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Jan 21, 2008 05:49 PM

LA MILL - loving it after four visits

been to LA MILL four times, twice in the last week. ordered the infamous one egg dish, it came with two eggs. the eggs were the most vibrant, almost neon yolk we've seen in a restaurant lately. we only see that kind of freshness from my friend who raises chickens and gives us fresh, fresh just lain eggs.

we had coffees expertly paired with our dishes which were nicely coursed for us like a tasting menu. don't know where else you can do this. we applaud and support LA MILL's innovative support and courage to do something fresh and new. too bad that some can't get their corporately branded, low cost food chain production mindset around the concept. Or have they? the joint is jumping and crowded on our mid-week and weekend visits. COFFEE does not always = cheap drinks and cheap pastries and sandwiches.

also inquired what kind of milk LA MILL is using for their coffee drinks. STRAUSS FAMILY CREAMERY ORGANIC BARISTA BLEND which runs close to $6/gallon. so let's stop comparing the prices to INTELLIGENSIA (using ALTADENA with no organic offering) and compare apples to apples here. i've also had a fine $25 cup of coffee (esmerelda) at INTELLIGENSIA in chicago (i really like their coffee).

is it inexpensive? no. is it a ripoff? no. i think the value is there for what you get. i paid 5.50 for a lousy pre-made egg salad sandwich out of the case at STARBUCKS the other day.

so with all these questions about prices, there's not too many comments on food and bean quality. so if i could choose lower prices for lesser quality, more voluminous food or the same prices with the currently high food quality, well, i'll eat smaller portions of unsurpassed food quality and a great, unique experience. there are plenty of places like the BACKDOOR. but i'll go every other day in exchange for the excellent bacon brioche with the kenya ichamura clover. i'm glad for something different and my waistline will probably be smaller.

as eastsiders, we're ecstatic we don't have to settle for lower quality food when going to a neighborhood joint. to get cimarusti & vasquez's food without having to battle traffic on franklin, well that's enough to bring us back over and over again. we think it's a great addition to the area.

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  1. any idea about their kitchen hours? was there one late afternoon and the kitchen was close.

    1 Reply
    1. re: fdb

      the sign outside said the soft opening hours were tues - sun 9-5, but i think the kitchen closes at 3:30pm or so.

    2. We've been a couple of times and everything we've tasted food, coffee, tea has been fantastic!
      It's a lot more reasonable than going to Providence.
      When was the last time you saw a Pork Belly Sandwich or those killer desserts on any menu, anywhere?

      7 Replies
      1. re: russkar

        Hi russkar. The only times I have ever seen pork belly are in meat markets, and to me, it just looks like a little pork with a lot of fat. I can't imagine what that would taste like on a sandwich. Is it cooked crisp like bacon? Can you describe what the sandwich was like at LA Mill? thanks.

        1. re: Saucey

          Dreamy and somewhat lean considering?

          1. re: russkar

            Uh, that's lovely poetry, but not really the description I was looking for. How else can I put this cause I never had one. Is it like a BLT, for example? Is the pork crisply done? Can someone please describe how a pork belly sandwich might be prepared.?

            1. re: Saucey

              I've never heard of or seen a Pork Belly Sandwich before anywhere or several of the other offerings from La Mill. It's unique.

              1. re: Saucey

                Pork belly is simply uncured and unsmoked bacon. So it literally has the exact same fat content as the bacon used in a BLT. I would reckon that they're using Berkshire pork belly, which does have a higher fat content, but this is a good thing. The actual meat of pork belly is tough unless braised for a couple hours and much of the fat is cooked out as well.

                Let's just say that it's a contender for my last meal. Braised Pig Belly that is (haven't tried the "BLT" at LAMill yet...)

                1. re: fooddude37

                  Thanks guys. Being kind of sheltered about these things I just couldn't get my mind around what pork belly is. Now I know, its bacon, but without the cure. Considering I live in Silverlake I'll just have to make my way to the infamous Mill and and try a thing or two soon.

                  1. re: Saucey

                    Go early to get the ABLT. I arrived there at 2 pm today and they were sold out of this infamous panini. I got the prosciutto cotto baguette sandwich instead and it was fabulous.


        2. Thanks, Revets and Russkar. Nice to see something from more of an appreciative customer looking for quality. Good coffee ain't easy, there are a ton of variables, and I'm looking forward to trying LA Mill soon.

          7 Replies
          1. re: CulverJack

            by the way, is it pronounced "la-mill" like "la di da" or "LA Mill", like "I live in L.A."? I've heard it both ways.

            1. re: risottoman

              Neither! They pronounce it more like (if not exactly like) the French le, as in "Le Mill". At least that's what Eton, their "coffee savant", told me.

              1. re: la tache burger

                Critical mass will decide. I've always seen it in magazine and newspaper print as LA Mill, so I always say El Ay Mill.

                1. re: la tache burger

                  They answer phones by saying "Le Mill"--at both corporate office and Silver Lake place.

                  1. re: fdb

                    Jonathan Gold in his review this week calls it La Mill with a small "a".

                    Review here:

                    He appears to like the coffee ... mum on the food.

                    1. re: fdb

                      Huh? I too thought it was "El Ay" due to spelling of LA, than heard it was "Lah"... but now it is "Le" ??? I thought I had a good background in languages how is "La" supposed to pronounced "Le" (or is that luh?)?

              2. what is the address? can you reserve tables etc.?

                2 Replies
                1. re: friedegg67

                  LA MILL COFFEE BOUTIQUE

                  1636 Silver Lake Blvd
                  Los Angeles, CA 90026

                  LA MILL Coffee
                  1636 Silver Lake Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

                  1. re: friedegg67

                    friedegg67 - read today's review from la virbila in the times, especially the last line for the answer to your question, and maybe to a few others!

                  2. Nice post. I'm also routinely discouraged by people and chowhounders jumping on proprietors' backs for doing something more high end and different. I recently drove through Silverlake (probably moving there soon) and have eaten around at various places and was more or less disappointed everywhere I stopped. From what I gather, there are already plenty of cafes in Silverlake serving very decent coffee and very mediocre food. It's unfortunate that we live in a city where restaurants have to maintain a 25% food cost due to high rents and the insane costs of owning a restaurant, but there you have it. Quality product=high costs.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: fooddude37

                      like lucques, I'm sure La Mill will be incorrectly pronounced by many...
                      thanks for the tip though.