Deep-frying improbable edibles is hardly new. County fair concessions maven Chicken Charlie has fried up Oreos, Twinkies, frog legs, White Castle burgers, SPAM, zucchini, Pop Tarts, brownies, ribs and Kool-Aid balls -- and that's only the beginning The combo of crisp batter and gooey center speaks to some primal aspect of desire. Savvy American chefs understand. They've been riding the gentrified comfort food trend, and they know the way to diners' hearts is often greased with vat of hot oil.
At Studio City's Black Market Liquor Bar, a charming eatery that does double duty as semi-sophisticated cocktail bar and a friendly gastropub, the most interesting items on chef Antonia Lofaso's menu are fried. Crisp collard greens, fried cauliflower with a honey-yogurt sauce, housemade dill potato chips. Our favorite, is the deep-fried Fluffernutter sandwich.
We don't see enough sandwiches on dessert menus. We don't see marshmallow sandwiches anywhere (except in our friends' childhood memories). The idea of a deep-fried Fluffernutter sandwich at a gastropub seems simultaneously wicked and irresistible -- and that's how Eve ate her first apple.
Black Market's version arrives at the table as a golden, panko-crusted brick. It's slightly larger than a Sticky pad, and if that seems too small, it overcompensates in richness what it lacks in size. Slice into the sweet brioche, and the sandwich oozes with warm marshwallow fluff. You may not be able to see it, blanketed as the sandwich is with a layer of gooey Fluffernutter, but it's loaded with peanut butter and bananas. It's a childhood treat, all dolled up for the decadent adult. Eat your heart out, Elvis Presley.
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Sandwich of the Week
Elina Shatkin is a staff writer at LA Weekly. Follow her at @elinashatkin or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.