This outlet of the L.A.-based chain is located on a busy Fillmore St. corner, lined with popular sidewalk café tables and parasols. Inside there are a dozen more tables and a lot of finished, wood grain surfaces — giving it the look of a cheaply remodeled kitchen. There’s even this raised platform in the back made of what looks like faux wooden crates. But the decór isn’t what creeps me out here…

Sidewalk sipping at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf 'When I'm not acting in L.A., I'm drinking coffee here in the Fillmore'

Staffing the place are perky young, Burger-King-uniformed employees who look better suited for Disneyland than for making good coffee. This chain likely saves a bit of money given the skill level of their many entry-level hires. But to me, it’s a bit of an unsettling part of my coffee drinking experience here. I am guessing that this place may be frequented by many homesick Southern Californians who think this setup is quite natural.

They serve espresso with a crema that can vary from a good, even layer of medium brown to a thinner coating of lighter brown. It has a tarry/tobaccoy flavor despite its slightly ashy aroma. Good body and strong acidity from a Brasilia Portofino machine.

Read the updated review.

Brasilia machine with the odd observation deck in the background The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf espresso