At the sidewalk tables outside, attractive hipsters enjoy a late brunch — grilled panini, poached eggs and toast, or the waffle of the day with fruit. Inside, animated with the buzz of excellent espresso drinks, still more attractive hipsters converse as soulful beats play in the background. At the counter, laminated tributes to subversive visionaries from Mother Jones to Bob Marley kindle activist sparks. Owners Andrea Ali, Keba Konte, and Rachel Konte are artists who select thought-provoking work to showcase on the walls. Never has the leftist cafe community been so tasty, creative, and mod. Organic, fair-trade coffee served.
The latest outpost of Daniel Patterson’s burgeoning empire fails to match the hype, despite the star power of “it” chef Kim Alter (Ubuntu, Manresa). The Jack London Square post-warehouse design has some cool touches, and much of the menu is plated beautifully. Yet service often falters, many dishes are served with basic errors, and other items are overwrought and fussy. It’s possible that Haven may streamline its service and menu issues, but at price points this high, no one wants to play the guinea pig.