In a town that elevates VIP treatment to a level that, at the very least, approaches absurdity, it makes sense that the rest of us would want a taste of it too. The easiest, and cheapest, way to be special and in-the-know? Ordering secret (and not-so-secret) off-menu stuff at fast-food joints. Full disclosure: the off-menu items contained herein cannot all be personally attested to by this author, so when you sidle up to the counter, casually ask for a “Suicide” at Burger King, and are met with a blank stare, you're on your own. (4 meat patties, 4 slices of cheese, bacon and sauce on a sesame seed bun.)
- Animal-style burgers & fries:
- Grilled Cheese:
- Flying Dutchman:
- Neopolitan Shake:
But they don't say, for instance, that fries too, can be ordered “Animal-style,” which is to say, with pickles, sauce and grilled onions.
You can order a “grilled cheese” (cheeseburger, hold the meat) and cheese fries too.
Two beef patties and two slices of cheese on a bun.
You can wash everything down with a “Lemon-up,” a mixture of Lemonade and 7-Up. So evidently, there are still ins and outs to uncover.
Fatburger has a few secrets in its bag of burgers too.
- Spanish-style burgers & fries:
- Chili-Cheese Onion Rings:
“Spanish-style” means a fried egg on top, and though who knows why you'd want to, you can order a burger or fries this way.
If you like your hypocrisy straight up, go ahead and order a “Hypocrite,” or a Veggie burger, topped with Bacon. For bonus points, hold the mayo, order a diet coke and dump some sugar in.
For the real non-conformists among you, chili-cheese onion rings… Because chili cheese fries are so 2005. They'll also add more artery-clogging goodness to any burger in the form of a layer of fries, fat or skinny, sandwiched between the buns.
Jamba Juice has a whole rainbow of secrets with candy like flavors mimicking your childhood favorites. PB & J, Strawberry Shortcake, Fruity Pebbles, Skittles, Starbursts and Sour Patch Kids.
- Strawberry Shortcake
- Fruity Pebbles
- Gummi Bear
- PB & J
- Skittles, etc.
They're also rumored to offer a pizza smoothie, but this couldn't be confirmed.
L.A.'s own Kogi BBQ, has a plethora of specialty off-the-menu items. An item called a “Black-Jack Quesadilla was such a phenomenon, it's now on the regular menu.
- Short Rib Quesadilla
- Half and Half:
- The Craig dog:
Half chicken, half pork burrito.
Half salsa verde, half roja.
A spicy pork hot dog. Guess you really know you've made it in this town when a Kogi item is named after you. Alas, we have no advice as to how you make it happen.
Starbucks will pretty much make anything you want, even if it is ridiculous, and smile while they're doing it.
- Red Eye:
- Black Eye:
- Short Cups:
- Just about anything else:
A cup of drip coffee with a shot of espresso.
Drip coffee with two shots.
If however, you're feeling slightly more elegant, you can order any whole bean coffee French-pressed.
For frugal days, ask for a short drink, instead of the tall, grande, and venti posted sizes. The short is a smaller cup, hence cheaper, and in a happy confluence of circumstance, a cappuccino in a short cup tastes more like a real cappuccino.
This pretty much holds true, even though no barista I found knew how to make a “Ghetto Iced Latte” (iced Americano with no water, half and half added from the accouterments counter).
If we missed some of your favorites, let us know in the comments.