Balance Work and Play at Caffe Luxxe in Santa Monica

Caffe Luxxe is a sleek boutique cafe that looks like it’d belong more on the eastside (at least the eastside of the past four years). You can picture it in the Fashion District, or tucked on the corner of 6th and Spring.

Instead, it’s located on the west end of Montana Avenue, in a part of Santa Monica more adjacent to Brentwood than the Pacific Ocean. In other words, while no less stylish than Downtown, the neighborhood is generally more laidback and, well, residential.

This translates into a mix of folks who enjoy a certain flexibility in either their schedule, finances or both. A writer or a graduate student might camp out at one of the three wallside tables. A young-ish mom of two, decked in Adidas by Stella McCartney and sans her kids of course, will stop by for a caffé mandorla, or espresso and almond milk, to go. An older couple, likely nearby residents, will plan their next great adventure over Americanos and the must-get mini alfajores (cookie sandwiches filled with dulce de leche then dusted with powder sugar). And almost always, there will be a pair of tourists of European descent.

Caffe Luxxe can provide a good balance for work fiends. The café closes early, at 6 p.m. on the dot daily, and there’s no wifi. Even if you want to set up at another café, you’ll have to walk up Montana, taking in the shop-lined streets. Most likely, you’ll stow away your laptop, or notebooks, and unwind over craft beer at the first Father’s Office or a burger at R+D Kitchen.

Caffe Luxxe: 925 Montana Ave., Santa Monica; (310) 394-2222.

Ambiance: Often humming.
Amenities: No wifi. A handful of outlets. A restroom.
Drink/Food: A menu of Italian coffee drinks; organic dairy from Clover Farms. Sweet pastries.