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.)

You animal!; Credit: Serious Eats-Corey Jones

You animal!; Credit: Serious Eats-Corey Jones


  • Animal-style burgers & fries:
  • 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.

  • Grilled Cheese:
  • You can order a “grilled cheese” (cheeseburger, hold the meat) and cheese fries too.

  • Flying Dutchman:
  • Two beef patties and two slices of cheese on a bun.

  • Neopolitan Shake:
  • They'll also make a Neapolitan shake (as will Wendy's, Fatburger, and McDonald's).

  • Lemon-Up:
  • 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.

The Fat Fatburger; Credit: Frank P., Picasa Creative Commons

The Fat Fatburger; Credit: Frank P., Picasa Creative Commons


Fatburger has a few secrets in its bag of burgers too.

  • Spanish-style burgers & fries:
  • “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.

  • Hypocrite:
  • 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.

  • Chili-Cheese Onion Rings:
  • 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

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.

Credit: Anne Fishbein

Credit: Anne Fishbein

Kogi BBQ

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:
  • Half chicken, half pork burrito.

  • Two-Faced:
  • Half salsa verde, half roja.

  • The Craig dog:
  • 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.

A double no fat, no foam latte' with a pump of sugar-free vanilla.; Credit: Dawna Nolan

A double no fat, no foam latte' with a pump of sugar-free vanilla.; Credit: Dawna Nolan


Starbucks will pretty much make anything you want, even if it is ridiculous, and smile while they're doing it.

  • Red Eye:
  • A cup of drip coffee with a shot of espresso.

  • Black Eye:
  • Drip coffee with two shots.

  • French-Pressed:
  • If however, you're feeling slightly more elegant, you can order any whole bean coffee French-pressed.

  • Short Cups:
  • 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.

  • Just about anything else:
  • 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.

LA Weekly