Cool Drinks, Los Angeles: Milkshakes at Milk


[Photographs: Ned Ehrbar]

Mid-City's Milk has been developing a rep as a neighborhood go-to for salads, burgers, and baked goods, but—as the name might suggest—the real standouts here are the dairy products. Chef-owner Bret Thompson's shop uses its own homemade ice cream and sorbet for new spins on shakes and malts, served in towering frosted glass and sized to share.

The Strawberry Shortcake mixes vanilla ice cream, strawberries and malted milk into a red and white daydream, topped with hand-whipped cream and butter cookie crumbs. The end result is surprisingly light while still creamy, not too sweet and just thick enough to make straw or spoon equally useful methods of attack. Buried at the bottom of the glass is a tart surprise: a scoop of strawberry sorbet that cuts crisply through the cream.


For something with a bit more bite, try the Milkie Way Malt, which more than earns the last part of its name. To mimic its candy bar namesake, the shake is a deceptively simple blend of vanilla ice cream, heavily malted milk, and chocolate chips, topped with whipped cream, caramel, and chocolate sauce and topped off with a malt ball. A caramel-chocolate swirl cascading down the inside of the glass gives the shake a glamorous look, but the caramel doesn't get enough of a chance to play with the other flavors. This one's for the malt-obsessed only.

The Coffee Toffee Crunch Shake and Strawberry Cream and Vanilla Phosphate are also standouts, along with a selection of floats. But if none of those spark you're interest, you can design your own shake by mixing and matching the available ingredients. The incredibly cheerful staff are more than happy to indulge your creative impulses.

Milk 7290 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036; (map) 323-939-6455;