Coffee Shop Review: Lucky Llama Coffee

I am a bit of a coffee snob, and nothing makes me happier than a quaint little cafe whose baristas know how to brew a good cup of joe. Let me say, I was one lucky llama to stumble upon this place several weeks ago.

My cousin was out visiting from Colorado, and I got to be her tour guide for the week. We had just enjoyed a beautiful but foggy surf session in Ventura and decided to head up north on the 101 a bit to find some sun.

Carpenteria couldn’t have been more beautiful that day. The sky was a deep blue that blended in with the sparkling ocean water. The sun was hot, but there was a nice ocean breeze. We sunbathed on the beach for a little while, but soon the sun had drained our energy and we were ready for a bite to eat.

Nestled behind a bike shop on Carpenteria Ave., Lucky Llama is a small building with indoor and outdoor seating. They have a sign outside advertising their organic brewed coffee and extra parking in a dirt lot in the back.

We wandered inside and began to inspect the menu, handwritten on a chalkboard hanging on the wall (immediately a plus, I love places that do that). The prices are a bit expensive, but worth it in my opinion due to the quality of the food/drink as well as the fact that you are supporting a small, locally run business.

We both ordered avocado acai bowls* – I was a little wary at first, but my curiosity won out. I am glad it did, because the avocado didn’t affect the taste at all, but only added to the bowl’s creaminess. Chunks of sweet and crunchy granola were in each bite along with fresh strawberries drizzled with a bit of honey. Divine.

A (partially eaten) avocado acai bowl.

We both agreed that a bit of caffeine was necessary for the car ride home. I ordered a latte that came to me topped with heart-shaped frothy foam (love the latte art) and rich espresso flavor. Oh my, oh my, oh my. I was sold; that visit was the first of many to the Lucky Llama, only 20 minutes north of Ventura and a quick hop over from some of our favorite surf breaks.

My cousin and I went again the next day and ordered Green Tea Blended Drinks. They are not at all like the Starbucks freddos made with vanilla powder and copious amounts of sugar, but are crafted simply with milk, matcha green tea, and honey. And they taste much better that way if you ask me. My sister has had their vanilla steamer and loves it, and I know from experience that you can never go wrong with their regular drip coffee.

The “lyra bowl” (apple juice, acai, bananas, topped with strawberries, granola, and honey) and a vanilla steamer – Olivia’s usual.

Sadly, as I prepare to leave for college on Wednesday, I will have to wait several months before my next visit to Lucky Llama Coffee. I can’t wait to come back during the holidays and order some of their more seasonal drinks. I am sure a hot peppermint mocha will be in order after a few hours in the frigid winter surf!

*Stay tuned for the next post – my own version of avocado acai bowls.

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