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The Best Loaded Fries In Los Angeles

The world is on fire.

The world is also on fries.

In Los Angeles, that is.

And seeing as the whole shithouse may be finally going up in flames, you may as well abandon all your dietary diffidence to tamp those touchy End Day emotions down with a plate of fried potatoes blanketed in cheese and an entire culture’s worth of culinary touchstones.

Here’s where you can get eleven loaded fries that are anything but French in Southern California.

Birdie G's Reuben Fries

Birdie G’s: Reuben/Caesar fries

Only found during happy hour (from 5-6pm daily) in the Santa Monica restaurant’s bar and lounge, chef Jeremy Fox puts his nostalgic Eastern European-Californian spin on two different variations of loaded fries. There are "Caesar Fries" laden with the titular salad of gem lettuce, anchovies, capers, and egg yolk bottarga. Then there are "Ruben Fries," the hulking challenge you see before you; a cast iron pan overflowing with a gooey nest of fries, sauerkraut, corned beef, mozzarella, gruyere, and smoked tomato remoulade. Should you want your fries more minimal, the main menu also offers steak frites with protein options such as a koji-spread flatiron steak, corned tri-tip, and 50-day aged ribeye, all mingling with a mountain of those crispy fries aside a ramekin of pale-yellow aioli.

2421 Michigan Ave. Santa Monica, CA 90404. Closest Metro line and stop: Metro E Line - “26th Street/Bergamot Station.”

Cacao Mexicatessen's Mole Fries

Cacao Mexicatessen, Mole, Duck Carnitas, Cochinita Pibil, and Birria De Res Fries

Behold a near-infinite universe of French-fried possibilities at this modern Mexican Eagle Rock classic. Order the "Gringo Fries" and you’ll get your fat, hand-cut, golden spuds with two cheeses and a salsa de queso, plus guacamole, sour cream, red onions, cilantro, and a side of salsa ranchera. If that’s too vanilla for your tastes, there’s also the option to load on items like duck carnitas, birria de res, Korean galbi, cochinita pibil, or cauliflower chorizo. Better still are the standout "Mole Fries," saturated in the restaurant’s Mission fig mole poblano, with an option to add duck confit on top. Which you should. We’ll do our part and look away as you lick the plate.

1576 Colorado Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90041. Closest Metro line and stop: Bus Line 180 - “Colorado/Townsend.”

Roots Indian Bistro's Paneer Fries

Roots Indian Bistro: Paneer Fries

This modern Melrose Indian restaurant mashes up the dairy-based pleasures of poutine with the rich spices of the Subcontinent, ladling a buttery masala studded with soft paneer over a bed of crispy, medium-thick fries, before topping the plate with tomatoes, cilantro, red onions, and shredded mozzarella in a kind of deconstructed aloo chaat melding crunchy textures and evocative flavors.

7265 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Line 10 - “Melrose/Poinsettia” or Bus Line 212 - "La Brea/Melrose."

Umaya's Gyu Fries

Umaya: Gyu Fries

This fresh Koreatown Japanese restaurant specializes in sushi, ramen, donburi bowls, and izakaya snacks. Between the many selections, you’ll find simple fries sprinkled in togarashi spices and the meatier, loaded variation known as "Gyu Fries," for the Japanese word for beef. These piquant golden potatoes come stitched with paper-thin shreds of fatty meat, squiggles of Kewpie, and stretchy Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses. Though positioned as an appetizer, you won’t need much else to eat for the next 24 hours after killing this plate.

3322 Wilshire Blvd. #100 Los Angeles, CA 90005. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Line 20 - “Wilshire/Catalina”, Metro B and D Lines or Bus Lines 204, 720 and 754 - "Wilshire/Vermont."

Dirt Dog's Chorizo Fries

Dirt Dog: Elote, Chorizo, and Asada Fries

The Dirt Dog chain brings the fiesta to your fries and hot dogs, loading all kinds of Mexican meats and favorite snack foods on top of their spuds and all-beef wieners. There are "Elote Fries" topped with corn, Tajin, cotija cheese, and lime-mayo. “D.U.I. Fries” with dueling layers of asada and pastrami. And "Dirty Chile Fries," enmeshed in a nebula of cheddar cheese, chopped onions, and chorizo chili. All three have bacon bits, too. In case you’re over subtlety. Four L.A. locations here.

The Tropic Truck's Shrimp and Lobster Fries

The Tropic Truck: Jerk Chicken, Roasted Pork, Surf n’ Turf, and Shrimp and Lobster fries

Lauren and Nelson Saravia’s long-running L.A. food truck offers a spate of Caribbean and Southern Floridian cuisines in one place. Tropic’s point-of-view extends equally to the fries. Seriously intimidating plates of loaded fries, such as those poking from a mound of shredded, roasted pork rimmed with pico de gallo, chipotle crema, and lime tarragon sauce. Or fries topped in chopped, blackened jerk chicken, as well as those split neatly down the middle between surf and turf. Jump when the shrimp and lobster fries appear. And if you need it, there’s even a vegetarian version loaded with broccoli and shrooms. The Tropic Truck.

Tony's Firehouse Tavern's Tony's Fries

Firehouse Taverna: Feta Fries

This Tarzana Greek favorite serves seasoned, slightly thicker, but no less crispy fries. It’s only when they get topped with sharp feta cheese, olive oil, and oregano that they achieve the status befitting Cypriot myth. For this is when they become known as “Tony’s Fries,” for owner and chef Antonis “Tony” Konnaris, he who turned the venerable Fire House into a paeon for the food of his childhood. While also making room for deep-fried Oreos, jalapeno poppers, and feta-topped fries on the menu.

18450 Victory Blvd, Tarzana, CA 91335. Closest Metro lines and stop: Bus Lines 164 or 240 - “Victory/Reseda.”

Streets of Vietnam Truck's garlic chicken fries

Streets of Vietnam Truck: Vietnamese Fries

The influence of Vietnamese fried-garlic-and-chicken-based cơm gà mắm tỏi sings out from this orange-on-yellow excess of French fries and garlic chicken. Find them circulating through town on the four wheels of the pop-up-favoring Streets of Vietnam truck, soaked in a thick, glossy brown gravy of Hoisin and Sriracha garlic mayo, and studded with flecks of fried garlic, roasted peanuts, and cilantro. Steak-covered and lemongrass tofu fries are also known to make occasional appearances. Streets of Vietnam.

Mr. Fries Man's Habanero Chicken Fries

Mr. Fries Man: Build Your Own Fries

If you’ve ever dreamed of seeing it on a French fry, Gardena-originated Mr. Fries Man is the first place you should seek it out in real life. Absolutely besotting fries in word salads of weird shit is what this franchise does best: lemon garlic crab-and-shrimp, chicken bacon parmesan, breakfast fries with “Hello” sauce, mango habanero chicken fries… or more likely, your own beguiling combinations of meat, chili, and cheese hewn from their "Build Your Own Fries" menu. Various locations in L.A. and O.C.

Far East Joint's Spicy Tuna Fries

Far East Joint: An International Panoply of Fusion-y Fry-Dom

A family-owned fusion-buff in West Covina, Far East Joint is a fry-lover’s fantasy. With thin, delicious fries topped in such splendors as scoops of spicy tuna over coagulating cheese, Hot Cheetoes with Tapatio, pastrami with 1,000 Island, asada with avocado, Buffalo chicken, curry, and Korean bulgogi and kimchi.  And, thank god, there is beer, too.

1230 Lakes Dr. Ste. 104 West Covina, CA 91790. Closest transit lines and stop: Foothill Transit Lines 480, 488, and 707 (Silver Streak) - "Vincent/Lakes."

Ojai Burger's Topa Topa Fries

Ojai Burger: Kaarage and Wagyu-Loaded Furikake Fries

We’re not about to leave O.C. out of all this fun. At Ojai Burger in Orange, you can order Wagyu burgers and Mochi waffles, along with an assortment of loaded fries bearing Japanese ingredients. These include thin, furikake-dusted fries loaded with nugs of kaarage fried chicken, house made miso, and Kewpie, and the "Topa Topa" fries you see above you, piled with strips of Japanese Wagyu, avocado, Kewpie, crispy onion, and barbecue sauce. Simper versions come striped in spicy miso or sweet okonomi sauces.

238 W. Chapman Ave. Unit 100, Orange, CA 92866. Closest transit lines and stop: Metrolink Orange County and Inland Empire-Orange County Lines, OC Bus Lines 54, 56, and 59 - "Orange Transportation Center."

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