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16 Must-Order Side Dishes That Steal the Show in Los Angeles

Forget your entrée and go for the goods.

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When categorizing side dishes, it quickly becomes apparent that they typically fall under the categories of fried foods, carbohydrates, heavily buttered small plates, or any combination of the three. Sure, there are exceptions, but the bottom line is that sides are frequently the most delicious, indulgent part of a meal.

With modern menus often breaking away from the traditional appetizer, entrée, and side format, this map defines sides as dishes that could not (or at least should not for cardiac health's sake) stand alone as a full meal. Here now, side dishes finally have their time to shine with the 16 best in the city, in no particular order:

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Pommes Aligot at Redbird

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114 E 2nd St
Los Angeles, CA
(213) 788-1191
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There is perhaps no more traditional of a side than mashed potatoes. Neal Fraser takes them to the next level by mixing creamy potato puree with an equal proportion of unbelievably rich and buttery Point Reyes Toma cheese. Enter the cheesy mashed potatoes of your dreams that just may be better than your entrée.

2. Daikon Radish Kimchi at Mapo Kkak Du Gi

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3611 w 6th st
Los Angeles, CA 90020
You know what’s even better than an great side dish? A side dish you don’t even have to pay for! Free sides, or banchan, are only one of the many reasons Korean food is so great (sizzling marinated meat hello?!), but amazing banchan is really a special treat. Mapo Kkak Du Gi’s eponymous dish, kkak du gi, is perfectly fermented cubes of radish with the funk and spice that is an essential component to a Korean meal.

3. French Fries at Dino's Chicken and Burgers

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2575 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006
(213) 380-3554
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When asked if you want fries with your meal at Dino’s, the answer should always be yes. When ordered with Dino’s famous chicken, the fries act as a base to soak up the garlicy chicken drippings. Or give your fries the VIP treatment and get them DUI style with chili, cheese, carne asada, pastrami, and Dino’s sauce. Yes, please!

4. Bacon Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits at Manhattan Beach Post

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1142 Manhattan Ave
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
(310) 545-5405
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You know a side is great when it’s the main reason you go to a restaurant. Such is the case with MB Post’s bacon cheddar buttermilk biscuits. With crispy, cheesy ends and a side of maple butter, they may be the most glorious pieces of carbohydrate deliciousness you’ve ever consumed

5. Boribap at Hangari Bajirak Kalgooksoo

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3470 W 6th St
Los Angeles, CA 90020
Not only does Hangari Bajirak Kalgooksoo have one of the best kalgooksoos, or Korean chicken soup with knife-cut noddles, in town, but that also an incredibly unique banchan. Typically a peasant dish, boribap, literally barley rice, comes with fermented bean paste, young radish kimchi, and sesame oil for a sort of DIY bibimbap that’s as authentic as it gets.

6. Hoe Cake at Barrel & Ashes

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11801 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604
(818) 623-8883
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The buttery hoe cake at Chef Timothy Hollingsworth’s Barrel & Ashes has become the must-order side. Served in a sizzling skillet with a side of maple butter, this corn bread-esque dish is the ideal complement to an elevated barbeque meal.

7. Gries at My Two Cents

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5583 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90019
(323) 938-1012
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Grits + fries = gries. Yup, that means two of the most comforting sides are mashed together to make the ultimate hybrid side dish at the restaurant that offers a thoughtful, health-conscious take on Southern cuisine.

8. Alaska King Crab Black Truffle Gnocchi at Mastro's Ocean Club

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18412 Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu, CA 90265
(310) 454-4357
An integral part of the dining experience, sides can tell a lot about a steakhouse. Take upscale steakhouse chain Mastro’s, who goes beyond the classics to include sides that truly exhibit magnificent excess. Take the Alaska king crab black truffle gnocchi. Paired with a solid porterhouse, could it get any more luxurious?

9. Fried Pickle Chips at Tom Bergin's

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840 S Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 936-7151
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Tom Bergin’s fried pickle chips are the ultimate way to satisfy cravings for deliciously salty fried food. House dill pickles are coated in Bergin’s Brew for a super light batter than gets perfectly crispy. Dunk them in buttermilk ranch and forget about the rest of the meal.

10. Chili Cheese Tots at Dog Haus Biergarten

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93 E Green St
Pasadena, CA 91105
(626) 683-0808
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These aren’t your middle school cafeteria tater tots. Dog Haus smothers their tots in house-made cheese sauce, cheddar, Haus chili, and spiced scallions. Just be sure to take your Lipitor.

11. Asparagus at Pacific Dining Car

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2700 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90403
(310) 453-4000
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A little too much fried food for you? Keep it simple with Pacific Dining Car’s asparagus. Blanched to assure crispness and conserve fresh flavor, these are vegetables done right. There’s certainly something to be said for simplicity, but a nice douse of hollandaise sauce doesn’t hurt either.

12. Lunch Box Rice at Kang Ho Dong Baek Jeong

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3465 W 6th St
Los Angeles, CA 90020
(213) 384-9678
If a side dish actually requires you to play with your food, it automatically deserves some recognition. One of Koreatown’s KBBQ stars offers lunch box rice, a gold tin full of fried rice, egg, seaweed, and kimchi that is vigorously shaken tableside until well mixed.

13. Yorkshire Pudding at Lawry's The Prime Rib

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100 N La Cienega Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
(310) 652-2827
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There’s just nothing like the crispy Yorkshire Pudding with a soft, well, pudding-like center from Lawry’s. A prime rib meal just isn’t complete without sopping up the meat’s jus with the essential side.

14. Bucket of Bacon at Charcoal

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2611 Hyperion Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
+32 3 300 55 00
If diners consumed this as an entrée, you’d probably see a row of gurneys prepared to haul ‘em out. But really, what could possibly complement a gluttonous meal of Kansas City BBQ better than straight up bacon? The answer is nothing.

15. Fried Fish at BCD Tofu House

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869 S Western Ave, #2
Los Angeles, CA 90005
(213) 380-3807
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While all Korean restaurants offer banchan, they are not all created alike. While BCD offers outstanding tofu soup, they don’t skimp on their sides either, and is one of the few places that include a full fried fish with each meal. The yellow croaker is crisp and delicate with some serious salinity, but the best part is it’s 100% gratis.

16. Sunchokes at Birch

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1634 North Cahuenga Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90028
Although you may expect to see gastropub-like fare from Chef Brendan Collins’ Birch, the menu is actually rather international, reflecting the culinary fabric of LA. Consider the fried Thai curry sunchokes for a complex side with a rich spice that is brightened by a squeeze of lime.

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1. Pommes Aligot at Redbird

114 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA
There is perhaps no more traditional of a side than mashed potatoes. Neal Fraser takes them to the next level by mixing creamy potato puree with an equal proportion of unbelievably rich and buttery Point Reyes Toma cheese. Enter the cheesy mashed potatoes of your dreams that just may be better than your entrée.
114 E 2nd St
Los Angeles, CA

2. Daikon Radish Kimchi at Mapo Kkak Du Gi

3611 w 6th st, Los Angeles, CA 90020
You know what’s even better than an great side dish? A side dish you don’t even have to pay for! Free sides, or banchan, are only one of the many reasons Korean food is so great (sizzling marinated meat hello?!), but amazing banchan is really a special treat. Mapo Kkak Du Gi’s eponymous dish, kkak du gi, is perfectly fermented cubes of radish with the funk and spice that is an essential component to a Korean meal.
3611 w 6th st
Los Angeles, CA 90020

3. French Fries at Dino's Chicken and Burgers

2575 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006
When asked if you want fries with your meal at Dino’s, the answer should always be yes. When ordered with Dino’s famous chicken, the fries act as a base to soak up the garlicy chicken drippings. Or give your fries the VIP treatment and get them DUI style with chili, cheese, carne asada, pastrami, and Dino’s sauce. Yes, please!
2575 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90006

4. Bacon Cheddar Buttermilk Biscuits at Manhattan Beach Post

1142 Manhattan Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
You know a side is great when it’s the main reason you go to a restaurant. Such is the case with MB Post’s bacon cheddar buttermilk biscuits. With crispy, cheesy ends and a side of maple butter, they may be the most glorious pieces of carbohydrate deliciousness you’ve ever consumed
1142 Manhattan Ave
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

5. Boribap at Hangari Bajirak Kalgooksoo

3470 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90020
Not only does Hangari Bajirak Kalgooksoo have one of the best kalgooksoos, or Korean chicken soup with knife-cut noddles, in town, but that also an incredibly unique banchan. Typically a peasant dish, boribap, literally barley rice, comes with fermented bean paste, young radish kimchi, and sesame oil for a sort of DIY bibimbap that’s as authentic as it gets.
3470 W 6th St
Los Angeles, CA 90020

6. Hoe Cake at Barrel & Ashes

11801 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604
The buttery hoe cake at Chef Timothy Hollingsworth’s Barrel & Ashes has become the must-order side. Served in a sizzling skillet with a side of maple butter, this corn bread-esque dish is the ideal complement to an elevated barbeque meal.
11801 Ventura Blvd
Studio City, CA 91604

7. Gries at My Two Cents

5583 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019
Grits + fries = gries. Yup, that means two of the most comforting sides are mashed together to make the ultimate hybrid side dish at the restaurant that offers a thoughtful, health-conscious take on Southern cuisine.
5583 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90019

8. Alaska King Crab Black Truffle Gnocchi at Mastro's Ocean Club

18412 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265
An integral part of the dining experience, sides can tell a lot about a steakhouse. Take upscale steakhouse chain Mastro’s, who goes beyond the classics to include sides that truly exhibit magnificent excess. Take the Alaska king crab black truffle gnocchi. Paired with a solid porterhouse, could it get any more luxurious?
18412 Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu, CA 90265

9. Fried Pickle Chips at Tom Bergin's

840 S Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Tom Bergin’s fried pickle chips are the ultimate way to satisfy cravings for deliciously salty fried food. House dill pickles are coated in Bergin’s Brew for a super light batter than gets perfectly crispy. Dunk them in buttermilk ranch and forget about the rest of the meal.
840 S Fairfax Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036

10. Chili Cheese Tots at Dog Haus Biergarten

93 E Green St, Pasadena, CA 91105
These aren’t your middle school cafeteria tater tots. Dog Haus smothers their tots in house-made cheese sauce, cheddar, Haus chili, and spiced scallions. Just be sure to take your Lipitor.
93 E Green St
Pasadena, CA 91105

11. Asparagus at Pacific Dining Car

2700 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403
A little too much fried food for you? Keep it simple with Pacific Dining Car’s asparagus. Blanched to assure crispness and conserve fresh flavor, these are vegetables done right. There’s certainly something to be said for simplicity, but a nice douse of hollandaise sauce doesn’t hurt either.
2700 Wilshire Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90403

12. Lunch Box Rice at Kang Ho Dong Baek Jeong

3465 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90020
If a side dish actually requires you to play with your food, it automatically deserves some recognition. One of Koreatown’s KBBQ stars offers lunch box rice, a gold tin full of fried rice, egg, seaweed, and kimchi that is vigorously shaken tableside until well mixed.
3465 W 6th St
Los Angeles, CA 90020

13. Yorkshire Pudding at Lawry's The Prime Rib

100 N La Cienega Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211
There’s just nothing like the crispy Yorkshire Pudding with a soft, well, pudding-like center from Lawry’s. A prime rib meal just isn’t complete without sopping up the meat’s jus with the essential side.
100 N La Cienega Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90211

14. Bucket of Bacon at Charcoal

2611 Hyperion Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027
If diners consumed this as an entrée, you’d probably see a row of gurneys prepared to haul ‘em out. But really, what could possibly complement a gluttonous meal of Kansas City BBQ better than straight up bacon? The answer is nothing.
2611 Hyperion Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027

15. Fried Fish at BCD Tofu House

869 S Western Ave, #2, Los Angeles, CA 90005
While all Korean restaurants offer banchan, they are not all created alike. While BCD offers outstanding tofu soup, they don’t skimp on their sides either, and is one of the few places that include a full fried fish with each meal. The yellow croaker is crisp and delicate with some serious salinity, but the best part is it’s 100% gratis.
869 S Western Ave, #2
Los Angeles, CA 90005

Related Maps

16. Sunchokes at Birch

1634 North Cahuenga Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Although you may expect to see gastropub-like fare from Chef Brendan Collins’ Birch, the menu is actually rather international, reflecting the culinary fabric of LA. Consider the fried Thai curry sunchokes for a complex side with a rich spice that is brightened by a squeeze of lime.
1634 North Cahuenga Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90028

Related Maps