Le Tour de French Fries: L.A.'s best fried potatoes

Burger and fries. Steak et frites. Fish n' chips. For far too long, fries have been relegated to +1 status. Embrace the tastiest part of any meal, and unabashedly take this Tour de French Fries. In a city known for fried dough on every corner, it's no surprise that L.A. boasts some of the best papas fritas.

Flickr/sharyn morrow

It's a truism all fry-eater foodies know: cardiologists are alarmist. Also: good dips can rescue bad fries. The height of frydom? Great dips and great fries. Loathe to share this location as I don't want the lines getting (even) longer, Wurstküche has both — fries that'd make Belgians proud and sauces from a Heinz bottler's fever dream. The potatoes are double-dipped (two soaks in the oil tub), and served with sauces like Thai peanut, sundried tomato mayo, tzatziki, and bleu cheese walnut & bacon. There's also a white truffle oil glaze option. Which pairs well with the glazed look in your eyes after finishing the Groot portion.

Flickr/Eugene Kim

Beer Belly
Full disclosure: I have never actually tasted these fries. Which probably means I have zero-business putting them on a list. However, those whose fry opinions I value most unanimously confirm that Beer Belly's duck fat fries--basted in duck skin cracklins, smoked salt, and sweet onion sugar--are worth breaking my vegetarianism for. I can confirm that I don't usually reconsider my swearing-off-meat decision, but watching them salivate over the literal bucket of golden stems caused me to question everything I thought I believed in.


Father's Office
French fry fatigue can set in. I get it. It's like pizza--even if you reside in Chicago and pledge allegiance to deep dish, sometimes you're going to want a New York-style slice. Same goes with fries: sometimes, you're sick of steak-cut and need potatoes as skinny as the shoppers at that Target in West Hollywood. Father's Office fries, those golden shoelaces of fried ecstasy, are meant to be devoured by the handful. The Office Burger may get more acclaim, but I believe it's actually collateral praise from the "Basket of frites with garlic parsley aioli."

Wikipedia Creative Commons/Qfl247

For reasons I probably will never get into on Parachute (unless they begin publishing anti-fast-food screeds with multiple footnotes to Fast Food Nation and Cesar Chavez), I forgo McDonald's, Burger King, Subway et al. But for reasons I also won't get into, I give a pass to In-N-Out. My taste buds are glad I do. As is my wallet. As isn't said cardiologist. These fries are cut fresh daily, never frozen, available Animal Style (smothered in grilled onions, cheese, and special spread), and cooked to order (I prefer mine well done, which gives you something between fry and chip). Fries are $1.60; Animal Style fries $3.40. But who can put a price on compromising your integrity for fried vegetables? I already told you: it's me, and that price is $1.60.

Flickr/Kelly Bone

Once you're ready to embrace the truth that fries are the main course, you've earned Spitz's street cart fries with "The Works." Forgoing the already tenuous border between meal and side dish, these Mediterranean fries are seasoned with Grecian spices and topped with, depending on your tastes and relation to cooked mammals, lamb and beef, pepperoncini, olives, green pepper, onion, tomato, and feta. Then they're sprinkled with a garlic aioli. Feeling more West than East? There's also the Berliner Fries, which are slathered in red sauce, tzatziki, cabbage/carrot slaw, cucumber, tomato, onion, feta, olives, and pepperoncini. With two locations to choose from (Little Tokyo, Los Feliz), why not get the Berliner at one and "The Works" at the other as I may have done when I was too embarrassed to order both, in succession, while dining alone after a bad break up? Remember this: fries never leave you.

Josh Herman has been dropping L.A. fries between his car seats for almost two decades.