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Coffee

Where to Get a Great Affogato in LA: Part 2

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Mon, Aug 17, 2009 at 6:30 PM

When last week I posted about some of the best places to get affogato in this town, not a few people tersely pointed out that I had not included LA Mill's incarnation of the Italian concoction, a happy combination of gelato and espresso. Mea culpa. So here it is, in all its caffeinated glory. At the Silver Lake coffee boutique, they serve their affogato in a soup plate instead of a glass or a demitasse. Two quenelles of house-made vanilla ice cream, to be specific, are topped with a double shot of LA Mill espresso. Yes, it was quite good, although I must confess to preferring my affogato in something slightly less horizontal. The larger surface area meant that the ice cream had a noticeably shorter melting time. Also, I couldn't get over the feeling that I was eating an Île Flottante.

The best affogato I've had in the last few days arrived quite unexpectedly, while sitting at the bar after dinner at Rustic Canyon. Owner Josh Loeb's brother Gabriel made an off-the-menu affogato: they have plenty of Zoe Nathan's ice cream on hand, and Loeb was busy pulling shots of Caffe Luxxe espresso anyway. A double shot of espresso, of course. And the ice cream? The vanilla corn ice cream that Nathan pairs with her corn cake and strawberry compote. It's a basic vanilla creme anglaise, but made with corn stock. Okay, so you might think it's a little weird, but the combination of thick, mellow crema-topped coffee and a vanilla ice cream with a faint earthy note of corn was astonishing, not at all sweet and with a finish like chocolate. Sorry about the lack of pictorial documentation: it was gone too quickly.

click to enlarge LA Mill's affogato - PHOTO CREDIT: AMY SCATTERGOOD
  • Photo credit: Amy Scattergood
  • LA Mill's affogato

La Mill Coffee: 1636 Silver Lake Blvd., Silver Lake; (323) 663-4462. Rustic Canyon Wine Bar and Seasonal Kitchen: 1119 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica; (310) 393-7050.

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