These French Fry Dishes Will Satisfy Every Food Craving Imaginable
Written By: David Diaz 8 LA Restaurants With Stacked Spuds as the Perfect Fall Comfort Food
Photographed By: Kolini Faagata
While trapped alone on a deserted island, all I want is a solar-powered Kindle, sunglasses and a bag of potatoes—with a block of cheese and maybe a deep fryer. Like any proud Californian, I love French fries. And what do I love even more than French fries? French fries loaded with savory deliciousness on top, underneath, and in a ramekin next to the plate so I can dip more fries into it. Luckily, our very own Los Angeles is host to some of the premier loaded-fry spots on the West Coast. Whether you’re about to prep your stomach for a night of bar-hopping, nursing the headache from the night before or just want some delicious comfort food, these eight locations are proudly serving up some of the tastiest spuds on this side of San Gabriel. All Angelenos couldn’t be happier since ketchup is so mid-2000s.
Street Cart Fries
This gem of a restaurant sits on the corner of a very quaint, and very “parkable” residential area. Spitz is an essential feature of the Pastel Neighborhood with its low roof and open-faced exterior. It welcomes its patronage with beachy-patio vibe interiors. Two giant windows at the front of the building open up the room, and the wooden bar area soaks up the sun during your afternoon food run. Their full selection of rotating craft beers and homemade libations thoroughly tempt you to re-create your busy weekend on any day of the week. Spitz serves up essential Mediterranean dishes with beef, chicken, falafel and, of course, lamb döner kebabs. Like the Zesty Feta Döner wrap, and the Spicy Döner. But one of the main reasons you come to Spitz at all is because of their renowned Street Cart Fries. These golden taters are out of control. They come topped with essentials like red onions, pepperoncini, creamy garlic aioli and a gorgeous handful of feta cheese on top. And, since they have Sriracha sauce at every table, it is highly recommended that you drizzle a little bit on top or at least make a little pile of it on the side for fry dipping.
Native Knowledge: Spitz keeps board games like Battleship and Connect Four on hand so you can indulge your competitive spirit while you inhale the restaurant’s renowned Street Cart Fries.
1725 Hillhurst Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
323.522.3309 | www.eatatspitz.com
Classic poutine involves French fries, gravy, and cheese curds. In New Jersey, this traditional recipe was tweaked a little when they decided to use mozzarella cheese instead of the typical “squeaky cheese, ” or curds. This very East Coast interpretation of the Canadian classic is referred to as Disco Fries. Lucky for us, L.A.’s own Big Wangs on Cahuenga serves these delicious beasts up daily like some kind of Saturday Night Fever. Sitting in the dead center of Hollyweird, this restaurant and sports bar is wide open with no windows on its giant front walls. The place has a full arcade in the back, a full bar in the front and a dozen flat screens streaming every game you might want to be watching at that moment. Big Wangs also has a rotating beer selection filled with limited editions and microbrews to pair with an order of their Cajun Buffalo Super Wangs, a mountain of fries covered in cheese and gravy. Big Wangs piles its Disco Fries with fluffy and crunchy shoestring potatoes covered in fresh, thick gravy and melty, stringy mozzarella. The gravy is hot, the cheese is hot, and the fries are hot—Houston, we’ve found the holy trinity. This East Coast classic comes on a giant plate, is served up fresh, and needs to be immediately consumed while paired with their strongest beer. So make sure to bring a few people or a giant appetite.
Native Knowledge: Big Wangs is located a block away from the Hollywood and Vine Metro station. So next time you don’t want to drive your car downtown before a night out, take a quick Metro ride to Hollywood, get some Disco Fries and a round of drinks, and let the city worry about getting you home.
1562 N Cahuenga Blvd
Hollywood, CA 90028
323.469.2449 | www.bigwangs.com
Carnes Asada Fries
Walking in from sunny York Boulevard, this Highland Park restaurant makes you feel immediately comfortable. My Taco is decorated with a traditional Mexican color palette of blues, yellows, reds and greens. The restaurant’s tables and chairs are wooden and painted in similarly warm hues. The location has expanded over the 21 years that My Taco has been in business, starting off as a taco cart in Bell in 1994. Lunch hour brings many hungry patrons so be prepared to wait or just order ahead of time for pickup. In addition to its signature barbacoa tacos, My Taco is also home to the very hearty and very popular carne asada fries. The shoestring fries are fresh, the carne asada is juicy, the mozzarella cheese is melted. A sour cream squirt and guacamole dollop finish off this mountain of cilantro-y, steak-y French fry perfection that’s worth the trip and lost gym-time. Nothing is worse than carne asada that is as tough as leather, so My Taco takes pride in its flavorful and tender cuts of meat. Even though carne asada fries were created in San Diego, My Taco brings the diverse flavor and unique culture of Baja California to the heart of Los Angeles like a boss.
Native Knowledge: Because homelessness in Los Angeles is a major issue, the My Taco team volunteers once a month at Freedom Church, providing hot meals for families and others in need. My Taco also hosts food and toy drives during the holiday season to further help local Angelenos in need.
6300 York Blvd
Highland Park, CA 90042
323.256.2698 | www.my-taco.com
Animal Style Fries
It would be irresponsible if we completed a feature on the best-loaded fries in Los Angeles and didn’t include our California staple—Animal Style fries from In-n-Out Burger. These are a classic choice for the many patrons that visit In-N-Out regularly (sometimes more than once in a 24-hour span). Even if people don’t eat them, they know all about them. These fries are considered part of the secret menu, so you won’t see them posted anywhere. However, all you have to do is say, “I’ll take a drink, a Double-Double, and Animal Style fries, please.” Soon, those fresh-cut French fries topped with a thick slice of melted American cheese, secret-spread and grilled onions are all yours. Paired with a burger and lemonade, or completely on their own, these fries are the dreamy mix of sweet and savory. Dipping a few in ketchup is also not frowned upon, especially if you use the chili peppers (that are also on the secret menu) to spice it up. Luckily there’s only one size of these puppies, which definitely helps with portion control—one could easily scarf down a couple of orders. But the portion size also helps you justify ordering a second batch. You don’t want to go hungry in the middle of the night, now do you?
Little Somethin’ Extra: They have their secret sauce in packets, so don’t forget to ask for some if you need a little more animal in your style.
Not-So-Secret “Secret” Menu:
– 4 x 4: Four 100 percent pure beef patties, four slices of American cheese, lettuce, tomato, spread, and onions on a bun.
– Grilled cheese: Two slices of melted American cheese and all the garnishes on a bun (super secret: Make it Animal Style).
– Protein style: A pure beef patty wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun.
– Neapolitan milkshake: Vanilla, chocolate and strawberry flavored shakes mixed into one delicious cup.
– Animal style: Cheese, extra spread and grilled onions. Get it on a burger, fries—or both. Yellow peppers will also kick it up an extra notch; just ask for them.
Native Knowledge: You can order your fries well done for a crunchier animal style experience. Also, if you have a predilection for spicy, order the fries with chopped chilis on top for slices of pungent little yellow peppers. There is a laundry list of secret menu variations that a hungry patron can peruse, and these just happen to be some of the most delicious.
7009 Sunset Blvd
Hollywood, CA 90028
800.786.1000 | www.in-n-out.com
Pastrami Gravy Fries
Plan Check Kitchen + Bar
A lot of places serve pastrami, and a lot of places serve French fries. In the rapidly progressing Downtown area of L.A., there are a lot of places to get good beer also. But there are only a few locations that do all three of these things very, very right. Plan Check Kitchen + Bar on Wilshire is one of those places. This gastropub is located right on the outskirts of Downtown, which makes it a thousand times easier to find parking and an ideal escape from the bustle of the city center. Pastrami gravy fries aren’t the only thing that Chef Ernesto Uchimura and the rest of the Plan Check crew have mastered in their kitchen, but they are absolutely a stand-out favorite on the menu. First and foremost, Plan Check cooks its French fries in beef tallow to extract all of those succulent flavors and cram them into each fry spear. Then housemade swiss cheese, infused with truffle salt and wine, is oozed over the bed of potatoes. After that, tender slices of the best pastrami I’ve had since Canter’s Deli are piled on top. Their meat is carefully selected and cooked long and slow to ensure supreme tenderness, smokiness and a charred-spice crust that makes Plan Check’s pastrami one of the true heavy-hitters in LA. The entire thing is doused in gravy that’s prepared from the leftover roux during the beef preparation. Finally, some diced pickles are thrown on top because everybody knows pastrami needs pickles to feel complete. Ernesto told me this dish was originally born out of necessity, with the need to use as many leftover ingredients and waste as little as possible. The result is this wonderful mix of flavors that takes simple ingredients and makes them irresistible.
Native Knowledge: After your hearty and savory meal, if you feel the need to delve into something sweet, you’d be a fool not to grab one of the made-to-order cruller donuts. This almost churro-like pastry is hot and fluffy on the inside, and crunchy on the outside from a fresh fry (not in the beef broth, don’t worry), and topped with vanilla ice cream.
1111 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90017
213.403.1616 | www.plancheck.com
The Oinkster is one of the best places to get a quick burger and fries with the comforts of a sit-down spot. The restaurant has many items on the menu that your taste buds will be begging you to try, but the signature Piggy Fries are definitely a main attraction. Reminiscent of In-N-Out’s Animal Style fries, the Oinkster takes all of those flavor profiles and adds its own spin—plus a double-sized portion. Fresh Belgian-style fries are topped with Thousand Island dressing, caramelized onions and very thinly shredded cheddar cheese. What takes these up a notch is when you start to dig into this pile of warm goodness, you uncover lettuce and sweet peppers, mixing in with the creaminess and the warmth of the melty cheese. Piggy Fries are almost like a deconstructed, California-style grilled cheese. The Oinkster mixes simple ingredients to create a fantastic meal you can eat there or take home to watch True Detective and feast in anticipation.
Native Knowledge: There’s outdoor patio seating at the Oinkster’s Vine location, and nobody minds if you bring your pets along while you eat some of the most well-executed comfort food variations in the Hollywood area.
776 Vine St
Los Angeles, CA 90038
323.536.9248 | www.theoinkster.com
Sixth Street Tavern
Sixth Street Tavern has the luxury of being located at the center of Downtown’s revitalized nightlife area. Located up the street from the Standard, and right next door to the Library Bar, this drinking hotspot is quickly becoming one of the most preferred bars in the area. This location is well-lit and warm, with shop-style wired lights and subdued brown tones to set the steampunk gastropub spirit just right. Since they are first and foremost a bar, they have a fantastic drink menu with craft beers and original concoctions, but they also have appetizers to pair with your drinks, namely the Beer Cheese Fries. The French fries are cut in-house and seasoned with a special house blended salt. Then, they are smothered in a fresh, smoked Gouda and heavy cream blend that adds a special smokiness to the dish. The fries are covered with a blizzard of finely shredded fresh Parmesan cheese, and set in front of you like a little white cheese-nimbus where angels sleep. The next time you go to Sixth Street for a beer or two, make sure you get an order of the Beer Cheese Fries—then your drink won’t get lonely.
Native Knowledge: The Beer Cheese Fries served at Sixth Street Tavern no longer actually include beer as an ingredient, though the dish has retained the name on the menu. The change was not because beer was too crazy, but because they found a way to make the fries even better.
630 W 6th St
Los Angeles, CA 90017
213.614.1900 | www.sixthstreettavern.com
S T U F F /// Your Face With These Loaded French Fries