Dear Mr. Gold:

Where can I find a good chocolate milk shake — I mean a really good chocolate milk shake? I like the In-N-Out shake just fine, but there has to be something better out there.

—Rob, Westdale


Dear Rob:

I miss the Five Horsemen, an old-line coffee shop in Burbank that truly did have the best milk shakes in the world. But for a drive-through shake, the one at In-N-OutBurger is pretty good — at least there seems to be real ice cream in there somewhere. Moving slightly higher on the food chain, the shakes at the Pasadena institution Connal’s are pretty wonderful, thick and flavored with high-quality syrups (there are actual strawberries in the strawberry shake), and in the case of its magnum opus, the Boston, topped with an entire floating ice cream sundae. (Is the Pasadena area milk-shake heaven? I also admire the shakes at the old-fashioned Fair Oaks Pharmacy, at the coffee shop Twohey’s, at the ice cream parlor Fosselman’s — both in nearby Alhambra — and at Pie ‘n Burger, although I am willing to admit that my respect for the latter is perhaps inflected by the battered steel canisters in which they mix the shakes.)

The new Millions of Milkshakes on Melrose should be a contender, and it’s open until 2 a.m., but it’s more of a mix-ins kind of place, like a milk-shake Pinkberry. The Counter in Ocean Park has surprisingly good milk shakes. Lucky Devil in Hollywood has an utterly amazing pecan shake, although the chocolate shake is a lesser breed. The thick chocolate shakes at the Disney Soda Fountain in Hollywood, made with Dewar’s ice cream imported from Bakersfield, are almost good enough to excuse the crush of sticky underage tourists.

Which brings us, inevitably, to Milk, which is certainly more than an ice cream parlor but cannot escape its destiny — pure, sweet, cold dairy perfection. If you wanted to upgrade to the coffee toffee crunch shake, nobody would blame you for a second. 7290 Beverly Blvd., L.A., (323) 939-6455.

LA Weekly