Where do you get the best French fries in L.A.? Two words: Plan Check.
And why are they the best? Two words: Beef tallow.
Chef Ernesto Uchimura, formerly the corporate executive chef of Umami Burger, opened Plan Check about a year ago.
One of my very favorite restaurants in Los Angeles, Plan Check is located in West L.A.'s Little Osaka. If you're hankering for a burger and fries, this is the place to go.
Restaurant Review: Plan Check — Best Fries in LA
Why are the Plan Check French fries so good? Because they're fried in real beef tallow. McDonald's French fries were fried in beef tallow up until 1983.
Not only is beef tallow much healthier for you and more nutritious (can you say vitamin D and vitamin K2?) but it's also way more delicious. Tallow gives the fries that richly savory “umami” flavor.
Umami is one of the five basic tastes, (together with sweet, sour, bitter and salty). One of the best-known sources of umami is bone broth. Interestingly, breast milk also scores very high on umami — according to the Wikipedia umami page, breast milk contains roughly the same amount of umami as broths.
So yeah, you could say these tallow French fries are one of the very top comfort foods, right up there with a bowl of simmering homemade broth, or nature's number one baby food: mama's milk.
What's on the Menu at Plan Check
What's on the menu besides the fries? (Which you simply MUST order, obviously.)
Here are a few snapshots of the Plan Check menu:
I like to start with oysters on the half shell.
Then I order fries, of course. They have Sweet Potato Waffle Fries (also fried in beef tallow) or you can get the regular potato fries. I love 'em both.
Along with the fries, I recommend the PCB (Plan Check Burger), which is an ode to the McDonald's hamburger.
And the short rib pot roast made with red wine and bone marrow (another great source of umami flavor).
For drinks, they have an excellent selection of beers, a good wine list, a great list of Japanese whiskies. Or, how about a soda float? They have Mexican Coke and housemade sodas: yuzu, tangerine, vanilla cream, and lemon.
Plan Check has been so successful, they're opening a second location in the Fairfax this summer, and eventually a third location downtown.
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