It's not every day that a strapping six foot tall barista pours your latte art wearing a Kermit the Frog watch and still maintains an indescribable air of manly cool—unless, of course— if Venice's Deus Ex Machina is your local.
The shop is an Australian import that sells custom motorcycles, surfboards and apparel. As far as their espresso program goes it's 'Aussie Rules,' which means there is no cappuccino on the menu. Instead, you can order eight ounces of a flat white.
A flat white generally runs the same proportions of milk to espresso as a cappuccino but has less foam. Wikipedia will tell you it's made with microfoam'—or milk that has a velvety consistency. As a reformed latte drinker, I'd say flat whites, offer a similar texture to a latte while allowing you to better experience the taste of the coffee.
Flat whites were made popular in Australia and New Zealand in the 80's and have slowly infiltrated cafe menus all over the world. In London there is hardly a menu without one. Even British Starbucks pander to their customer's desire for the silky drink from down under.
Though the flat white isn't as common on menus here in the States, most places that are in the know will be happy to steam one up for you. In LA, if you happen to be visiting Westwood, Espresso Profeta makes a solid flat white.
As soon as I get ahold of my velvety masterpiece of microfoam blended with Handsome espresso from the rad, muppet-friendly coffee maker, I started taking photos. Traveling carefully through the wide open patio doors—flat white in hand—I set up studio on the communal table where I continue snapping away.
The space at Deus ex Machina is really quite something. I really never thought I'd ever find myself saying, "Let's go and chill on Lincoln Blvd." The Deus space was formerly home to a florist. They maintained the open concept feel of the flower shop on the corner of Venice and Lincoln but made it cozy and totally badass by taking the focus away from the bustling intersection, adding couches, communal tables, strings of lights, art, bike racks and and filling the place up with their way-cool-for-school wears.
In the midst of my photographic extravaganza, another barista came over delivering me a second flat white on the house, "We saw you were taking photos and wanted to make sure you had a really good one." The first, though not going to win any latte art awards was still beautiful to my eyes and incredibly delicious. The second, near aesthetically perfect. He casually pointed out where he could have done better, "these edges here should be clean..."
So the story goes at Deus: Badass yet chill. Hip yet Comfortable. Relaxed yet serious.
Kermit yet Cool.
Whether you are a motorcycle lover or not, Deus Ex Machina is a great place to kick back and hang on Lincoln Blvd.
Deus Ex Machina, 1001 Venice Blvd, Venice, California 90291