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Best onion rings in LA...who's got them?

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I love nice crunchy onion rings. Not necessarily beer batter (unless someone convinces me otherwise with a good example), just the traditional (seemingly) bread-crumb-coated ones, like in the mold of Fatburger's or Bob's Big Boy, in the olden days of the 70s/80s.

Doing a search yielded nothing of any use for satifying my craving. I recall an old LA onion ring thread a couple of years back, but it's gone.

I prefer SFV (Sherman Oaks/Studio City area, if possible) but if they're out of this world (just like as for donuts), I'd drive over the hill somewhere.

Let me have them, from casual/fast foodish-type place on up. Thanks, hounds!

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  1. If you're willing to give the beer-battered version a try, I would recommend Bird's in Hollywood.

    And if by chance you go and don't like the rings, the sloppy joes are damn tasty as well.

    http://www.birdshollywood.com/

    1. MIllies Kitchen. I know it's a chain but these onion rings are fabulous. 16840 Vanowen. (818) 785-3894. If by chance they have closed that location the one in Simi is open at Sycamore and the 118 freeway.

      1. Farmer Boy's....huge, battered, and freshly made not frozen. The fried zucchini is pretty darned good too.

        -----
        Farmer Boys
        726 S Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90021

        Farmer Boys
        11808 East Washington Boulevard, Santa Fe Springs, CA

        Farmer Boys Restaurant
        15662 Arrow Hwy, Baldwin Park, CA 91706

        Farmer Boys
        14430 Merced Ave, Baldwin Park, CA 91706

        1. Heaven help me, but Jack In the Box has always had yummy onion rings - if you need a quick drive-thru fix!

          1. Billy's Grill on Van Nuys Boulevard has some stellar onion rings. Have them with with an ahi tuna, ostrich or a buffalo burger, a mango and banana smoothie and you'll find yourself smiling after having a really excellent meal. Their fries aren't shabby either.

            Billy's Grill
            5162 Van Nuys Blvd
            Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
            (818) 783-6317

            Closed on Sundays. Open until 7 pm (I think), Mondays to Saturdays.

            1 Reply
            1. re: sharkgirl88

              Their ostrich burger really is good. Can't believe I never ordered it with a side of onion rings!

            2. Not sure they are "the best", but Billy's Grill @ Magnolia and Van Nuys Blvd. have them lightly battered, tasty and crisp...definitely not lunkers.

              1. i like the habit's rings. i order them well-done, for max crunch. it's a chain, with locations in encino, sherman oaks, ventura, glendale, sb, and more.

                -----
                Habit Burger Grill
                249 N Glendale Ave, Glendale, CA 91206

                1. " the olden days of the 70s/80s." Ouch!

                  If you want to try some onion rings the way they were in the 50's/60's and still are in the North East (North of Boston) try Fudd's. The burgers are pretty good also.

                  http://www.fuddruckers.com/

                  1. I looove the onion rings at The Hat. They give you enough to feed you for days....

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: groover808

                      the hat onion rings are pretty good

                    2. My favorite are at Rod's Grill on Huntington in Arcadia.

                      1. Fatburger, no contest

                        1. Not in the valley but next time you are near Long Beach or heading east on the 60 driving through City of Industry stop at Frisco’s. The rings are cut wide and thick and fried golden brown. There is a scene in Pulp Fiction which will come to mind upon walking through the front door. This is a really fun place to eat and the burgers are pretty good also.

                          http://www.friscos.com/

                          1. I'm a Onion Ring FIEND... my favorite of the type you describe are the Hat and Akasha Here is a picture of the Hat's Onion Rings...

                            http://www.flickr.com/photos/dommichu...

                            I always scarf down the ones at Akasha too fast to take a picture... but L.A. Weekly did me the favor...

                            http://media.laweekly.com/2398599.41.jpg

                            --Dommy!

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Dommy

                              At the Hat, try some of their chili on the onion rings.

                              1. re: Dommy

                                The hat's look terrible....they look like frozen onion rings.

                                1. re: jackattack

                                  They are frozen onion rings straight from an industrial size bag like the ones you see at any greasy spoon joint. With the proper toppings and dippings though, they can be really tasty

                              2. I love Astroburger's rings (Gardener/Santa Monica).

                                1. An old SO was an onion ring junkie. He hated the beer battered ones though, and thought Fatburger's made a solid ring.
                                  His vote for best on the westside (which was his stomping ground) was the Sunny Grille on Venice Blvd. I always enjoyed them there too.

                                  1. The Bowery on Sunset has good onion rings. It's beer battered though... but it's good, very crispy and flaky.

                                    1. Bird's in Hollywood

                                      1. I actually really like the onion rings that they have at The Yard House.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: LBeater

                                          Agreed. They are exceptionally good.

                                        2. At 4211 Riverside Drive in Burbank is the oldest Bob's Big Boy still making those onion rings. This place is a classic Bob's with some local movie history. Ask real nice and maybe they will seat you in the booth the Beatles sat in.

                                          http://www.bobs.net/

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: JeetJet

                                            Thank you to everyone for the great leads on great onion rings...wow, I've got a lot of places to try!

                                            JJ, do you know for sure if that Bob's still serves the OR recipe from those long ago days! I do recall BBB's onion rings, back in say, the 70s/80s, kicking some serious butt, however, like most chains, I would imagine they changed the recipe somewhere along the line, and probably not for the better.

                                            I hope they're the same b/c that's right down the street (almost) from my work!

                                            1. re: GK in SO

                                              I am not sure if they changed them but I would not think so because this location trys to keep it the way it all once was -- ambiance and food. Give them a call and ask to speak with the manager.

                                              I went on a onion ring hunt a couple of years ago and kind of burned out but places keep coming to mind. Art makes them fresh himself from the best onions he can get. If you go in the morning you may see Art crying his eyes out from pealing and cutting onions for the days rings and burgers. He makes a burger much like In N Out, a chili dog just like Pink's, a patrami like Tops and frys like McD. He also has some pretty good breakfast burritos. His onion rings remind me of the past. Speaking of the past. Arts is a old two-lane drive-through which was originally one of the first In N Outs ( #3, I think) but they sold it and moved the location to Lower Azuza..

                                              Art's the Art of Burgers.
                                              11629 E. Valley Blvd.
                                              El Monte CA.
                                              626 442 7554

                                              1. re: GK in SO

                                                OK, your post and my love for onion rings got me to try Bob;s again -- the new Covina location. Perfect! Original recipe and hand made fresh everyday. IMO, this is the ONE thing they do right. I went twice and on my return trip I ordred only the rings. Today I went to Mimi's Cafe and tried their rings. Also very good but I think Bob's does it better. The onion at Bob's has that old-tinme tasts that took me back to the good old days..

                                              2. re: JeetJet

                                                I'd bet money that Bob's come out of a big freezer bag. Ore Ida maybe?

                                              3. I like the skinny onion rings @ Lucille's BBQ.

                                                1. The battered onion rings at the Alcove on Hillhurst... delicious if you like that type of onion ring (i.e. cake battered rather than breaded)

                                                  1. Echo Rod's on Huntington Drive in Arcadia, but even better: Twohey's (Home of the Little Stink-o) on Huntington Drive near Garfield in Alhambra

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: laurie.hunter

                                                      Gotta agree, Twohey's has some pretty tasty rings.

                                                      1. re: ohdaylay

                                                        My wife loved Twohey's as a teenager (quite some time ago), and I've been there several times with her and enjoyed it -- particularly the rings. But the last time we were there, perhaps 6 months ago, I was disappointed, because the rings, while tasty, were very greasy. Not that there's anything WRONG with that, mind you, but I thought they were over the top in that regard. Plus, for a basic diner (even one with a long history, and in San Marino) they are dang expensive.

                                                        1. re: ozhead

                                                          I agree Twoheys has been my favorite sine the 70's, but I must say last time I was there, Jan 09, they were dry and overdone.

                                                    2. Hamburger Central at the corner of California and Central in Glendale.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: duke_of_mildew

                                                        Gotta agree. For the beer battered variety, Hamburger Central is outstanding!

                                                      2. They are beer battered, but oh so good. Try Wolf Burger on Lake in Pasadena. Boy are they tasty.

                                                        -----
                                                        Wolfe Burgers
                                                        46 N Lake Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: ohdaylay

                                                          Love Wolfe Burger's onion rings.

                                                        2. I would never go to Steak Depot for a cheesesteak (that's reserved for Philly's Best!), but their onion rings, from what I remember about five years ago, are absolutely to die for. Beer battered, and I think sprinkled with parmeson.

                                                          1. Since no one else has mentioned it, I'll give you my candidate: The Hill Street Cafe, on Foothill in La Canada-Flintridge (right by where that runaway truck smashed up recently). There's also one in Burbank, I believe. My wife seldom allows herself onion rings, but she has named the Hill Street her worldwide favorite. I like 'em too. Their chili and spaghetti, not a common dish, is damned fine too. And on Thursdays the soup of the day is a killer corn chowder. Hill Street is a definite cut above your average coffee shop.

                                                            1. Not sure about being the best, but I love the rings at Nate 'n Al...

                                                              1. I've been going to Bake 'N Broil in Long Beach for years but only recently tried their onion rings and they were excellent. Hot, crispy, deep golden brown, with a batter that was more tempura/beer batter-like than breadcrumb style

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: Ernie

                                                                  [Second try at posting in this thread -- please delete if the earlier attempt gets through.]

                                                                  I haven't had onion rings at the Bake 'n Broil, Ernie, but almost everything else is good, so I'll try them on your recommendation.

                                                                  I also haven't had a full order of onion rings at Pann's, but I should, because they put a few rings on the hamburger steak, and they're very good -- crisp and oniony in the breadcrumb style.

                                                                2. Forgot to say Astro-Burger. The one on Santa Monica, not Melrose. Especially good with ranch!

                                                                  1. I just recently had some fantastic onion rings at Nickel Diner. Burger was a bit of a disappointment (dry and mealy) but the rings, almost, saved the meal.

                                                                    http://www.5cdiner.com/index.html

                                                                    1. If you prefer lots of beer batter, I thought the super-thick onion rings at Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks were quite good. I do wish the onions were a big bigger, something that could handle the batter, but otherwise it's delicious.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: mattatouille

                                                                        Matt wins the prize, rings down.
                                                                        Boneyard has wonderful rings, and everything else as well. And I can only hope you like a chipotle sauce to accompany them, because that combo truly does it for me.
                                                                        Cannot imagine going there without at least thinking about them - buy they may have some specials that distract me that given night, and thus...
                                                                        But their rings are sensational.
                                                                        Try 'em, bet you will agree.

                                                                      2. Jolly Jug in El Monte on Peck Road has good onion rings that are crispy and golden brown! Their French dip sandwiches are awesome too!

                                                                        1. It depends what you like: beer batter vs. bread battered? thin "strings" vs. rings? For my money , I loved the ones at the Yard House. They are served on what looks like a paper towl tower rack. Golden brown rings of deliciosity! I tried them at the one at LA Live. I assume they are the same at all locations. These are beer battered and dusted with Parmesan. I like both bread and beer batter. I don't care for strings at all ... These were a fantastic, served with a spicy ranch dipping sauce (I also disdain ketchup!)

                                                                          1. Seems like only one person has mentioned the Alcove (which is shocking) and I'm not sure that review really does the onion rings justice. They are the best I've ever eaten in LA or anywhere else. They are hefty meal-in-themselves sized pieces of pastry with a batter close in texture to a donut.

                                                                            7 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Henry2054

                                                                              Those sound yummy will have to get them at Alcove next time I go..

                                                                              8 oz had some crispy, firm and best onion rings I have had in a while, we had to order a second serving.... YUM!!

                                                                              1. re: burgundy1

                                                                                Try Good Stuff (in a mini-mall) at Olympic and Bundy. Their Onion Rings are fantastic. If you really want more good artery-clogging fare, their fried zuccini is also great.

                                                                                1. re: maudies5

                                                                                  Are they lightly beer battered. I live in West LA and would love to find some fresh, beer battered rings in my area. Any suggestions? Thanks

                                                                                  1. re: Jeryy

                                                                                    Try the Spitfire Grille at SM airport- beer battered and delicious.

                                                                                  2. re: maudies5

                                                                                    good stuff fried mushrooms are great also..so are the onion rings...i love tony roma's ring loaf with bbq sauce. greasy indulgence. .although they are getting harder to find

                                                                                2. re: Henry2054

                                                                                  I'll second the Alcove's onion rings. I haven't had them lately but I'd order them with my lunch and was never disappointed. While the Alcove parking situation (well, most of Los Feliz for that matter) is non-ideal, it was nice to go to a place that served a triple berry style cake like Sweet Lady Jane (not exactly as good as SLJ but less expensive and without the attitude, which is a plus). The Alcove also had some funky table in the back with some drawers that people would leave messages in.... which was kinda like opening up a giant fortune cookie of nonsensical rantings.

                                                                                  1. re: Henry2054

                                                                                    Your description is accurate and I hate the onion rings at Alcove. Big doughy donut like lumps with almost no onion in them at all.

                                                                                  2. Have you ever been to the Yardhouse? I'm not an onion ring fan, but this is the one place I enjoy them. What does that tell ya? http://www.yardhouse.com//Default.asp

                                                                                    1. since no one's mentioned: 25 Degrees. Granted, it's nowhere near SFV, but neither is Bowery nor Twohey's.

                                                                                      Akasha's batter is graet, but 25 Degrees turns out perfectly round and wholesome rings that are beautiful at 4am.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: TonyC

                                                                                        Will second 25 Degrees - wasn't that crazy about the burger, but would go back for the rings.

                                                                                      2. I like the onion rings at Ruby's Diner (In Rolling Hills or Redondo), they are the breaded type.

                                                                                        1. umami burger's are just right. i suspect the onions are precooked before being battered and fried so that one doesn't end up with the awkward onion sliding out of the crispy shell when taking that first bite. good flavor, good selection of dips.

                                                                                          1. Bar Marmont. (Not the Chateau, but the Bar down on Sunset.)

                                                                                            Not quite as amazing as they were before their reopening, but still among the city's very best.

                                                                                            -----
                                                                                            Bar Marmont
                                                                                            8171 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046

                                                                                            1. Taylor's steak house has great old fashioned thick cut onion rings. They go great with their burger!

                                                                                              1. Walter's 2 Go in Beverly Hills

                                                                                                9601 Wilshire Blvd. (at Camden)
                                                                                                Lobby Level
                                                                                                Beverly Hills, CA 90210
                                                                                                310-275-5505

                                                                                                1. One of the best onion rings I have ever had, burger not so much was at 8 oz. Burger Bar on Melrose.

                                                                                                  http://ftothed.blogspot.com/2009/10/8...

                                                                                                  The Hat's onion rings are too generic tasting for me btw.

                                                                                                  1. I just had a bacon cheeseburger at BLACK ANGUS (which was a FANTASTIC burger!), and it came with fries and 2 onion rings. The onion rings were perfectly crisp--the best ones I've ever had.

                                                                                                    I went to the Northridge restaurant on Corbin, but I assume all Black Angus restaurants are the same.

                                                                                                    1. FWIW, there's a new Bob's in Orange/Anaheim off Katella in the new Stadium Promenade area (west of the Pond, er the Honda Center)....

                                                                                                      1. my husband swears that peach cafe in monrovia has the best onion rings.
                                                                                                        i'm excited to read the good things about yard house onion rings because i LOVE yard house but have not had their onion rings. husband doesn't care for yard house but he'll go to try the onion rings :)

                                                                                                        1. Rise and Fall of a Great Onion Ring Nation

                                                                                                          1981. This is about the time I had my first onion rings at the Bob's Big Boy on Van Nuys and Clark (now a car dealership). Large but light, golden brown and crumbly. A big plate of them, the grease always pooled at the bottom (I mean always). And that was a perfect base for however much catsup I needed.

                                                                                                          1986. Scottsdale, Arizona. Don't remember the name but there's a resort out there where if you get room service, a big basket comes with the thick ketchup only found in the 1 oz jars at hotels. Better than Bob's though plump and "beer-battered".

                                                                                                          1990. Bob's closes. Others remain open with the same onion rings in eastern California, albeit not to my knowledge. At the same time Fatburger opens in Sherman Oaks. The onion rings at the time are essentially perfect and remain so until 9-11. Just like Bob's.

                                                                                                          1991. Ship's instantly becomes a classic in my mind with their burgers, onion rings, and hot fudge sundaes --- a perfect late night choice straight out of a Jeff Goldblum movie. It then closes.

                                                                                                          1992. I discover Norm's. These onion rings are vaguely satisfying but not perfect. I learn a decade later why: they fry EVERYTHING in trans fat and boast about it. Augh!

                                                                                                          1994. I discover Panos. A bit sweet, not sturdy like those at Big Boy or plump like those in Scottsdale. On Victory and Woodley, a hybrid of Tony Roma's loaf and Bob's. Change to frozen onion rings in 2007.

                                                                                                          You can try the homemade onion rings at Bob's in Northridge or Burbank, or Fatburger and you'll find the same item, same ingredients. No one knows how to make them. As one fatburger employee told me, "Everyone makes them different." A waiter at the Northridge Bob's repeated the mantra.

                                                                                                          Dupar's still has excellent onion rings, and Jerry's deli.

                                                                                                          I have hope for some of the classic places I haven't tried, like Twohey's, which I plan to try. However, most places, whether too greasy, too bready, too salty, or too processed, it really comes down to who makes them. Have you ever tried? It's incredibly difficult. Farmer Boys has onion rings that are too oniony. It's the price of appetizer diversity.

                                                                                                          I have learned the universe doesn't want me to enjoy a big plate of onion rings. The calories from the hamburger and the hot fudge sundae are enough for the entire day, and the onion ring takes its rightful place as a garnish on the hamburger (Lamplighter).

                                                                                                          1. 25 degrees. Service is so bad it might not be worth going there for them though.