Why Echo Park’s Newest Café Could Be a Turning Point for the Neighborhood’s Food Scene

Triniti pairs a next level coffee program with small plates from a Noma veteran

It’s no small exaggeration that Echo Park’s new-wave culinary scene grew by leaps and bounds this past year. Among the new arrivals: a vegan cinnamon roll purveyor, an upmarket pizzeria, and a soon-to-debut tea bar. But even with all the recent openings, there’s been nothing quite like the now-open Trinti, an all-day small plates spot along Sunset Boulevard that packs some serious ambition.

Housed inside a stark minimalist space, Triniti is positioning itself as a sort of neighborhood café the kind that is ubiquitous in parts of Europe: an all-day space set up both for people to stop by and grab a quick espresso, and for them to stay for a full meal with friends.

“I spent about a year in Copenhagen,” says Joseph Geiskopf, Triniti’s chef and co-owner, “and I’d go to the cafe in the morning to get an espresso and a pastry, then come back later for some food, and then after work for a meal—the whole thing is set-up for an all-day experience. I wanted to open something like that here.”

As Geiskopf and Triniti’s fellow co-owner David Wynn explain it, L.A. doesn’t need another speciality coffee house. “We wanted to exist in that very narrow zone between coffeeshop and restaurant that no one really works in,” Wynn adds. “Café culture needs to compliment itself with food, so when Joe came on, it fit the piece perfectly.”

Young potatoes with skordalia at Triniti

Photograph courtesy of Triniti

Geiskopf’s kitchen experience includes stints at Copenhagen’s Noma, Michelin-starred Bay Area restaurant Californios and Ubuntu, as well as Jordan Kahn’s Destroyer in Culver City.

On a recent visit, the menu included potatoes with skordalia, egg, and an olive oil emulsion, and heirloom grain grits topped with braised and blackened brassicas. The plating, the balance of flavors, the simplicity of ingredients, even the sleekness of the flatware serve to create a sense of refinement and experience you’d expect from a buzzy restaurant in the city’s tonier enclaves. Complimenting Geiskopf’s menu is the coffee program under the direction of dentist-turned-coffee pro Matthew Jung-Quillen with beans sourced from Tartine’s Coffee Manufactory. Meanwhile, Wu-Tang plays on the speakers, a man in jeans sits by the window busy with his Nintendo Switch, and two teens skateboard up to the door to take a look around and grab a pastry. It all somehow works in Echo Park circa 2018 (nearly).

Most of all, Triniti aims to become a hub for a changing neighborhood. “I live a seven minute walk from here,” Wynn says. “And I’m a five minute walk,” Geiskopf adds. The pair even met for the first time in Echo Park, over dinner up the street at Ostrich Farm. They began talking with Mitchell Frank about opening in the same building as The Echo (the venue is a neighborhood institution), and source their produce from the twice-weekly farmers markets near the Echo Park lake.

“The vibe in Echo Park is what we wanted to be a part of,” Wynn says. “We didn’t want to be fine-dining in Echo Park, we wanted it to be ‘fine casual,’ even if that’s an oxymoron—like you’re walking into our personal kitchen, our house.”

1814 W. Sunset Blvd., Echo Park, triniti.la.

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