When you live in a city that’s a dream vacation destination for most of the world, it’s hard to justify needing an escape. You’re close to the beach, you just saw Leonardo DiCaprio at Gelson’s, and you regularly FaceTime with your therapist. What more could you want?
The real world is what we want. Turns out, being permanently based in a city whose nickname is “La La Land” can make you feel pretty detached from reality. And no neighborhood is currently more detached than Silver Lake. You can only overhear so many serious conversations about mindful breath before you start to feel like you’re suffocating.
If the time has come to escape and you spent all your plane-ticket-home money on turmeric lattes, there’s still hope. That hope comes in the form of breakfast at Millie’s: your short-term escape when LA gets too LA.
Millie’s looks and feels like nothing else in Silver Lake. Its neighbors are a luxury clothing store, a day spa, and an exercise studio for people who don’t want to sweat, but Millie’s definitely hasn’t been updated since 1934. The space is mostly sidewalk cafe plus a few indoor tables, and is full of people wearing sweats - you’ll see groups of friends recovering from rough nights, couples venturing out for food, and plenty of others reading and working. All this on any day of the week, at any time. Millie’s is consistently busy, but it never turns into a scene.
Those people are here for the perfect breakfast comfort food. Dishes here come out in big, messy portions, and are ideal versions of what you want to eat in the morning. If you order the Devil’s Mess (and you should), you’ll get a huge pile of perfectly cooked eggs, lots of cheese, and sausage that’s just spicy enough. And Millie’s is one of the extremely rare cases where the benedict is actually great. It could all easily just be greasy plates of stuff catering to raging hangovers, but it’s clear from the first bite that the people at Millie’s actually care that their food tastes good. Do they care about what it looks like on the plate? No. Because you’re not here to take photos of your food. You’re here to eat it.
Maybe you did more yelling at cars than talking to people today. Maybe the workout class you signed up for was actually for dogs. Maybe your Tinder date turned into an unpaid screenplay consultation. It’s time for a trip to Millie’s. Eat some chocolate chip pancakes, and spend an hour taking a break from the juice bars you’re not sure are actually doing you any good. Then, maybe stop in that new-age massage parlor on your way home. Your chakra might need realigning.
This is a giant plate of eggs, cheese, cajun-spiced turkey sausage, and guacamole, with rosemary potatoes on the side. It’s our favorite thing here, although probably not spicy enough to warrant using the Devil in the title. We’d maybe go for Recently-Promoted Demon’s Mess. (Promoted because it made a very good breakfast.)
Little mountains of crab smothered with hollandaise. Unlike the Alps, these are not the prettiest mountains to look at. But also unlike the Alps, they taste incredible.
Millie’s does a straight chilaquiles plate, but you should take this opportunity to order the chilaquiles benedict. The beef is tender and rich, and also we will take that green chili hollandaise in IV form, please.
If you’re not ordering these as your breakfast, you should be ordering them as your breakfast dessert. Add the strawberries and bananas, because you’re a smart person.
The vegan version of the Devil’s Mess, because Angels are apparently vegan. It tastes fine, but the vegetable sausage could use a lot more spice. If you don’t want to eat meat or dairy, there are better options on the menu.