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Best Onion Rings in LA

  • j
  • Jonathan Jan 27, 2002 01:09 PM
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We're trying to research the best Onion Rings in LA. We prefer flakey batter over crusty but all types are game just so long as they're home-made and not made out of dehydrated onion mush. We've been to Fatburger and Oki-Dog already. Who else does well at this almost lost art?

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  1. The rings at Frisco's 50's Diner are very good. Real thick sliced onions in a good batter. These rings do not come out of a freezer. Frisco's is on Gale Avenue (parallel to the 60) in City of Industry, and in Downey.

    All kinds of burgers and other good things. Unlimited refills on sodas, including choclate cokes.

    Frisco's is also AWSOME for breakfast. All the usual eggs dishes done really good, with generous portions. The ham and eggs come with a nice sized slab of ham. The omelete that comes with about everything in it and has avocado slaces across it is wonderful. The pancakes with a big dollop of butter on them are enought to cause a certain diabetic to ignore his diet.

    There is all the standard diner fare here, and middle eastern dishes also.

    The waitresses are all on roller skates, and will do a an impromptu "floor show" to the tunes on the juke box in the afternoons and evenings.

    There is an electric train running around the ceiling of the dining car section of this diner.

    A great place for kids, but lots of adults go there for breakfast and lunch.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Chino Wayne

      As an vegitarian, I was enticed by my kids to try a Frisco Burger recently, (after seeing a video on the hamburger in Los Angeles), and I must say as it was the only burger I have had in 3+ years it was amazing!

      The Onion rings my kids ordered were good, but I ordered fried zucchini that was the bomb!!! Cripsy whole strips, very light, not oily at all!

      Wish Frisco's was somewhere in the west valley...

      1. re: moviebob

        Other than paying homage to Karen Carpenter, it's tough to drive that far for onion rings. But Finney's in Beverly Hills does indeed rock.

    2. Dalt's in Burbank are good...
      3500 Alameda near Warner Bros.

      1. Johnnie's Pastrami in Culver City on Sepulveda.
        There onions don't slide out of the crust when you bite one.

        6 Replies
        1. re: PHIL

          Oh man, Johnnies, haven't been by there in at least 15 years. Used to eat on the patio by the fire, or in a booth punching up tunes on the table site juke box doohickies. How's the pastrami and dogs these days?

          1. re: Chino Wayne

            Great Onion Rings and still the Best Pastrami around.

            1. re: SL in HB

              negative. mediocre pastrami...that is unless you like grisly and overly fatty cuts.

              but their onion rings are quite good. =)

            2. re: Chino Wayne

              Not as good as the Hat and overpriced IMHO

              but their onion rings are damn good as are their pickles

            3. re: PHIL

              Johnny's rings .... awww yeahhh ...

              Big and bumptious. Firm, not floppy. Better than nookie!

              1. re: PHIL

                They have the best onion rings ever. God, I love onion rings. Anyways, their pastrami is good too, but god their onion rings are worth the drive from Torrance.

              2. when in Torrance, try Y-Not on Hawthorne Blvd. (just north of Lomita Blvd.)...

                1. This might not be exactly what you are looking for but a few favs for me are:

                  The Shack - on Wilshire in Santa Monica

                  Crocodile Cafe - I know it's a chain but that have some GIANT onion rings that are pretty tasty.

                  There are a few others but I'll have to keep thinking. :)

                  Link: http://www.swine-and-dine.com/Larest.htm

                  1. I second the vote for Crocodile Cafe. Also Wolfe Burger in Pasadena. They're more the crispy beer batter variety rather than bready, but yum.

                    1. i'd just mentioned them recently in another thread. finney's in the alley in beverly hills. some of the best onion rings i've ever had anywhere. very golden and crisp on the outside, tender on the inside, whole sliced onions perfectly done. tempura-like. don't know if they're fried from fresh or frozen or even if they do their own, but i've never had any quite like them - except in japanese restaurants.

                      finney's in the alley
                      8840 w. olympic blvd.
                      beverly hills
                      310-888-8787

                      1. You have to try The Hat. We like their onion rings because they are really crunchy, a lot of it, and best of all, you can eat them without a knife and fork. We ordered some from Gordon Biersch once and they just seemed to be halved lengthwise and then thrown into batter. The Hat also has the best chili fries and wet (gravy) fries. Must try it! The pastrami is world famous too.

                        Original is on 1 West Valley Blvd. in Alhambra, but they have locations throughout Los Angeles county, the Valley, and Orange County.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: Can

                          I second The Hat. So crunchy! I used to live not 2 minutes from the one in Alhambra, and the hamburger, pastrami sandwich, and onion rings satisfied many a late-night craving.

                          1. re: kvhan

                            The Hat has pretty good chili dogs too. My problem with the Pastrami is when I get a craving for the Hat's Pastrami sandwich I sometimes go overboard and get two of them. By the time I am halfway through the second Pastrami sandwich I start getting a greasy stomach ache. So then I swear off double dipping Hat Pastrami, and then forget my vow the next time I get a hankering.

                          2. re: Can

                            Those onions cut length-wise are called Onion Straws!!

                            1. re: Can

                              I love the Hat's french fries. When I go on a run for the family up to the Hat in Upland it is a long 20 minute trip up there from Chino. That 20 minutes is much shorter on the trip back as I dip in to the fries. A small order of the Hat's fries is anyone else's large order. So I pick up a large order which about fills a brown paper bag, and the family is none the wiser that I have been munching on the fries on the way home, since my munching doesn't put a dent in the bag of fries.

                              I also like the Hat's rings, but Frisco's are far better.

                            2. m
                              michael (mea culpa)

                              Can't help you on the o-rings. Best similar thing I ever had was a basket of onion ring sized fried calamari in Spain. Here, we only seem to get the little fried calamari.

                              11 Replies
                              1. re: michael (mea culpa)

                                The best calamari fritti I've had in LA (and the sizes were various according to the squid themselves) was at the fishmonger stand at the Hollywood Farmer's Mkt on Sunday. Sensational fresh calamari fried to perfection, quite like Spain where I too have loved them, but done by a Greek gentleman. Greek-Spanish-whatever, it's great. Try it if you're around there on a Sunday morning. Best breakfast in town--and cheap too!

                                1. re: roger simon
                                  m
                                  michael (mea culpa)

                                  Try it if you're around there on a Sunday morning.>>
                                  Is it Sunday yet?

                                  1. re: roger simon

                                    hi michael,

                                    after waiting all week for sunday - and to celebrate the end of a hellish week of moving - we made a special trip to the hollywood farmers market today for your highly recommended calimari fritti.

                                    and it was good. very good.

                                    we had a calimari and a combo. i could have eaten a bushel-full of the grilled crab legs alone from the combo. and the calimari, unbelievably tender on the inside and perfectly breaded and crispy on the outside.

                                    not quite the ambiance of greece or spain, and next time i'll bring a little bit of my own kosher salt, but all delicious. it's amazing how simply satisfying salt and lemon are on good seafood.

                                    and since we ate in the parking lot - we had our dog with us and she loved the calimari too - i didn't get a chance to ask what was in the red sauce. a little bitter though not unpleasantly so? any ideas?

                                    thanks again for the tip. you're right, the best breakfast in town.

                                    1. re: louisa
                                      m
                                      michael (mea culpa)

                                      Roger gets the props on this one.

                                      1. re: louisa

                                        what's the cross streets of the Hollywood farmer's Market? and the hours on Sunday? also, how much does a batch of the calimari fritti cost? and are the grilled crab legs at the same stand?

                                        1. re: kevin
                                          m
                                          michael (mea culpa)

                                          Kevin,
                                          Can't answer all your questions. Presumably Louisa will. Meanwhile, the market's held on Sunday mornings till about 12:30 or 1:00. It's on Ivar and adjoining streets between Hollywood and Sunset. The bonus is when you're done you can head over to Amoeba Music at Sunset & Ivar.

                                          1. re: kevin

                                            It's on Ivar between Sunset & Hollywood. 8:30 to 1:30. But if you come later, parking is a challenge. Not sure of cost. But quite sure it's the same place....didn't he mention a "combo?"

                                      2. re: michael (mea culpa)

                                        A vote for the fried anchovies at Locanda Portofino on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica. They are fresh anchovies and they are fried perfectly and then served with salt and half a lemon. Superb. I don't hear this place mentioned often on Chowhound and I think people are missing out on a place that serves a few superb dishes, this among them. Also, the eponymous pasta -- Pasta Portofino -- is delicious, though on the rich side.

                                        1. re: michael (mea culpa)

                                          A vote for the fried anchovies at Locanda Portofino on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica. They are fresh anchovies and they are fried perfectly and then served with salt and half a lemon. Superb. I don't hear this place mentioned often on Chowhound and I think people are missing out on a place that serves a few superb dishes, this among them. Also, the eponymous pasta -- Pasta Portofino -- is delicious, though on the rich side.

                                          1. re: michael (mea culpa)

                                            Best calamari value I've found is the calamari salad at the Zen Grill at 9111 W. Olympic Blvd.,Beverly Hills
                                            Tel 310-248-7773 (other locations in Valley and Hollywood). Good size, lightly fried rings over a nice bed of greens and warm glass noodles. The portion of calamari is huge. I counted over 25 rings AFTER I had eaten enough. Suggestion: I find their dressing a bit overpowering so I ask for only a small amount on the salad and the rest on the side. Delicious!

                                            1. re: JAL

                                              Woops! Forgot to mention, Zen Grill's salad is only $7.95 or 8.95.

                                          2. This chain went off on a tangent of calamari, but back to the original question...if in LA proper, Birds on Franklin (Beachwood neighborhood) does a half-stack and full stack of HUGE onion rings which are fun to eat with friends. It comes with three dipping 'sauces' - catsup, barbecue sauce, and a nacho cheese one. The onion rings are not flaky, they're rather - solid - but good nonetheless. Substantial, I guess one could say. The rest of Birds menu is uninspired and hit-and-miss. But for their Arnold Palmer and onion rings, I say thumbs up!

                                            1. If you come down to the South Bay, the Hawaiin Bakery/Restaurant makes really good onion rings. They're big and they're made with the sweet maui onions.

                                              1. here's a tricky one... anyone know of a place that onion rings can hold up well enough in a to-go order??

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: NYCnowLA

                                                  green leaves vegan. sounds odd, but they were very good!

                                                  -----
                                                  Green Leaves Vegan
                                                  1769 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

                                                2. Wahoo's Maui onion rings. The menu describes them as 'crunchy and beer battered." Different than the breaded variety, but still good.

                                                  1. Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks has some pretty fine onion rings!

                                                    1. The Yard house Onion Ring Tower. Not a fan of onion rings, but this is the one place i will have them.

                                                      1. Best onion rings i've had in LA was at Birds in Hollywood on Franklin. They are known for their chicken, but their onion rings are really the star of the show over there. Comes with 3 great sauces too!