This off-menu list does not include anything from In-N-Out or McDonald’s; you already know them. These, which you may not be familiar with, are iconic objects of particular places in Los Angeles. And while access to a few of these dishes (and drinks) will depend on your relationship with the owner (or just your charm), the rest are yours to order at will, now that you know.
1. The “Jazz Burger” in Jitlada
Reserved for regulars or special customers, who might even have to request it in advance due to some ingredients not always on hand, the “Jazz Burger” is the one-off dish from Jitlada owner Jazz Singnasong. It’s a beef patty topped with Thai basil, marinated with garlic, palm sugar, and other ingredients that Singnasong doesn’t disclose, served with a few lettuce leaves to wrap it around (think In-n-Out “protein style” burger) with special sauce, sliced red tomato, purple onion strips and chopped peppers. It’s spicy.
5233 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 667-9809, www.jitladala.wordpress.com.
2. New Jersey bagel sandwich at Joan’s on Third
The New Jersey Bagel Sandwich is a plain bagel with an over-medium egg and melted Monterey Jack cheese. It’s ordered by those who request it directly from owner Joan McNamara (or see it with a food runner delivering it to a table in the market). Another breakfast secret: “egg in a nest”, buttered wheat toast with an egg fried in a hole cut in the toast.
8350 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, (323) 655-2285, www.joansonthird.com.
3. “Secret” cocktail menu at the Château Marmont lobby bar
Chateau Marmont opened its new (unnamed) lobby bar to the public this year, installing bartender Matthew Schaefer. The regular menu automatically delivered to guests at the bar includes classic cocktails. But for a Forbidden Fizz (Rittenhouse rye, Miracle Mile Forbidden bitters, lime juice, homemade grenadine and egg white) or Frozen Rose (Martin Miller gin, aquavit, orgeat, lemon juice, orange bitters and water rose), ask the bartender for the secret cocktail menu. It will cost you; each cocktail is $ 20.
8221 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, (323) 656-1010, www.chateaumarmont.com.
4. Hot chocolate at Cognoscenti Coffee
Yeekai Lim’s Culver City cafe, Cognoscenti Coffee, serves delicious coffees and espressos, but you can also request hot chocolate from the menu made with Twenty-Four Blackbirds Drinking Chocolate (made from organic cocoa beans) and Straus Family Creamery’s barista milk.
6114 Washington Blvd., Culver City, (310) 363-7325, www.popupcoffee.com.
5. Umami Burger Cheese Toddlers
There are thin fries (with truffle salt, or with bacon and cheddar, or with ribs and gravy), sweet potato fries, mashed potatoes, onion rings tempura and fried pickles to accompany your burger in any Umami burger. You know them because they are all on the menu. An option outside the menu? Cheese toddlers. They’re like Tater Tots – packets of grated fried potatoes – but with melted cheese inside, too.
Several locations, www.umamiburger.com.
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