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Where to find Belgian Frites in Los Angeles?

j
jhulla Dec 12, 2006 12:06 AM

Where can I get Belgian-style french fries here in the LA area?

Preferably on the Westside.

The archives discuss a mythical place on the 3rd street promenade in Santa Monica called Bonita's Fries -- that has now unfortunately been closed for more than five years.

Any others?

  1. notmartha Dec 20, 2006 05:25 PM

    Funny nobody mentioned the fries in the LA Times article for 'what a deal' - Skooby's Hot Dogs. I haven't tried it.

    I too missed Benitas. I guess from the responses there is no standalone french fries places like Benita's that just sells French Fries. There used to be one in Old Town Pasadena a while back, but that also went away.

    1. purplescout Dec 19, 2006 09:35 PM

      I loved Benita's, too.

      It's far from the Westside, but the fries at Gorikee, served with their fabulous onion marmalade burger, are fabulous. Perfectly cooked, coated with just the right amount of spicy dust. yummy!

      1. o
        Obessed Dec 19, 2006 09:30 PM

        Definitely the duck fat french fries at Bin 8945! I've had the fries at Oinkster at least 3 times (including today for lunch) and have loved them everytime.

        1. w
          wilham Dec 14, 2006 02:38 AM

          I have great memories of Benita's, but also wonder how accurate my memories are. I had really good fries at Bistro de la Gare w/the steak, but they couldn't seem to drum up any mayo(!). They make them thin-cut. Oinkster is a bit thicker and seems to be hit-or-miss, but they do have some nice sauces. At Oinkster I think you have to ask for 'well done,' and then i've found that you get a mixed bag—some fries are crispy, some are too crunchy, and about 2-3 fries are just perfect. I'd like to try the duck fries at that number place. It seems like chefs have the best luck with the thinner cut, unless—it seems—you want to talk about using more exotic fats like duck, lard, or goodness knows...

          1. Will Owen Dec 13, 2006 07:02 PM

            I've had great frites with my great steak at Bistro de la Gare in South Pas. I've also had so-so frites and steak there...as in the case of Oinkster, I suppose it's luck of the draw, unless you have the same brilliant frites-savant cooking every single batch. I say this because there was such a person at a now-defunct place in Nashville. Every piece of potato he fried emerged as a crust of golden fragility surrounding a cloud of potato-flavored air. Now, a fry has to be pretty bad before I'll refuse to eat it, but having tasted perfection at least I know what to look for...

            1. m
              Mike Z Dec 13, 2006 06:12 PM

              The fries at The Library Alehouse are very reminiscent of the ones I ate in Bruges off the street vendors, but are thicker cut than the ones I usually get with a moules or steak frites.

              1. aching Dec 13, 2006 05:38 PM

                Can't believe nobody has mentioned Father's Office on Montana. I don't know what makes frites frites besides skinniness, but if that's it, then FO frites are the best. Skinny, perfectly seasoned, and served with aioli that is the food of the gods.

                5 Replies
                1. re: aching
                  c
                  carter Dec 13, 2006 05:57 PM

                  Can't believe anyone would order the frites at FO when the sweet potato version is even better!

                  1. re: carter
                    aching Dec 13, 2006 06:07 PM

                    We'll have to agree to disagree on that one. Plenty to go around!

                    1. re: carter
                      Maxmillion Dec 13, 2006 07:12 PM

                      ditto -- can't bring myself to order both, but just cannot pass up the best sweet potato fries in town.

                      1. re: carter
                        Dommy Dec 19, 2006 06:15 PM

                        The sweet potato is indeed where it's AT at FO...

                        --Dommy!

                        1. re: carter
                          SauceSupreme Dec 20, 2006 05:35 PM

                          Concur. Though after standing around waiting for a seat to open up, you might want to maximize and bypass both regular and sweet potato fries and head straight to the Chimay.

                          (I always get the sweet potato fries, though.)

                      2. j
                        JBC Dec 13, 2006 05:16 PM

                        Not the Westside, but you might be interested in this recent post about Max's in "the" Valley:

                        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/349641

                        http://www.maxrestaurant.com

                        1. k
                          kevin Dec 12, 2006 04:31 AM

                          duck fat fries at bin 8945.

                          1. monku Dec 12, 2006 03:11 AM

                            Funny--first place that came to mind "not" to go to was Oinkster. My first and only experience with their fries, were they were basically limp and expensive for what they were supposed to be.

                            1. techbod Dec 12, 2006 03:11 AM

                              This may sound strange, but Bravo Pizzeria on Main Street in Santa Monica makes twice-cooked, golden, crispy belgian frites which are served with your choice of several pretty good aiolis and dressings. I've had the real deal in Belgium (paper cone, slathered in sauce, eaten with a tiny pitchfork), and these are a very close approximation (minus the cone, end of batch sogginess and funny plastic cutlery).

                              What's more, they can be subbed at no charge for the green salad served alongside the meatball sub.

                              Speaking of the meatball sub at Bravo...this is a really, really good sandwich. The meatballs are a secret blend of veal/pork/beef, plus spices, and they're served in a nice marinara sauce.

                              While you're there, skip the salads, and don't be sucked in by the amazing LOOKING cannoli covered in chocolate and stuffed to order w. pistachio laden cheese filling. They look better than they are (though they're not BAD by any stretch). Maybe I'm not meant to like cannoli.

                              I have no idea why an italian joint like this serves fries, but they are definitely not an afterthought. It's as if the chef there used to work somewhere where fries were really important and imported the technique to his new gig.

                              Enjoy.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: techbod
                                j
                                jhulla Dec 14, 2006 12:40 AM

                                Thanks for the recommendation!! Appreciate the detailed suggestions for what to try and avoid. I'll check them out and report back.

                              2. t
                                tdo ca Dec 12, 2006 01:06 AM

                                Benita's was great - lots of sauces to choose from, etc. On the Promenade, Bravo Cucina makes that style of frites - but they don't serve the litany of sauces - never been to Oinkster but hear they do them Belgian style too

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: tdo ca
                                  Hungry4Good Dec 12, 2006 01:10 AM

                                  Oinkster has great Belgian fries with all homemade sauces. The homemade pastrami is deelish.

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