A good milkshake is as much about ratios as the quality of ingredients. Ice cream to milk to syrup to fruit -- or whiskey or slices of pie, as the case may be. A good milkshake will hover at the midpoint between soupy and solid, thick enough to hold a cherry on top but not so thick that it requires a spoon to eat it. And a great milkshake will adhere to all these ratios and, you know, taste good, too. Turn the page for 10 of Los Angeles' finest shakes.10. Polly's Bakery Cafe:
This Southern California chain leaves something to be desired. A few things, actually. But what Polly's Bakery Café lacks in solid milkshake texture, and clientele under the age of 70, it more than makes up in willingness to sacrifice an entire slice of pie for a milkshake. Almost any pie on the menu, blended right in with vanilla ice cream and milk. Sure, the Apple Pie Shake at the Counter is thicker. But while the Counter leaves little more than a slightly grainy texture to suggest the presence of pie, Polly's pie milkshake is a coarser blend, scattering bits of buttery crust particulate and fruity seeds floating about in the milkiness. 819 W. Carson, Torrance; (310) 533-8124; Various locations.9. Connal's:
Expect no frills at this South Pasadena sandwich stop. Just milk and ice cream, proportioned with surprising perfection, and served in a Styrofoam cup. Priced both on size and flavor, the biggest and most expensive of which sets you back only about $3 before tax. Still well within Vincent Vega range. Did you order a side of sass mouth with that shake? Nope, it seems the staff just threw that in for free. 1505 E. Washington Blvd., Pasadena; (626) 794-5018.8. Mashti Malone's:
The Persian ice cream at Saffron & Rose may be gooey, and indulgent, and more numerous in flavors. But the wonderfully creamy scoops at Mashti Malone's, floral infusions rich with rosewater, cardamom and saffron, are better suited for milkshaking. The more intensely perfumed flavors, which to some taste a bit like Bed Bath & Beyond, are tempered by the additional milk in the shake. Sipping the lavender shake -- at first cold on the tongue, then warm in the throat -- is a strange but intensely pleasurable experience. 1525 N. La Brea Ave., Hollywood; (323) 874-6168.
Turn the page for picks 7 through 5...