when we first arrived. More help came later and he took a break. Problem was, no one else came to the table to ask after our empty glasses or to clear our plates which we were clearly done with. The server seemed to be enjoying his break in the next booth with friends and even when he was done, it took another 5 or so minutes to get his attention and ask for the check. Probably just a mis-communication between the other server(s) but something to watch for in the future. Parking can be a bit dicey - there's a shared lot across the street on Shearin with a limited number of spots, plus on-street parking as well. Do watch for street cleaning during the weekdays. All in all a great neighborhood spot with easy access from Glendale, Pasadena and surrounding areas.
The essence of a coffee shop is usually not its coffee, but its comfort. How comfortable is it to get some work done? How comfortable is it to hang out and relax with the morning paper? For while the coffee itself is important, if it were the most important part of a coffee shop, I'm afraid, McDonalds and 7eleven might be the Shangrilla of coffee. But seriously, I am not a fan of the overly strong Starbucks coffee that gives me a heart burn every time I take a swig. Rather, I prefer light, tasty coffee, a la Dunkin Donuts. So when it comes to coffee shops, I prefer to rate it on "ambiance, attitude and allure". I think I should patent this - the 3 A's. Anyway, Swork has all of the above. They have free Wi-Fi, ample tables for singles and accessible power outlets to juice those laptops. They have great outdoor seating as well for those babysitting their dogs or those interesting in people watching. Inside, they have a couple of computer terminals for pay-as-you-go use. So it serves as a decent internet cafe. But bring your own laptop, buy a coffee and you will get free Wi-Fi. So why the 4 stars? Well, the coffee is still a part (albeit a small part) of the experience and it does not measure up. It is way too strong (even their breakfast blend is strong). Also, while some might consider being infant friendly a plus, I really have no patience for loud toddlers. Swork has a play pen area inside for young boys and girls to play around in while the parent catches a break. Some might give that an extra star and maybe one day I will too, but not today
I worked in Eagle Rock for years, and only managed to get to the Coffee Table once. I had some type of Chicken Salad Sandwich that had cranberries in it - and I don't do berries in food. What can I say...it's a texture thing? I somehow missed that little detail on the menu. Anyways...on my most recent visit, which was a desperate exodus from the limited unique eateries on "Bland Blvd" in Glendale where I now work, a friend and I decided to try this place. The menu is enormous - literally, as it is posted high up on the wall behind the counter. I���d recommend grabbing the much easier-to-read paper menu available on the counter. That way you can peruse the selections while queuing up to place your order. The Coffee Table offers a wide variety of food, from healthy to comfort. There's even a nice selection of bottled beers, including New Belgium's 1554 (from the makers of Fat Tire) and some other choice selections. The service was a bit slow once we sat down, but the place was crowded. I ordered a Patty Melt, fries and a 1554; my friend had a grilled cheese sandwich and a bowl of tomato soup. The food was good, not spectacular, but still quite a nice change from the usual fare available from (insert chain restaurant name here) in our neck of the woods. It did seem like the folks working here seemed a bit uninterested in what they were doing, but all in all, we enjoyed the colorful and eclectic atmosphere, and plan to return soon.