We're told April 6 is National Caramel Popcorn Day, but aside from the concession stands at The Arclight and Dodger Stadium, we're not seeing too much caramel corn in this town. Instead, a different kind of corn is popping up on L.A. menus, and it's got one thing in common: bacon. Sometimes, you can even find it doused in bourbon. In honor of this (questionable) national holiday, we recommend ditching the caramel and diving into more meaty — and sometimes alcoholic — popcorn offerings at these five spots.
5. Black Hogg:
Apparent from its name alone, this new Silver Lake spot is so meat-centric that the bacon even makes its way onto the deep-fried popcorn ($8), which is breaded and smothered in maple crema, because the bacon simply isn't fatty enough on its own. 2852 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles; 323-953-2820.
Known for its barbecue pork riblets, wild game chili and molasses-glazed bacon grits, it's no surprise that chef-owner Josie LeBalch's Santa Monica charcuterie shack also serves up beer & bacon caramel corn, which you can order to go for $5. 2424 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica; 310-581-9888.
3. Tar & Roses:
At this six-month-old Santa Monica restaurant, you can choose from sophisticated small plates like oxtail dumpling, squid fettucini and wood roasted English peas, or you can pig out on crispy pig tails coated in sriracha and honey. But even better is the bacon-sprinkled popcorn drizzled with brown sugar and chili for $6. Diffuse the popcorn guilt with a small plate of veggies like grilled asparagus or roasted beets. 602 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica; 310-587-0700.
2. Villains Tavern:
There are some things you may not know about this red-brick dive bar tucked into the industrial corridor along the L.A. River. For starters, the three-year-old tavern hosts country and bluegrass bands nearly every night of the week and a blues festival every Sunday. But the main thing you should know is to order the bourbon bacon caramel corn ($6) alongside your grilled cheese with bacon marmalade. 1356 Palmetto St. Los Angeles; 213-613-0766.
1. Cake Bar::
This mobile, alcohol-infused bake shop pops up at local farmer's markets and private parties so you'll have to hunt it down before you can indulge in its baked goods filled with rum, Kahlua, tequila and champagne. Tracking down this Van Nuys-based dessert bar is worth it for the popcorn alone, which is mixed with bourbon and baked with caramel. Van Nuys; 818-920-8425.
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