This Friday night was date night with my husband and we found ourselves in a little-known coffee house in Fullerton. Down a small alley on a not-well-traveled side street off Harbor Blvd. is Max Blooms Cafe Noir, a newly opened treasure. Entering into the store is like going back in time.
Part museum, part coffee house, the love of 1940's era is everywhere: from the vintage photos of Fullerton, the antique typewriter as well as the antique piano that is still played in the establishment today, the joint oozes atmosphere. You expect Mickey Spillane to step out of the shadows any minute. Mixed about with the authentic film-noir era movie posters, you will find an eclectic collection of movies for sale. It's a sort of rental system, buy the movie for $15, and they buy it back from you for $12. A bank of theatre seats faces a television and a shelf of books ranging from "Husband-Tested Recipes," an old paperback cookbook from the era, and a ton of books on old films and directors. It's the kind of place you can spend some time exploring. There's even a map to point out pieces in the collection.
Like nothing you have tasted. Roasted personally by owner Stephen Sprague, it is smooth, and toasty without a hint of bitterness. I am still dreaming of the amazing mocha latte I had. It was perfect. Smooth, creamy, with a touch of chocolate, and in a mug, no less! My husband had the regular coffee, and it was just as good. And where can you get a cup of joe for $ .89? Coffee is a passion for Stephen, and it shows.
Coffee is serious business. He explained to me how to make the perfect cappuccino, and why they don't travel well. (the perfect capp is 1/3 espresso, 1/3 milk and 1/3 foam...so you can't make it to go). He can make you a latte, though. And it will be the best you have ever had.
And, with bakery treats and a refrigerator stocked with old-fashioned sodas, they have something for everyone. But don't forget your wallet, because Max Bloom's only takes cash.
If you are tired of big-chain coffee, maybe you need to stop in and see Max Bloom.
Max Bloom's Cafe Noir
220 N. Malden Ave
Fullerton, CA 92832
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currently doesn't have much a web presence, but as soon as they do, I will update.
T, who loves coffee