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LAMill Boutique: Not Your Grandma's Coffeehouse

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Photo by brainylagirl via flickr

LA Mill finally (soft-)opened its "boutique" in Silver Lake last Friday and we were lucky to get there in time to sample the goods -- for free. The space is impressive but the environment -- almost pretentiously over the top. But let's discuss the coffee:

I had two clover-style (filtered French drip) cups, one Kenyan, was an average medium-dark blend, with an acidic yet moderately rich, roasted coffee bean aftertaste. I was more impressed with the Aged Sumatran Peaberry, although I nearly gagged just typing that out. And no it didn't taste like sour yogurt. It had legitimate richness and spice, which was lacking in the Kenyan.

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These coffees were listed at $3.50 and above, table-side drips were $8-12 for 17 oz. A variety of teas were also available -- however, their names seemed to suggest that any tea drinker has some ulterior motive in their tea consumption aside from the enjoyment and flavor of the beverage. No really, many of these teas had names such as Weigh Loss, Stress Free, Get Fit, and the like.

Espresso drinks are available at only slightly above-market prices (all under $5) as are simple pastries (croissants, blueberry muffins, scones, etc).

There is also a line of "Signature drinks" which include a non-alcoholic "mojito," and non-alcoholic coffee-style dessert drinks for $5-6.

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The food: It's pretty, well-presented, and tastes good -- at least what I had -- but, really, who needs to pay $30 for a soup and sandwich (before tax + tip) while listening to Portishead on repeat? Don't come here if you're vegan or on a strict, Kosher or otherwise diet. Vegetarians? Even your Kentucky goat cheese panini will set you back $14. Fancy schmancy squash soup? $12. There are four salad choices as well. I had the Farcell, which was a truly exceptional panini. Good ol' regular cow's milk cheese wrapped in coffee rind (or something) with scallions, thinly-sliced Spanish chorizo large, mild piquillo pepper slices. It was good, and along with the small serving of (sadly, not more than a dozen) handmade potato chips and olives, was filling ($16).

It was opening day and all the goods were complimentary, however, this did little to influence this review. Two cups of coffee + panini + tax + tip likely would have run about $35 on any other day.

LA Mill is bound to be a destination for young Silver Lake couples and their offspring (they also sell homemade dog biscuits at $5/dozen). Especially when the grandparents are in town.

Don't get me wrong, though, the space is cozy, and the service -- very good and knowledgeable. If you wish to stay there, you get full table service and there are 4 or 5 nice sidewalk-adjacent tables outside.

Knowing what you know now, check out LAMill. It's best experienced as a dessert destination, the small bundles of solid and or liquid sweets aren't big enough to share but they do make the place unique.

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LAMill Coffee Boutique (website)
1636 Silver Lake Blvd (map)
Tues-Sun 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.