Bill DeMarco Rates the Top 50 Starbucks in LA: This Week: #19

demarco#19: The Starbucks in a strip mall at the intersection of Ventura and Kester in Sherman Oaks.

Ha! I told you I was going east of the 405. But I didnt tell you how far east. Or north. . . .

This sweet little corner Starbucks sits in a strip mall two blocks east of the legendary 405 freeway. And they make good coffee. Great coffee. I order my ushz–a Tall Iced Americano, extra roomy. Its icey, its. . .dancey. Can I say that? Today I can. The weird thing is every time I order a Tall Iced Americano I have this mental image of a dead CIA agent in Colombia. Which reminds me to get back to work on my screenplay. Doesnt affect the flavor though. And the spacing of the store is good. Better than good. Bordering on very good. I spot a big arm chair by the window and park my butt. 45 minutes later I’m out the door.

madame uraniaThis is all kind of off the record but after coffee I stroll around the rest of the mall. A little recon you might say. Nails, cell phones, sunless tanning, the ushz. Anything you need at your fingertips. This is America, after all. One place intrigues me: Madame Urania Fortune Teller. I’m a gambler. I go inside. I give the secretary $15 and follow her into the back room. She sits down and says, I am Madame Urania, What do you wish to know? I say, Is there danger in my future? She says, Let me consult the cards.

She lays them out in the form of a crucifix. She studies every pentacle, every cup.

The cards say you’re kind of a dick.

I unfold my hands. May I? I inquire. She nods. I take the cards and shape them into the silhouette of a hand giving the finger.

Now what do they say? I intone with my most imperious smirk.

There is danger in your future.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.