Italian, Greek, American — fried cheese spans the world. Prepared in a variety of ways, fried cheese is always a comfort no matter where you are dining. The multiple cultures throughout Los Angeles give way to some very tasty fried cheese dishes. Mozzarella marinara, provoleta, saganaki, fried goat cheese and fried mac ‘n cheese balls each have an international flair in taste and preparation. Here are the five best L.A. restaurants to taste these flavorful fried cheese specialties.
9071 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Dan Tana’s is synonymous with classic Italian cuisine. The West Hollywood restaurant has been serving Los Angeles’ Hollywood community, locals and guests to the city since 1964. Probably the best fried mozzarella dish east of the 405 is here. An excellent first course or eat-at-the-bar food, Dan Tana’s mozzarella marinara is authentic. The fried and breaded mozzarella is creamy on the inside and begging to be dipped into the kitchen’s homemade Italiana marinara. The warm ambience and delicious cuisine gives way to the perfect Italian dining experience.
403 W. 12th St. at Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
Barcito, the Argentine-inspired shared plates bar (open ’til midnight Tuesday-Sunday), is a lively and flavorful dining experience. Inspired by GM and owner Andrea Borgen’s family summers in Buenos Aires visiting her grandparents, the menu is prepared by Executive Chef Chuck Abair. Barcito’s provoleta is a signature dish of Argentina and Uruguay. Chef Abair sears boucheron goat cheese from France’s Loire Valley and cooks it until crispy on the plancha. Abair accompanies it with a charred lemon half to help balance out the creaminess and some toasted baguette. Downtowners appreciate the bar’s wine and beer menu, which features a private label Kolsch on tap from Barrelhouse Brewery. Beverage director Angel Meza keeps the beverage menu interesting and innovative as he creates five rotating cocktails to serve.
1850 N. Vermont Ave.
Los Angeles CA 90027
Patrons eat at Fred 62 for a multitude of reasons including the diner’s all-time classic dish – mac ‘n cheese balls. Macaroni ‘n cheese is one of America’s favorite comfort dishes, and Fred 62 adds that extra element and deep fries it. Served hot, breaded and fried, there are nine mac ‘n cheese balls (perfect for sharing or hoarding). Additional Fred 62 fried favorites include Mr. Frenchy brioche French toast, chickpea fritters and hummus, onion rings and French fries, of course.
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SUR Restaurant & Bar
606 N. Robertson Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Sexy and international, Sur Restaurant is a luxurious restaurant for the romantically-inclined. Owned and run by two couples (Argentinean Guillermo and wife Nathalie Zapata and Brit restauranteurs Lisa Vanderpump Todd and Ken Todd) with celebrity status, Sur is often compared to the style and cuisine of South European dining. At the top of the dinner and happy hours menu is Sur’s signature fried goat cheese balls, which are served with a fresh cucumber salad and mango sauce for dipping. Fresh fish, healthy salads, roasted and grilled meats, pastas and risottos and steamed vegetables are offered for dinner. Vanderpump is known for her friends and TV appearances on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Vanderpump Rules and Dancing With The Stars.
The Great Greek
13362 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Saganaki is the Greek version of fried cheese, and what better hot restaurant spot to indulge than The Great Greek? This traditional Greek dish is made with Greek cheese that is dipped in flour and pan-flamed at a high heat creating a golden crust. A customary first dish at The Great Greek, the saganaki here is cognac. Located along Ventura Blvd’s restaurant row, The Great Greek has been a Valley staple for a fun dinner out. Can’t decide on one particular dish? The café offers a Greek deluxe family style feast, which offers 13 specialties of the house.
Sheryl Craig is a writer with a passion for interesting finds and treasures in Los Angeles. She has a background in journalism and public relations. A mother of two daughters, Sheryl integrates her healthy lifestyle into raising her children. Her work can be found at Examiner.com