Top 10: Fave French Fries in Los Angeles

The talk surrounding our current Burger Era seems unending. But what about the side dish that plays a crucial supporting role? Here are ten of our favorite places to celebrate a silent hero that's overshadowed in the grind of this meat mania: French fries. Choices are listed alphabetically, but coincidentally, our favorite two are at the top.

Church & State's fries.
Church & State's fries.
Photo credit: Jessica Ritz

Church & State: These vigorously crispy fries made in lard and peanut oil fits what chef Walter Manzke characterizes as the Church & State's "edgy" neighborhood. Beautifully golden and firmer than those made in only plant-derived fats, they retain their texture much longer after being fried at 375 degrees. (Others that don't get soggy quickly tend to be formulated in a lab.) Manzke does make one compromise, however; due to space constraints Manzke gets pre-cut, frozen skin-on ¼ inch Russets from his distributor. The walk-in would be overflowing with potatoes otherwise, he claims. We'll gladly pardon him this shortcut.

1850 Industrial St., Downtown; (213) 405-1434.

Comme Ça: David Myers's bistro's French fries aren't something you're likely to make at home either. They're hand cut to ¼ inch size, soaked overnight, and then prepared with a two-part Belgian fry process. The potatoes are essentially "poached" in peanut oil to treat the starch, then fried at a higher temperature. This method allows the exterior to crisp up but retain the soft interior. Regardless, they're long and stunning, and downright elegant served in those paper-lined silver cups.

8479 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood; (323) 782-1178.

Father's Office: The neo-burger movement pioneer's fries are thin as its famous patty is girthy. But the Culver City and Santa Monica establishments won't give up the, er, skinny on how they make their skins-on shoestrings. They're small enough to have an ideal crunch, but not so petite that it takes an unwieldy handful to constitute a satisfying bite.

3229 Helms Ave., Culver City; (310) 815-9820.

1018 Montana Ave.; Santa Monica; (310) 393-2337.

The Hungry Cat's mountainous fried heap.
The Hungry Cat's mountainous fried heap.
Photo credit: Jessica Ritz

Golden State: Co-owner Jason Bernstein was surprised that "when we were doing our taste tests on fries, we found that frozen just tasted a lot better than fresh." At least the 3/8" fries are indeed golden and polished off with salt, pepper and parsley. We recommend, however, requesting them well done.

426 N. Fairfax Ave., Fairfax District; (323) 782-8331.

Hungry Cat: The Hungry Cat believes more is more when it comes to fries. Halfway through the mountainous heap, it still looks like it could be a whole serving. David Lentz uses Russets or Kennebec potatoes, depending on the season, cut to ¼ inch, soaked for in water for 24 hours and then parboiled. The cooled pieces are then fried to order in peanut oil. These are a craggly sort, appealingly but not boringly uniform, and finished with the requisite dusting of salt and parsley. Plus you're given aioli and ketchup, eliminating any chances of shame should you accidentally ask for a banned sauce.

1535 N. Vine St., Hollywood; (323) 462-2155.

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