.Mountain Faves

Fine-aligned on the Nine

A chef for over 20 years, Mo L’Esperance cut her teeth in the San Francisco restaurant scene before settling in Ben Lomond. A little over a year ago she bought Coffee 9. “I still get my creativity out and also be done by 2pm,” says L’Esperance. Coffee 9 is set in an older building with wood accents and a clean, modern rustic interior. The menu is made-from-scratch baked goods and savories.

The filled croissants have options like ham/cheddar and turkey/Swiss, and a raspberry/chocolate on the sweeter side. Other pastries include the bacon, cheddar and green onion scones, as well as seasonal fruit scones, sweetbreads like pumpkin, banana and lemon blueberry. Four varieties of quiche, breakfast sandwiches and burritos, and a standard breakfast plate with eggs, meat and toast. Lunch highlights include sandwiches like the half-pound pastrami and The General with chicken, blue cheese and avocado. Mon-Thurs 5:30am-2pm and Fri-Sun 6am-4pm.

Describe your culinary come-up?

MO L’ESPERANCE: I trained for years in The City under a handful of mentor chefs. I’m self-taught, I didn’t go to culinary school, but instead worked my way up from prep cook to executive chef, doing everything in between. Along the way, I found a secondary passion with the James Beard Foundation in food advocacy. This includes fighting for the betterment of our food system, such as school lunches, fair farm worker rights, anti-pesticide, sustainable fisheries and many other worthy causes. My past experiences help shape the type and quality of food I now serve.

Tell me about Supper Club at Coffee 9?

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ML: It’s a once-a-month prix fixe menu based on seasonal ingredients, with tickets available on our website. The menu is always a choice between two salads, three entrées and two desserts, and there are always vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. It’s often sold out, our patrons like having something different to do in the Valley. It also gives me a chance to reconnect with my fine dining past and share that with our guests.

9505 Highway 9, Ben Lomond, 831-336-4521; coffeenine.com


  1. Hello, how do we find out about your once per month fixed price menu? We’d like to come have dinner with you and bring some friends.

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