Dining Design Diary: Paper or Plastik


On a somewhat depressing strip of Pico Blvd near Mid-City comes this bright and eco-friendly coffee joint. Paper or Plastik opened in December but has been a work in progress ever since, with an outdoor garden and work space to be completed in another month or so.

The space is a labor of love, renovated and designed by husband and wife owners, Yasha and Anya Michelson. The cafe was formerly a laundromat, and the design was inspired by the couple’s interest in “green living, their worldly travels, and artistic passions.”

Some of the design and execution was also done by a metal artist named Gia Tszabadse, who hails from Georgia (the country, not the state).


   In addition to the cafe on the ground floor, Yasha also runs an attached dance studio and event space called Mimodo Jazz Dance.  Yasha and Anya’s daughter Marina also runs a clothing boutique suspended above the kitchen, and Anya (who runs the back of house) also has a clothing line sold in the boutique, making this truly a family affair.  

Most of the design is green, and uses recycled or refurbished materials. Additionally, all of the work is custom, from the wood to the lighting, flooring and fixtures. The cafe’s menu borrows from most of the better known local and artisanal purveyors, with coffee from Intelligentsia and Ecco Cafe beans, food from Heirloom LA’s Matt Poley, and desserts via Cake Monkey and Sweets for the Soul.

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