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The Coffee Buzz

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About four months in the works, The Coffee Buzz continues its quest to put a finer point on neighborhoods, the people who frequent them, and the coffee they drink. And this week, LAist travels to yet another in-mall coffee haunt, taking us to the...

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf #15
14006 Riverside Drive
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Saturday 8:00AM - 8:00 PM
Sundy 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM

The Fashion Square Mall at the corner of Riverside Drive and Woodman in Sherman Oaks has a history all unto itself. What used to be a crappy mall with crappy stores, over time, has turned into a butterfly with high-end stores, upper-crust clientele and those cool little sour-ball candy dispensers at every corner. They even went so far as to create their own "food court" where coffee drinkers can find this very special Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

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Unfortunately, this whole mall is a wannabe.

It looks like a mall and it feels like a mall, but in reality -- it is not a mall at all. It's is a huge wannabe mall with a wannabe food court that only includes a pretzel shop, a juice shop and a coffee shop.

The specific store itself is jammed into a cubicle at the corner of said food court, giving patrons just enough space to get in line, step forward, order their drinks, and continue moving through the wannabe mall with their caffiene fix in hand. LAist, personally, isn't too keen on combining the dizziness one feels while being stuck in a crazed shopping mall with the rush one gets from a coffee drink.

It's like the pharmacists say on your bottle of prescription drugs -- do not take if you feel dizzy, light-headed or sick from the gross floors in your local Sears. Well, here at the Fashion Mall, if you're picking up a hoilday-themed coffee drink from the smallest wannabe coffee/mall shop in all of the Valley you're playing with fire. With fire!

As for people, visiting the cheesiest mall coffee cubicle in all of the San Fernando Valley will put you in direct contact with strollers, children with food smeared across their faces, people knocking into you over and over again with oversized Pottery Barn bags, junior-college attendees serving you from behind the counter and, yes, it's true -- pretzel-eating pregnant mothers of three.

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And just when you think all is good, and you've logged your story and are about ready to take your digital picture of the coffee cubicle in question...don't get too comfortable. Someone from the corporate headquarters will be sure to come out of the woodwork (i.e. cubicle) and tell you that if you take a picture you're going to be in really big trouble.

Sometimes LAist follows the rules.