GLUTTONY EXPEDITION: FANCY FRENCH FRIES
Ahh, the French fry. Always second place when it came to mealtime, they stood faithfully by our sandwiches and hot dogs, the trusty sidekick Robin to our Burger-Batman. For many of us, fries are a nostalgia food. When we were kids, our french fries came from greasy fast food chains. We ate them greedily, and as we got older, we got creative and dipped them in our soft serve, stuffed them into our burgers and burritos, and patted ourselves on our backs for our innovative gluttony. But let’s be real, now that we’re adults it’s time to indulge in fries that truly reflect the diversity of our refined palate–kimchee, duck confit, lamb neck, and all. If you’re ready to move beyond Mickey D’s, read on to get the scoop on some french fried fanciness.
Chicken Tikka Poutine
Where: Badmaash | 108 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
What: Combine the LA’s diversity and innovative inhabitants and you get Badmaash. From what we understand it is the country’s first Indian gastropub. The restaurant offers a mix of Bombay street food, Indian fusion cuisine and traditional Indian favorites –like butter chicken, saag paneer and lamb vindaloo. Their take on poutine earned them a spot on our list by taking their masala fries — crispy fries tossed in Indian spices — and throwing gravy, cheese curds and tikka masala chicken on top. Savory, creamy, crispy and spicy all at the same time. You just can’t lose with this one.
Duck Fat Fries
Where: Sixth Street Tavern | 630 West Sixth Street, Los Angeles, CA 90017
What: Zagat named Sixth Street Tavern’s duck confit cheese fries the best thing they ate… and we’d have to agree. The fries by themselves are superb — the right amount of crispy and golden and thick, perfect to pair with a beer. But to kick it up a notch — not to get all Emeril — the tavern added smoked gouda, a garlicky cheese sauce and salty, shredded duck confit goodness to boot.
Banh Mi Fries
Where: The Gorbals | 501 South Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013
What: Thrice cooked fries, gravy, steak, sharp cheddar, garlic aioli, Sriracha, fried jalapenos, and pickles – what more can I say? It’s everything you like in a Vietnamese steak banh mi sandwich on top of fries — sour pickles, heat from the jalapenos and Sriracha, then you throw in some hoisin gravy and cheddar cheese to add the extra oomph! Of course, let’s not forget the backbone of the dish, the fries, which are perfect for sopping up all the leftover juices.
Lamb Neck Poutine
Where: Ink | 8360 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90069
What: Lamb Neck Poutine. The name doesn’t exactly roll off your tongue, but trust us when we say that Ink’s version of the French stew-y goodness is just another one of Michael Voltaggio’s genius. The poutine holds true to itself — rich, thick and creamy, but takes on a bolder flavor coming from the slow-cooked lamb neck. While the gamey neck flavor can be strong for the pallet, Voltaggio balances out that notion with chopped chives, forest chives gel and tangy yogurt curd. The fries themselves are not made of the standard potato, but out of fried tubular chick peas that are light enough to not weigh down your stomach, but can hold its own under the poutine.
Where: Fresh Fries Truck | All over LA
What: Another food truck yes, but these fries will conquer that sweet tooth. The much celebrated Nutella, mixed with its old school colleague, peanut butter, and the already sweet but now crispy sweet potato, makes for an easily picked at dessert mixture.
Where: Frysmith | All over LA
What: We actually had a dilemma trying to pick one. It’s common knowledge that LA’s food truck game is ridiculously on point, so how could we not feature French fry truck extraordinaire, Frysmith. But which French fry offering do we choose, the kimchi fries or the Rajas fries? Clearly the kimchi fries came out the victor. Why, you ask? Simply because who would’ve thought that kimchi, Korean pork and cheddar cheese would be so delicious. The marriage between the spicy, sour kimchi and the sweet, tangy pork was obvious, but the American cheddar cheese threw us a curveball that Frysmith knocked out of the park.
Carne Asada Fries
Where: Las Anitas | 26 Olvera Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
What: Carne asada fries may be the obvious, maybe even carne asada fries via Olvera Street, but it isn’t our fault that that is where genius lay. The carne asada, sour cream, guac, and salsa are scattered atop a mountain of waffle fries. Imagine, each waffle fry as mini, edible plates carrying all the fixings straight into your mouth. You can skip worrying that your skinny fry will weigh less than even the tiniest piece of carne asada, ultimately resulting in dropped topping and a stained tee.