Fair season, like the other holidays, has its own cuisine. Sugar, salt, batter and frying oil are its staple components. A river of sauce is also a hallmark of any county or state fair dish. There's still more than two months before the Los Angeles County Fair, but for those craving an early taste of tradition relief is available. Here are four fairground offerings from different neighborhood establishments.
4. Glazed Donut Bistro's Fried Chicken Beignet
The dough isn't as sweet as a traditional beignet, which means its flavors dovetail nicely with the salty fried chicken buried inside. It comes with a maple dipping sauce on the side for those craving added sweetness. Ordering these chicken-filled donuts, which come with fries and cole slaw, is like completing the state fair food pyramid. 8807 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood; (310) 360-0221.
3. The Stocking Frame's State Fair White Cheddar Burgers
These slider-style burgers are memory makers. The patties are marinated in mustard before being cooked and topped with white cheddar and caramelized onions. Jammed into sesame seed buns, they're garnished with house-made pickles. The only thing that would make them more fair-style is if they were served wrapped in yellow paper and came off of a smoking barrel grill manned by a carny. 911 S Hill St., Los Angeles; (213) 488-0373.
2. Fritzi Dog's Buffalo Tots
This is a hidden gem in the Original Farmers Market and one worth seeking out. Launched by award-winning chef Neal Fraser and his partner John Moshay, the stand is a gourmet take on Americana cuisine. Several places around the city now offer the nostalgia-inducing tater tots, but Fritzi's takes their golden nuggets of fried goodness and drenches them with a blend of buffalo and blue cheese sauces that, because the tots are right out of the boiling oil, begin to melt on contact. 6333 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles; (323) 936-9436.
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1. The Bun Shop's Deep-Fried Oreos
Tempura-battered Oreos deep-fried and served with a helping of Thrifty's green tea ice cream and whipped cream. Let that sink in for a second. These are the ultimate in fried-sugar delightfulness. The Oreo gets a crispy outside from the batter, the cookie layer is softened by the frying and the icing is almost liquified. Spoon on some of the ice and whipped cream to cool it down as you shovel it into your mouth without a single thought to the calorie count. 151 N. Western Ave., Los Angeles; (323) 468-1031.