I have had a love affair with the Lion’s Den ever since I first stepped in their doors. It became a quintessential part of my LMU life my four years on campus, as good or bad as that may be.
The bottom line here is that the coffee is good, and the price is right. More often than not, the friendly student staff omits the extra charge for an extra shot of espresso or soy milk. Bonus of when you know or make friends with the baristas, because they often hook you up with a pastry, extra tea bag or a mocha that had been paid for and long forgotten.
The best things on the menu are their Freezes. This is not your average Frappachino from Starbucks. These are thick and rich, not icy and not overly sweet. Every flavor is delicious, and a bonus is that you can get it with any kind of milk you want. I really love the caramel, and toffee ones.
Their lattes and cappuccinos are always the right temperature, and the coffee never taste burnt or anything. I’ve never been unhappy with a drink I have got, and if I ever needed some extra milk or another shot of syrup, they have been willing to add it with no fuss.
There are a few irritating things, that make the experience less then blissful. The line is always long, especially 20 minutes before classes start, or 10 minutes after classes get out. The staff is insanely slow at crafting drinks. It’s a good thing that the quality doesn’t suffer because of it. I would rather wait for 10 minutes for my insanely delicious latte and be 5 minutes late to class, then be 5 minutes early to class and have a crappy latte.
They are often out of things, like soy milk, raw sugar, or flat lids. Not that this is super incontinent, but when they run out of hot lids, that is just a little bit…irresponsible? How am I supposed to jet off to class without a lid on my steaming hot tea? Many times I would run up to the lair, steal a stash of lids from the coffee corner there, and throw them on the sugar counter in the Den, just to spite the staff who didn’t think of it themselves.
The Den is open 24 hours during finals week, making it the perfect place to escape on a break and refuel at 3am when you really need it. It’s also open a half hour before classes each morning. It is unfortunately NOT open early on the weekends, making my hangovers last extra long, waiting for their precious caffeine fix. With all the Saturday Greek events, service org volunteering opportunities, group projects and my personal favorite, weekend lab days, you would think that the Den could help a fellow student and staff member out by opening, at least by 10 am.
The Den is great for meeting people for quick conversation or homework. It’s a great place to ease-drop on conversations, people gossip here on the same decibel as talking about their ISQM classes.
It’s not so great for finals cramming or group study sessions. I don’t understand how people can have group’s discussions here, it is way too loud! And everyone’s laptops are pugged into the floor, allowing me to trip over every single cord, as I make my way across the room.
You will always see a familiar face here, kind of like Cheers…or Tompkins. I have never gone into the Den without having someone say hello to me, or having someone say hello to you. Whether it be someone to walk to class with, someone to ask for homework help, or someone to borrow some LION dollars from to get some coffee, you will never feel alone here. You will almost always run into the person or people you are trying to avoid here, or never want to be seen by before your 9 am cup of joe.
The Den is run by the students, which makes it hard to be super critical of it. They use bio-degradable plastics cups and lids, and fair-trade coffee. The Den staff host amazing events in the Living Room, next door, and always has a new yummy student inspired creations every month.
I hope that The Den gets better at keeping inventory, and find a way to expand so that the orders get made quicker, without compromising quality. And I hope forever that it will stay a student run operation, and that they will never jack up the prices.
What did you think of this review?