It's hard not to envy the Angeleno appetite -- believe it or not, macrobiotic diets just aren't as popular as the burgers-and-fries regimen here! Furthermore, French fries are not as calorific as you'd think. But the weirder they get (read: the more cheese that is piled on 'em), we cannot vouch for its nutritional value. Its mighty taste, however, is guaranteed. Presenting the five weirdest fries L.A. has to offer:
Portobello Fries At Bottega Louie: At the Downtown intersection of 7th and Grand, you might think, right, Seven Grand. Whiskey. But if it's Bottega Louie your mind immediately conjures (and with it, your belly grumbles), you are likely only thinking about one $9 snack: the portobello fries. Wedge cuts of portobello mushroom caps, battered and fried to a crisp. Use a copious helping of the aioli dip on the side.
700 S. Grand Ave.; 213-802-1470
Banh Mi Poutine At The Gorbals: Amidst Ilan Hall's collision of multi-continental fare at The Gorbals, something called Banh Mi Poutine is listed under "Pig" -- as one $12 item, not two. Banh mi, of course, is the infamous Vietnamese baguette sandwich; poutine is Quebec's (unofficial) national comfort food of fries, cheese curds and gravy. But one day, whilst assembling banh mi for Gorbals' staff meal, the kitchen was out of bread ... but ah, what about sliced potatoes instead? Banh Mi Poutine is a hybrid of the two: a heaping pile of fries, coated with fresh mozzarella, pulled pork, cilantro, pickled carrots and cucumbers, and slices of jalapeno.
501 S. Spring St.; 213-488-3408
Carne Asada Fries At My Taco: Oh lord, carne asada fries. Surely, you've ascertained that, with your fries, comes meat a la asada, but that's not all -- there's a big slab of guacamole and melted cheese for days. While we have the San Diego area to thank for the sorta-documented birth of carne asada fries, the homecoming king of carne asada fries is in a strip mall in Highland Park at My Taco.
6300 York Blvd.; 323-256-2698
Potatoes Harra At Hayat's Kitchen: These fries are simple ... but still weird. A Lebanese kitchen in North Hollywood called Hayat's just might be frying the best garlic fries in all of Los Angeles. If you eschew cheese on your fries, but you're gung-ho for a thick garlic paste to coat your slim-cut potato sticks, you will be in tater heaven. These Lebanese fries reveal a perfume of olive oil, plus a generous toss of sauteed cilantro and red pepper flakes.
11009 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood; 818-761-4656
Ooey Gooey Fries At Chego: To call a helping of fries "animal-style," Chego's fries would be a wooly mammoth with terrifying tusks to In-N-Out's precious baby elephant. For just $6, your fries at Chego are topped with seven freaking' ingredients: sour cream sambal, melting Monterey Jack cheese, cheddar cheese, cotija, chiles, cilantro and pickled garlic. Use a fork, or hell, just put your face in it.
3300 Overland Ave.; 310-287-0337