Despite ambitious plans to hit a different cafe on each day of our Christmas trip to LA, it turns out that there’s more to life than coffee(!). Visiting your home town for nine days is really not enough time to see everyone and do everything, though it was enough time to get a $446 speeding ticket. Merry Christmas to you too, officer.

We were only able to visit a few of my favorite cafes, including LAMILL in Silverlake, Aroma Coffee & Tea in Studio City, and Intelligentsia in Venice. The rest of my to-do list will have to wait for the next trip back home. I’ll start out with a little review of LAMILL, and follow up on the other two cafes in later posts.


As most reviews point out, LAMILL is dripping with pretensions that border on caricature. The food is pricey, comes in small portions, and rarely rises above mediocrity. I’ve been to LAMILL quite a few times since it’s opening in early 2008, but the only thing keeping me there is the coffee. The baristas at LAMILL are definitely competent and friendly if you talk to them, and the wait staff, despite reviews to the contrary, have always seemed unpretentious to me in a way that doesn’t jive with the rest of the atmosphere. Instead, to me, they always seem like fellow coffee geeks that enjoy explaining the ritual of siphon brewing or answering questions about the Clover.

In fact, this is what sets LAMILL apart from other cafes in LA. They have the largest menu of brewing options I’ve seen, ranging from espresso for some, to French press, Eva Solo, Clover, Chemex, or Siphon. They have an equally large variety of single origin coffees to choose from, including standard options and limited lots. The menu has pretty accurate tasting notes to help you choose.

If you do have to eat something, go for the simple stuff, like this peanut butter banana toast, which is pretty good!

Peanutbutter Banana Toast

One little known fact about LAMILL is that they have a presence in Korea just outside of Seoul. They don’t seem to have a cafe in Korea, but they do sell beans online (albeit at the standard Korean price of around $30/lb), and supply roasted coffee to several of the Hyatt Hotel locations and other establishments in Korea.

Directions to their Silver Lake cafe below.

Lamill Coffee Boutique
1636 Silver Lake Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(323) 663-4441

View Larger Map