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The Coffee Buzz: Bean-Battle Edition

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Let's face it -- LAist knows that getting your caffiene-buzz on a Monday morning is tough enough simply because it's a Monday morning. But having to decide where to go, if there's enough parking, how quickly you can do it and which route to take are all legitimate and complicated decisions. But when competition becomes so crazy that the same unnamed beanery puts one of their stores directly across the street from another one of their stores...well, it's time for a bean-battle the likes of which no mere mortal has ever seen.

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf #6
10897 Pico Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Hours: Monday - Thursday 6:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Friday 6:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Saturday 7:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Sunday 7:00 AM - 10:00 PM

Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf #7
Westside Pavillion Kiosk
10800 West Pico Boulevard
Monday - Friday 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Saturday 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Sunday 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM

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The battle rages on this week between two very different locations with very different clientele.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf on Pico Boulevard could be categorized as the middle child coffee shop because it is, literally, in the middle of so much competition that it's amazing it's still afloat. Across the street, it's illegitimate step-brother The Westside Pavillion Coffee Bean Kiosk who is so out to be the golden-child; while the Starbucks Coffee directly next-door to this locale has commandeered a parking lot just for it's customers only. Our middle-child Coffee Bean isn't necessarily attractive looking, the busy street doesn't make sitting outside a Zen-like experience, and there's no real neighborhood feel to the place.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Kiosk in Westside Pavillion should be categorized as the food court coffee shop as it is surrounded by such artery-clogging goodness as McDonald's, Sbarro, Panda Express, La Salsa, and the oh-yeah-right-it's-healthy-for-you, California Crisp. Here, weary shoppers lugging children in strollers, clothing-packed plastic bags, and tourists who were told that the "mall with the huge bridge overlooking Westwood Boulevard is the place to be" congregate for a less than chummy Mall experience.

Lady with Stroller: Blended, please.

Lady with Stroller (to child): Stop that, NOW!

Woman at Counter: What kind of blended, miss?

Lady with Stroller (to child): What did I TELL YOU? Stop it now or no Nemo!

Child in Stroller (screaming): Neeeeeeemoooooooo!

Lady with Stroller (to child): NO!

Woman at Counter: .....?

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Aaah, yes -- when two establishments such as this go head-to-head in the most divisive coffee shop battle ever, sometimes the judges have a tough time breaking the tie. But in this case, LAist would much rather sit by a busy street, or have trouble parking than stew in the hellish pot of coffee that the Kiosk at Westside Pavillion offers up.

For in the end, a parking ticket and lack of friendly neighborhood fellow-coffee drinkers beats three flights of elevators and a screaming Pixar baby anyday.

With only forty-five more locations to peruse, LAist can already feel the sadness of completion rapidly approaching... May they go slowly, dear readers. And may G-d have mercy on all our souls.