The Best Fritters in Los Angeles

Main image for guide titled The Best Fritters in Los Angeles
Corn fritters at MessHall Kitchen | Photo by Joshua Lurie

There are no rules when frying. Just get a vat of oil bubbling, gather delectable ingredients that are either savory or sweet, and let the oil work its magic. At the L.A. County Fair, vendors have been known to bomb deep fryers with items as disparate as candy bars and artichokes. Thankfully, L.A. chefs have more sense and restraint, and we’ve been graced with some truly inspiring fritters.

Main image for guide_item titled
Fava bean fritter at Bäco Mercat | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Baco Mercat



The first solo venture from chef Josef Centeno in the Downtown Los Angeles Old Bank District stars share-friendly Mediterranean plates and his signature flatbread creation, the bäco. Supple griddled pita-like bread hosts a variety of ingredients, including an interesting twist on falafel that Centeno calls the “fava bean fritter.” The surprisingly light spiced fritters are crusty outside and soft within. They join poblano-feta, chickpeas, pickled red onion strands, crisp greenery and salmorejo, a zesty tomato and bread-based puree that hails from southern Spain.

Main image for guide_item titled
Apple fritter at Blinkie's Donut Emporium | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Blinkie's Donut



Topanga Canyon isn’t just a road built for hippies and drifters. The mountainous path from the San Fernando Valley to the sea also houses one of the best donut shops in the county: Blinkie’s Donut Emporium. This Woodland Hills fixture features a funny sign with eyeballs and long lashes, but inside, the Larsen family’s old school donuts are all business. Old fashioned and glazed donuts routinely sell out by noon, and Blinkie’s also sells scintillating apple fritters. The craggy mass contains cubed, sweet tart fruit and sports a caramelized crust.

Main image for guide_item titled
Moroccan eggplant fritters at Café Rockenwagner | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Café Rockenwagner



Hans Rockenwagner's latest concept in Brentwood resides at the base of The BW, a sleek new mixed-use development. The modern space features AstroTurf tablemats, colorful orange chairs and cool intersecting tile walls behind a zigzag bar. At lunch, look for standout Moroccan eggplant fritters. Roasted eggplant and an Idaho potato binder come spiced with cumin and curry, coated with crispy panko crusts, and served with tangy cucumber mint raita.

Main image for guide_item titled
Josephine's Clam Cakes at Connie and Ted's | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Never has a seafood shack been so stylish. Chef Michael Cimarusti and front-of-house partner Donato Poto present a modern, kitsch-free vision of Cimarusti’s childhood, in dedication to his grandparents, complete with dramatic curves, warm wood and red furniture. The seafood is of course pristine, and the presentation is more approachable than at sister restaurant Providence. Josephine’s Clam Cakes are studded with tender seafood, crispy outside, and surprisingly light. Squeeze on lemon and take the fritters for a dip in tartar sauce to get balancing tang.

Main image for guide_item titled
Conch fritters at Ella's Belizean Restaurant | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Ella’s Belizean Restaurant



This Belizean hole-in-the-wall from Carla Dawson and husband Charles dates to 2011, when the family debuted with three tables in a South L.A. strip mall, naming Ella for their daughter. The tiny space features violet and mustard-colored walls, Belizean flags, and a wall-mounted menu. Ring a bell and order through a barred window. Be sure to snag a pair of conch fritters. The deep-fried, well-spiced fritters are studded with bell pepper and chewy bits of conch. A baggie contains tart, aggressive pickled onions spiked with habanero.

Kale grit fritters at Hudson House

Kale grit fritters at Hudson House

 |  Photo: Joshua Lurie

Hudson House



This five-year-old gastropub from chef-couple Brooke Williamson and Nick Roberts is one of the places setting the standard for bar food in the South Bay. The small space features brick walls, a zinc bar, and a fetching black-and-white photo of bygone Redondo Beach. The food is recognizable, but with twists aplenty, including the kale grit fritters. A Southern staple arrives in cubes, flecked with kale. That makes it healthy, right? Maybe, maybe not, but the crisp crusts are enjoyable, as is the savory Parmesan confetti and punchy sweet pickle tartar sauce.

Main image for guide_item titled
Corn fritters at MessHall Kitchen | Photo by Joshua Lurie

MESSHALL Kitchen



Rob Serritella and longtime Louise’s partner Bill Chait transformed the Los Feliz branch of their trattoria chain into MessHall Kitchen, a military inspired communal dining experience. Sure, it’s possible to grab a burger, fried chicken sandwich, or Scottish salmon in the shadow of Griffith Park, but it’s probably more fun to share “chow,” for variety’s sake. Start with fluffy, kernel-studded corn fritters with thin sheathes. A grouping of golden orbs comes with tart pickled onions and poblano pumpkin Romesco.

Main image for guide_item titled
Zucchini and feta fritters at Momed | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Momed



Longtime fashion professional Alex Sarkissian opened his Modern Mediterranean restaurant on a fashionable stretch of Beverly Hills, complete with an inviting patio, flower-shaped lanterns and decorative spice jars that link to the cuisine’s origins. At night, he incorporates candlelight and jazz into proceedings. Zucchini and feta fritters are one of the top starters. The pan-fried patties are also crafted with mozzarella-like Ackawi cheese, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. The fritters come with tangy citrus and sumac yogurt sauce, a single cherry tomato, and well-dressed arugula salad with shaved red onion.

Main image for guide_item titled
Acra and plantains at TiGeorges’ Chicken | Photo by Joshua Lurie

George Laguerre continues to wave the Haitian flag in Echo Park at TiGeorges’ Chicken, L.A.’s only restaurant devoted to the cuisine of his homeland. The dining room celebrates Haiti with wall-mounted photos and infectious island music. Rotisserie chicken, goat and conch star, but don’t sleep on sides like acra. Laguerre crafts these hushpuppy-like fritters from a blend of taro and herring, resulting in golden sheathes and creamy, pungent cores. Be sure to add Ti Malis sauce, a tangy vinegary sauce punctuated with minced garlic.

Main image for guide_item titled
Salt cod fritters at The Wallace | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Former Major League Baseball pitcher Michael Teich and wife Carol run this seasonal restaurant in downtown Culver City, on the nation’s shortest Main Street. The logo of this fashionably industrial restaurant features an upside down chair, which is normally what you’ll see on tables when a restaurant’s closed, but The Wallace is plenty lively. If you’re craving savory fritters, they have soft salt cod fritters that come with tangy capers, lemon, arugula salad, and piquant roasted garlic aioli. For dessert, The Wallace also has ricotta fritters with custardy cores and brown sugar coats, dipped in molten chocolate ganache.

Main image for guide_item titled
Carrot, sweet potato and potato fritter at Wassada | Photo by Joshua Lurie

Wassada Restaurant



At Wassada, a Koreatown seafood emporium that’s best known for live octopus, the draw is high-value combination platters with plentiful fixings. The $179.99 Sashimi Combination Special is suitable for at least six people. Seafood arrives in waves, including live octopus and shrimp, oysters on the half-shell, lobster sashimi, and gochujang dabbed monkfish liver. As your meal winds down, expect a terrific fritter of carrot, sweet potato and potato, judiciously sweet and paired with soy dipping sauce.