ESP HiFi is striking a harmonious chord on Santa Fe Drive.
Details: The bar and cafe makes mellow music its focal point, deriving inspiration from Japanese kissas, or jazz listening rooms.
- The lounge, which opened in late August, features cocktails, natural wine and coffee — plus a warm, hospitable staff that curated an expansive and thoughtful record collection.
Our thought bubble: Though I'm a newcomer to the neighborhood, the quaint and eclectic space seamlessly fits the district's funky vibe and complements the artistic and offbeat character.
- ESP emulates Japan's listening cafes without completely copying the concept, my fiance, who lived in Japan for three years, observed.
- He noted it's less intimidating than the real thing, where talking is discouraged.
Of note: The music was so dang good, we found ourselves Shazam-ing our way through the night. Along with our introduction to the underrated blues artist O.V. Wright, here are a few gems we heard:
- "Shifting Gears," Johnny "Hammond" Smith
- "So Much Love" and "Just a Little Lovin'," Dusty Springfield
- "Funky Reputation," Faze-O
- "Cousin Mary," Hiroshi Fukumura Quintet
- "Mystic Bounce (Madlib Remix)," Ronnie Foster
🎶 Listen for yourself: 1029 Santa Fe Drive; 8am–11pm, Thursday–Saturday
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