In Search of the Perfect French Fry

Ugly, humble, versatile, the potato! The little dirt crusted tuber can be mashed, hashed, scalloped, roasted and most importantly to me…fried. Equally adored by children and adults alike, the fry is just as flexible as the potato and can be prepared thick, thin, wedged or crinkled. Everyone has a favorite and on average, Americans consume roughly 30 pounds of French fries per year.

Some of my earliest and fondest memories involve weekend drives into town and sharing an order of fries with my dad. To this day, French fries are definitely a weakness of mine, to the point I decided to give them up for 30 days just to prove I could…a dark time I refer to as potatogate. While I knew I consumed my fair share of those perfectly crispy yet creamy little treats, I never realized how many until I forced myself to give them up. Needless to say, that won’t be happening again. 

On my quest to find the perfect French fries in Los Angeles, I visited restaurants, fast food chains, food trucks and narrowly avoided a trip to the emergency room thanks to a great gag reflex. My original plan was to find one stellar standout among the crisp golden goodness. Instead, I found several gems amongst the rancid oil laden heaps of mush so I decided to go for a best of the best in the following categories: thick, thin, topped, poutine.

Thick
The Bellwether
13251 Ventura Boulevard
Studio City, CA 91604

A fantastic French fry simply dressed with salt & pepper. Crisp golden exterior with a touch of skin, creamy interior. Served with a vinegar based carrot habanero hot sauce and a chive crème fraiche.

Thin
Mistral
13422 Ventura Boulevard
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

Simple perfection! Beautiful pale bistro fry that packs a ton of flavor in an unassuming package…ideal for mopping up all the flavorful drippings after a great steak. Served with aioli and mustard.

Topped
Beer Belly (Ktown)
532 South Western Avenue  
Los Angeles, CA 90020

Two of my favorite things…bacon and fries. Lovely flavor bombs tossed in bacon drippings and expertly topped with more bacon! Served with a perfectly balanced maple vinegar which enhances the smoky flavor of the fries.

Poutine
Badmash (DTLA)
108 West 2nd Street # 104
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Bollywood Disco Fries! Indian Canadian fusion of crisp fries topped with cheese curds, gravy & chicken tikka. Make sure to get the delicious smoked paprika mayonnaise with them as well.

That’s my list.

Now, what’s your favorite fry? The Nation wants to know