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Bohemian in Black

January 28, 1994|MICHELE SEIPP

The Place: Millie's, a breakfast/lunch place, 3524 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake; (213) 664-0404.

Atmosphere: This casual, friendly neighborhood hangout is decorated with vintage items--a clock, telephone and mini-jukeboxes. Most customers sit at the counter and chat affably on a first-name basis with the "sure, whatever" waitresses who serve "hangtown fry," "devil's mess," soda pop and chicken-fried steak.

Serving-Up Style: The bohemian help wear their faces scrubbed and makeup-less. A youthfully maternal waitress flounces behind the counter in a pink, thrift-shop dress, black apron and plastic fish earrings. A tall waitress-cook wears a black beret over her short blond locks and a white apron over her sleeveless red T-shirt and baggy jeans. A cryptic, buxom dishwasher broodingly appears and disappears in her exotic shaved head, four silver hoop earrings, skintight top, black jeans, black apron, beaded African necklace and yellow rubber gloves.

Customer Themes: A just rolled-out-of-bed look dominates among the clientele, who wear looks-like-they-were-slept-in sweat shirts, sweat pants, heavy hiking boots, backward or forward square-brimmed baseball caps, beat-up leather jackets, mechanic's uniforms, wildly patterned shirts and dresses, khakis and faded jeans.

Hair Apparent: Men wear long, straggly, tangled locks combined with partly shaved-a-few-days-ago craniums and facial stubble, or neat rockabilly hair with sideburns. Women go shave-headed, or wear their varied-length tresses under hats, multi-braided or loose and unbrushed.

Accessories: Wallets suspended from long, ultra-thick chains; pierced nose and ear rings; eccentric novelty earrings; ethnic necklaces and bracelets; beepers; skinny dark glasses; the newspaper--folded and coffee-stained.

Celebrity Sighting: Longtime customer Flea, of the Red Hot Chili Peppers: ("Hey, how are you? I just got 'The Blue Iguana' on laser disc!").

Observation: Millie's takes a free-form attitude. "When do we open? Well, that's sort of a debated issue--it's either 7 a.m. or 8 . . . depending on who's cookin'."

Earthquake Dialogue: Waitress: "I called to tell my mother I'm OK, and she says, 'Of course you are! What could be the matter?' She doesn't listen to the news."

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