Where there are burgers, there are fries, though the details on what goes into making them are up for grabs, including frying oil, type of potatoes, and how they’re cut. The one consensus is that you fry them twice. First in oil that’s about 325 degrees; then drain, cool, and fry again at 375 degrees. The result: golden-brown and crunchy on the outside, souffle-fluffy inside. Simply salted? Drowning in toppings? Your call. Here are our favorites.
Provenance | After 20 tools were tested at this Newport Beach spot, an antique peach-pitting spoon proved best for hand-carving Russet fries that double-fry to crispy brown edges and fluffy centers. Like snowflakes, no two of these petals are alike. House-made ketchup, too. $7. 2531 Eastbluff Dr., Newport Beach, (949) 718-0477
Brussels Bistro | A consistent example of Belgian-style fries, they’re served in a paper cone with dipping sauces. They’re not labeled frites at this Laguna Beach shop, but they’re gorgeous, sizzling, and substantial. Do not let them cool while you compose an Instagram post. $4 to $8. Forest Ave., Laguna Beach, 949-376-7955
Eat Chow | Fried sweet potatoes aren’t easy to crisp up, thanks to their high natural sugar content, but this O.C. mini-chain of modern diners gets them just right, then tosses them in crumbly cotija cheese. House-made chipotle ketchup adds character. $5.50. 1802 Newport Blvd.Costa Mesa, 949-650-2469. 211 62nd St. Newport Beach, 949-423-7080. 313 N. Bush St. Santa Ana, 657-266-0500