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French Fries?

Has anyone tried making their own fries at home?
I just read that Thomas Keller's Bouchon uses frozen fries, which I can't believe.

I just had them last week (I was up in Napa) and they were amazingly delicious, but I doubt they're frozen. I haven't seen their recipe in their cookbook yet, but Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook uses fresh potatoes...I guess it's more about how you cook them (the two step process).

Do you guys know if frozen fries are better or worse than fresh? Also, do you know of any french restaurants that use frozen fries? Also, where are the best fries you've tried in LA?

My answers to those questions: I think frozen fries (if Bouchon indeed does use them) aren't any worse than fresh, and might even be better. I think Cafe Beaujolais in Eagle Rock uses frozen, but they're still great. My favorite fries are at Jax Bar and Grill in Glendale, perfect with a burger and a glass of Stella or red wine. They're light, crispy, and well seasoned.

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  1. The frites at Josie Restaurant in Santa Monica are stellar, and if I recall, perfumed with a bit of truffle oil... And the fries at Gorikee that accompany their (lunch-only) burger, also done right (thin & crispy, festooned with shards of garlic confetti)...

    8 Replies
    1. re: silence9

      Agree about Josie's fries. Superb, with truffle oil and a sprinkling of Parmesan.

      1. re: silence9

        I found Josie's truffle fries revolting, greasy, and limp. Why put cold, strongly-flavored oil on something that has already been fried?

        1. re: Ernie

          Hi Ernie... There's no arguing with someone's tastebud or preferences, to be sure. BUT: many people actually enjoy dipping fries into strongly flavored garlic aioli, mayo, ranch dressing, peanut sauce, and catsup, etc... The long-gone-and-missed Benites Frites had many many strongly flavored sauces (some oil-based, like garlic mayo, and some cold, like flavored catsups), and the contrast of hot fries and cool, strongly flavored dips were quite the draw... And I won't even cite buffalo hot wings and cool bleu cheese dressing!

          1. re: silence9

            but if you want to dip fries into any flavoring except the truffle oil already on board, you have a mess, or worse!
            Basic fries, regardless of preparation, should be allowed to be accompanied by sauces as the customer chooses.

            1. re: carter

              OK, Carter, but I draw the line on dipping fries into chili-cheese paper cups!

              1. re: silence9

                Chili-cheese I never understand, but aioli, good catsup, and similar can be addicting!

            2. re: silence9

              I sometimes enjoy catsup and aioli, but the truffle oil is drizzled on the fries before it gets to you so you have no choice in the matter. I prefer fries that retain most of their potato flavor and not-strongly flavored oils

              1. re: Ernie

                I've never had truffle oil or truffles (aside from the chocolate variety), but I did start to think about garlic fries (after reading these comments), where the fries have already been fried, and then they are doused again with garlic butter, as if the original entry into oil was not enough. :) I have enjoyed these a few times, but then again, they do seem to be too greasy.

                I love extra salt on my fries. With fish and chips, malt vinegar and a squeeze of lemon is good too. Also, a good ranch dressing on the side, as a dip. Love it, although I know it's bad.

        2. I like the fries at Father's Office for its sweet potato fries. I like the fries at Big Mike's for their garlic fries.

          Frozen fries work well because the freezing process eliminates any water from the potato, resulting in a crispier fry.

          8 Replies
          1. re: SauceSupreme

            I agree 100% on the frozen fries; however, alot of the frozen fries used to be coated with partially hydrogenated oils - don't know if manufacturers still do this. Double-frying hand-cut russets will result in the crisp texture that most find appealing. Some even place towel-dried cut potatoes in the oven for a while before deep-frying them.

            1. re: bulavinaka

              Yup! Its all about how you fry them... both with fresh and with frozen..

              With Frozen you have the Langers of the world... with their perfect krinkle cut... and then you have every school cafeteria Krinkle Cut that tastes like plastic...

              Then there is Skoobys... Absoultely super fresh fries... super amazing... but then you have in and out super fresh that are gawd awful...

              --Dommy!

            2. re: SauceSupreme

              And i just had some pretty good hand-cut fries from Hungry Cat. Mmm... pug burger...

              1. re: SauceSupreme

                You really know how to hurt a guy... ;>

                1. re: SauceSupreme

                  Yeah, they are my second favorite fry... the first being Skoobys...

                  --Dommy!

                2. re: SauceSupreme

                  SauceSupreme, where is Big Mike's located?

                  Thanks in advance.

                  1. re: Norm Man

                    The one I know about is in El Segundo on Main, but I believe there's another one in Hermosa Beach, though I don't know where.

                  2. re: SauceSupreme

                    Father's Office has the best fries in town...granted, they are made from sweet potatos.

                  3. The Question - "Best Fries in L.A.?"

                    The Answer used to be - Beneties Frites in Santa Monica, then moved to Universal City Walk, then they disappeared. Why the Best? Because "ALL" they served was Fries, actually Belgian Frites, and what made them extra special was their 18 (?) dipping sauces. The dipping sauces are a critical component!!

                    The Answer now is - Where can I find good fries with a Good-to-Great sauce(s)? Well my current go-to-spot, in my area of town, is Philly's West which I order extra crispy and I consume them with amble helpings of their thick brown lip smacking-ish garlic sauce.

                    Philly West Bar & Grill
                    1870 Westwood Blvd., Westwood
                    (310) 474-9787

                    If you're a true Fries afficionado, you could go to Soliel's all-you-can-eat Mussels & Fries on Wednesdays for $14.95 (I have yet to go personally, and they need 24 hrs. advance notice - scroll to bottom):

                    http://www.soleilwestwood.com/events....

                    And if the Mussel broth isn't the perfect dipping condiment, then you could supplement your experiecnce with one of their other sauces on the side:

                    Olive Oil and Garlic - $0.00 ?
                    Garlic Butter - $0.00 ?
                    Marinara - $0.00 ?
                    Pink Sauce - $2.50
                    Garlic Cream, - $2.50
                    Alfredo - $2.50
                    Arabiatta (Spicy) - $2.50
                    Checca - $2.50

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: JBC

                      thanks for the tips! let's have some more!

                      1. re: risottoman

                        Cavet (reader beware) - I've eaten some of these and the rest are on the got-to-go-to list and I usually order them extra-crispy (also helps insure the insides are fully cooked):
                        ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                        Would you be willing to drive a bit for ---> Cornet de frites, duo de sauces maison (portion of Belgian Frites with 2 different homemade sauces) - $5.00 ?
                        http://www.belgian-bistro.com/default...

                        French Fries with Garlic & Parsley - $7 --- with the following sauces available: Bearnaise, Lobster Bearnaise, Tamarind, Green Peppercorn, and Creamy Horseradish.
                        http://www.thejar.com/jar_menu.html

                        Are you a good negotiator with the man behind the Bar? Springbok (R.S.A.) Fries or Springbok Steak Fries are not listed as an individual order item. Sauces available: Peri Peri (very addicting to some), garlic mayo, Curry (spicy), Homemade Tartar, BBQ, and sweet chili.
                        http://www.springbokbar.com

                        How about a Eastern Mediterranean version, ordering:

                        #46 - Beef Kabob - $5
                        #48 - add fries - $2
                        #49 - Tahini or Garlic sauce - .75, 1.25, or $3.50
                        Hidden behind the counter - Green chili (grainy paste-like?) in a jar (mild +) - Free
                        http://www.sunnin.com

                        And while were in that part of the world - Batata Hama - French cut potato squares (actually the same size as standard fries) sauted in a spicy garlic & cilantro sauce (2nd from bottom):
                        http://www.al-cazar.com/hot_mezza.html

                        And while were in the valley, how about at one of Carter's favorite spots - Belgian Fries with homemade ketchup and garlic aioli - $6.50
                        http://www.maxrestaurant.com

                        1. re: JBC

                          And when I travel into the 323 a/c for dinner, I frequently aim for Carlito's Gardel and their overly addicting papas fritas provenzal, with a major dose of garlic and parsley. Not overly crispy, which suits me just fine, but oh the garlic and parsley combo really works!
                          http://www.carlitosgardel.com/appetiz...

                          hmmm - come to think of it, I need to get there soon.

                          1. re: carter

                            I have to agree on those Papas Fritas. Yum

                      2. re: JBC

                        I am a big fan of Philly West. I think their cheesesteak is as good as any, and I've posted that their burger is my favorite in town -- thick, chargrilled, served on the same roll, and only about 5 bucks. I have only shared the fries once and found them to be mediocre, a touch limp and pasty. But I didn't order them extra crispy or well done, as is my usual practice at most places.

                        Be aware, there is free parking behind Philly West. And it is a divy sports bar. Service is from the bartender, and can be better in the evenings with the big male and inconsistent at lunch with the female. But though they have denied it, the grilling is a bit better when the co-owner mans the kitchen during the day than when the younger Hispanic cook takes over at night.

                        1. re: JBC

                          You did not mention the BEST part of the $14.95 Mussel extravaganza which is that hot frites are brought to the table three or four times during the meal because the owner says you should only eat fries HOT. Last time we went we had four helpings of fries in a basket covered with a napkin. Really good and exemplifies the nice service this much underrated restaurant gives. Try their Tuesday night in March dinner (last time tomorrow night) for $7 meatball special. We missed it but thought it was a cute idea.

                          1. re: ZoeZ

                            Did you happen to notice that Soleil is now open for lunch Wed - Friday?
                            http://www.soleilwestwood.com/

                        2. A new arrival on the LA scene might be relevant to this topic: http://www.dolcegroup.com/ketchup/

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: chica

                            that looks really cool. those are prices are whew.

                            1. re: eatdrinknbmerry

                              Yes, and we know those prices are more likely than not to maintain the looks, too.

                          2. The Kitchen in Silverlake at Sunset and Fountain has fantastic fries. Skinny, crispy with a great balance of salt and a sprinkling of fresh herbs. Paired witih one of their burgers or their belgian beef stew and you have a good meal.