LA’s Best Secret Off-Menu Dishes You Need To Know About

Los Angeles is full of restaurants offering secret menus and off-the-menu items for customers in the know. From local staples like the tuna melt at Apple Pan and the fried kreplach at Canter’s, to the ‘secret’ menu at In-N-Out, diners are always out trying to find something new. When ordering this special item, you get a nod of respect from your waiter acknowledging that you’re ‘in the know’ and you can puff up your chest knowing that you know a secret that most diners don’t. For those looking for a special item to impress friends, here are the best secret and off-menu dishes that you should be ordering right now.
 


 
wexlers deli LA’s Best Secret Off Menu Dishes You Need To Know About

(credit: Wexler’s Deli)


The Russian Hack
Wexler’s Deli
616 Santa Monica Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(424) 744-8671
www.wexlersdeli.com

Wexler’s Deli expanded into Santa Monica in May 2016 as chef Micah Wexler and partner Michael Kassar continue to redefine Jewish Deli culture with his modern take on deli classics. Wexler’s uses old-school methods to hand craft their signature meats and smoked fish with all of the smoked fish and meats here are brined, cured, smoked and crafted in-house, and served on rye-bread and bagels baked to Chef Wexler’s specifications. The Russian Hack is available only to Santa Monica Wexler’s die-hards in the know, featuring house-smoked lox, cream cheese, capers, and onions, topped with 30g of Wexler’s Deli Private Lavel Oscietra Caviar for $100.
 


 
otium LA’s Best Secret Off Menu Dishes You Need To Know About

(credit: Sierra Prescott)


Chef’s Choice
Otium
222 S Hope St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 935-8500
www.otiumla.com

Nestled between The Broad Museum and The Emerson, sits Otium, an American contemporary restaurant by chef Timothy Hollingsworth. Hollingsworth provides guests his Chef’s Choice menu where people can choose to do it either family-style, recommended, or individually. The menu isn’t advertised but can request the menu which features items like the: Raw Bar Donabe with Hamachi or Snapper, Chicken in Vessi, a Whole Fish or the Donabe Smoked Duck Crowns.
 


 
the bazaar LA’s Best Secret Off Menu Dishes You Need To Know About

(credit: The Bazaar by José Andrés)


José’s Taco / Avocado Cotton Candy
The Bazaar by José Andrés
SLS Hotel, A Luxury Collection Hotel, Beverly Hills
465 S La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(310) 246-5555
www.sbe.com

Fans of José Andrés can order the off-menu José’s Taco made with the chef’s favorite items: Jamón Ibérico de Bellota & Siberian Sturgeon Caviar. Garnished with chervil and extra virgin olive oil, it’s delicious. Vegetarians can indulge in the secret avocado cotton candy as well, which is the vegetarian-friendly version of the restaurant’s iconic foie gras cotton candy. The dish is crafted with a cube of avocado, dusted in ground corn nuts, and wrapped in cotton candy.

 


 
mexicali taco LA’s Best Secret Off Menu Dishes You Need To Know About

(credit: Paul Yoo/Mexicali Taco & Co.)


Mexicali Fries
Mexicali Taco
702 N Figueroa St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 613-0416
www.mexicalitaco.com

Mexicali Taco’s simple menu featuring flame-grilled meats, captures the taste of the Baja region of Mexicali, Mexico. Aside from their tacos, they are known for their vampire, cachetada and salsa bar that hits every type of taste bud. Their off-menu Mexicali Fries take hand-cut potatoes which are then double fried, then lightly seasoned and topped with their house serrano aoili, roasted peppers, cotija cheese and guacamole.
 


 
ep lp LA’s Best Secret Off Menu Dishes You Need To Know About

(credit: E.P.&L.P.)


Habanero Crispy Chicken Sandwich
L.P. Rooftop
603 N La Cienega Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 855-9955
www.eplosangeles.com

The L.P. Rooftop is part of E.P & L.P, a concept developed by Australian restaurateurs David Combes and Grant Smillie, where Executive Chef Louis Tikaram and Beverage Director Adam Nystrom delight guests with Southeast Asian cuisine and handcrafted cocktails. On the expansive 5,500-square foot rooftop overlooking the Hollywood Hills, guests looking for something a tad spicy can order their off-menu Habanero Crispy Chicken Sandwich featuring crisp fried chicken breast, romaine lettuce, and spicy mayo.
 


 
carlitos gardel LA’s Best Secret Off Menu Dishes You Need To Know About

(credit: Carlitos Gardel)


Whole Ribeye Cap
Carlitos Gardel Restaurant
7963 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 655-0891
www.carlitosgardel.com

Carlitos Gardel Argentine Steakhouse is a family-owned and operated restaurant established in 1996. This West Hollywood gem has built its reputation for the finest of authentic Argentine cuisine, using a menu of family recipes, and hospitality at their intimate location in the Beverly Grove district of Melrose Avenue. Perfect for a party of six to eight meat lovers, their secret off menu item is The Whole Ribeye Cap (48-62oz.) is only available for those who call in advance as the restaurant only serves two portions a night.

 


 
stk LA’s Best Secret Off Menu Dishes You Need To Know About

(credit: STK Los Angeles)


Mac & Cheese
Westwood – STK Los Angeles
W Los Angeles – West Beverly Hills
930 Hilgard Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 659-3535
www.togrp.com

STK artfully blends the modern steakhouse and chic lounge into one offering a dynamic, fine dining experience with the superior quality of a traditional steakhouse. Executive Chef Robert Liberato provides a meat heavy menu, while also featuring a wide array of farm to table dishes, and extensive seafood menu. If you are craving for something cheesy, their off-menu Mac & Cheese which is made with pipette pasta, coated in silk béchamel, aged cheddar, asiago, fontina, parmesan, and gruyere cheese and then caramelized is the perfect option.
 


 
officine brera LA’s Best Secret Off Menu Dishes You Need To Know About

(credit: Jesus Banuelos)


Officine BRERA
1331 E 6th St.
Los Angeles, CA 90021
(213) 553-8006
www.officinebrera.com

Officine BRERA is a contemporary restaurant and bar in DTLA’s Arts District with a rustic Italian menu and special hand-crafted cocktails. Executive Chef Angelo Auriana transports you to the bustling streets of Northern Italy by using locally sourced California produce and fine Italian imports to provide guests an authentic heritage experience. Available by request, the signature Farinata, a popular Italian street food item, is comprised simply of chickpea flour, water, olive oil, and salt.
 


 
frankielucy bakeshop LA’s Best Secret Off Menu Dishes You Need To Know About

(credit: FrankieLucy Bakeshop)


Ube Pavlova
FrankieLucy Bakeshop
3116 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(323) 285-1458
www.frankielucybakeshop.com

Located on Sunset Blvd. in Silver Lake, FrankieLucy Bakeshop opened in January 2017 serving up a stellar selection of craft coffee, specialty beverages, and Filipino-inspired desserts. Along with menu highlights like their bourbon vanilla lattes, upside down pies, and whimsical Unicorn Poop merengues, those truly in the know will opt for the off-menu, Ube Pavlova. The meringue-based treat incorporates the traditional Filipino purple yam, the guest’s choice of custard and topped with a graham cracker crumble.
 


 
ocean prime LA’s Best Secret Off Menu Dishes You Need To Know About

(credit: Ocean Prime – Beverly Hills)


Yellowtail and Salmon Tartare
Ocean Prime
9595 Wilshire Blvd
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
(310) 859-4818
www.ocean-prime.com

Ocean Prime delivers an extraordinary experience with an impressive menu of seafood and prime cuts of steak, signature cocktails, a vast wine list, and an exceptional patio. Restaurateur Cameron Mitchell brings the luxe restaurant and lounge to life with Executive Chef Geoff Baumberger leading the kitchen and sushi chef, Chalo Martinez who offers rotating off-the-menu sushi and sashimi specials, which are prepared daily with seasonal seafood. Chef specialties such as the Yellowtail and Salmon Tartare with a sriracha vinaigrette or the Cucumber roll with tuna, salmon, yellowtail, and tiger shrimp aren’t listed on the menu but can be ordered at lunch or dinner.
 


 
maple block meat co LA’s Best Secret Off Menu Dishes You Need To Know About

(credit: Maple Block)


Brisket Burger
Maple Block Meat Co.
3973 Sepulveda Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90230
(310) 313-6328
www.mapleblockmeat.com

Located in Culver City, Maple Block Meat Co. is a neighborhood restaurant and bar serving wood-smoked meats and great eating food. Paying a tribute to the craftsmanship of butchering and the deep-rooted traditions of American barbecue, they specialize in smoking and grilling meat. Their Brisket Burger is served as an off-menu item at dinner, featuring a 100% beef brisket patty, American cheese, iceberg lettuce, comeback sauce and pickled onions all served on a toasted challah bun. Those looking for some more meat have the option of adding a ¼lb of sliced brisket to the burger.
 


 
salt LA’s Best Secret Off Menu Dishes You Need To Know About

(credit: SALT Restaurant & Bar)


Pork Confit Tortellini
SALT Restaurant & Bar
13534 Bali Way
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
(424) 289-8223
www.marinadelreyhotel.com

SALT Restaurant & Bar at Marina Del Rey Hotel serves a California cuisine sourced from local farmer’s markets and a spirited cocktail menu with signature drinks utilizing fresh ingredients. For those in the know and craving some home-made pasta, their Pork Confit Tortellini is made with house-made tortellini filled with a confit of Berkshire pork. The restaurant then takes their dashi and adds a touch of chicken jus and a touch of “beurre de baratte” butter to enrich it and glaze the Coleman Farms radish and garnish the dish with dollops of tea smoked plum.
 


 
plan check LA’s Best Secret Off Menu Dishes You Need To Know About

(credit: Plan Check)


Mushroom Bun / Grilled Cheese
Plan Check Kitchen + Bar
1800 Sawtelle Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 444-1411
www.plancheck.com

Plan Check Kitchen + Bar, with locations on Sawtelle, Fairfax, Downtown and Santa Monica serves small-plated modern American comfort food paired with specialty cocktails. Two of their off-menu items, which are offered everyday, but are dependent on product availability include the Mushroom Bun with roasted Portobello mushroom, melty swiss, roasted garlic steak sauce, and crispy kale and the Grilled Cheese with two kinds of cheese, pickles served on a panko crusted crunch bun.
 


 
le oyster bar LA’s Best Secret Off Menu Dishes You Need To Know About

(credit: L&E Oyster Bar)


Chowder Fries
L&E Oyster Bar
1637 Silver Lake Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(323) 660-2255
www.leoysterbar.com

L&E Oyster Bar is a neighborhood restaurant with a seasonal seafood focused menu, with a happy hour menu being served every day upstairs from 5-7pm. Following the restaurants opening, chef Spencer Bezaire threw their secret item, the Chowder Poutine together as a family meal to be shared with staff after a long day of work. Known by the staff as Chowder Fries, the dish is made with their French fries, clam chowder and topped with melted cheese and chorizo.

 


 
belcampo LA’s Best Secret Off Menu Dishes You Need To Know About

(credit: Belcampo Meat Co.)


Belcampo Poutine
Belcampo Santa Monica
1026 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(424) 744-8008
www.belcampo.com

Belcampo Meat Co. is a farm, processing plant, and butcher shop all in one, helmed by founder and CEO Anya Fernald. At their flagship location in Santa Monica, they serve rustic, elegant, California cuisine and farm-inspired craft cocktails paired with a full-service butcher shop. Available at their Santa Monica location by request only, the off-menu Belcampo Poutine is crafted with Kennebec fries, red wine demi-glace, cheese curds, and caramelized onions. 
 


 
birdies LA’s Best Secret Off Menu Dishes You Need To Know About

(credit: @imhungry)


Maple Bacon Donut
Birdies LA
314 W Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90015
(213) 536-5720
www.birdiesla.com

Birdies LA offers a simple menu of Americana classics reimagined with a modern twist with artisanal donuts made hourly and free-range fried chicken being the staples of the menu. Along with favorites like the Horchata Twist With Dulce De Leche and Candied Bacon Maple donut, those looking for something both sweet and filling should know about their maple bacon donut with a sunny-side up egg, fried chicken tender, Applewood smoked bacon, Tillamook Cheddar cheese and Birdies special sauce.
 


 
the church key LA’s Best Secret Off Menu Dishes You Need To Know About

(credit: The Church Key)


Chocolate and Salted Caramel Parfait
The Church Key
8730 W Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(424) 249-3700
www.thechurchkeyla.com

The lively casual dining atmosphere at The Church Key presents guests with a take on Modern American Cuisine that incorporates carts and a dim sum style of cuisine along with an extensive seasonal shared plate dining experience. To pair with their “funked” up cocktails, and an array of specialty cocktail carts, try their off-menu dessert, the Chocolate and Salted Caramel Parfait. Chef Ryan Ososky takes his homemade chocolate cake and tops it with salted caramel sauce, chocolate mousse and peanut brittle.
 


 
kettle black LA’s Best Secret Off Menu Dishes You Need To Know About

(credit: Kettle Black)


Rogue One Pizza
Kettle Black
3705 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(323) 641-3705
www.kettleblackla.com

Kettle Black, an Italian restaurant located in Silver Lake, is helmed by Executive Chef Sydney C. Hunter III. The 3,000-square foot space, originally home to the California Bank, seats 105 guests and features a modern approach to a rustic aesthetic that supports artisanal and handmade food and cocktails. Those looking for something a little special can order one of their off-the-menu pizzas which include the Rogue One, Italian in Paradise and Chef’s Special.
 


 
serafina sunset LA’s Best Secret Off Menu Dishes You Need To Know About

(credit: Erika Huennekens)


Serafina Sunset
8768 Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 659-9130
www.serafinasunset.com

Vittorio Assaf and Fabio Granato share their casual Italian menu with guests at Serafina Sunset serving thin-crust pizza, homemade pasta and more. Favorites here include Paglia and Fieno, Spaghetti Aglio E Olio “Al Pacino”, and the Veal Scaloppine Al Limone while those in the know come back for the Carbonara.
 


 
yamashiro LA’s Best Secret Off Menu Dishes You Need To Know About

(credit: Yamashiro)


Shrimp Kataifi
Yamashiro Hollywood
1999 N Sycamore Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90068
(323) 466-5125
www.yamashirohollywood.com

Perched high up in the Hollywood Hills with views of the entire city, the legendary Yamashiro Hollywood serves sushi and Cal-Asian fare based on fresh ingredients. Enjoy special rolls, signature entrees, sashimi and more in their separate dining rooms and their beautiful outdoor patio. Off-the-menu items include their Shrimp Kataifi, Spot Shrimp Japanese Cevi and Wagyu Beef Tataki.
 


 
tuck room tavern LA’s Best Secret Off Menu Dishes You Need To Know About

(credit: Tuck Room Tavern)


Pork Belly “Candy”
Tuck Room Tavern
10850 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90024
(310) 307-7004
www.thetuckroom.com

The Tuck Room Tavern features whimsical decor and delectable dishes from James Beard Award winner, Chef Sherry Yard. To complement their menu, which is comprised of twists on tasty American cuisine, they offer signature cocktails and desserts like the Strawberries & Cream. Those looking for something a bit more special can take a seat at their U-shaped bar and order their off-menu Pork Belly “Candy” which is made with pork belly, Nuoc Cham caramel and topped with Brunoise cilantro.
 


 
nong la LA’s Best Secret Off Menu Dishes You Need To Know About

(credit: Nong La)


Chef’s Special
Nong La
2055 Sawtelle Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 268-1881
www.nonglacafe.com

Nong Lá, a family owned restaurant, offers traditional dishes such as pho, bun, and bánh mì, with flavors reminiscent of the ones you find in homes and on the streets of Vietnam. Siblings Elaine and Victor Phuong teamed up with their uncle and cousin to open their first location on Sawtelle in 2012 and have since expanded to a second location on La Brea Blvd. Their off-menu “Chef’s Special” features pho with beef ribs and tendons. The ribs are part of the base they use to make the pho broth, simmered every morning from 3am on. The result is a super tender, beefy rib meat and tendon imbued with the aromatics used to make the broth. There are roughly 10-15 portions available per day at both locations, while quantities last.
 


 
badmaash LA’s Best Secret Off Menu Dishes You Need To Know About

(credit: Badmaash)


Fried Butter Chicken Sammich
Badmaash
108 W 2nd St #104
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 221-7466
www.badmaashla.com

At Badmaash, chef Pawan Mahendro prepares modern takes on many Indian classics with the help of his sons Nakul and Arjun. Badmaash, which means “rascal” in Hindi, is displayed by vibrant hues, bold iconography, raucous music and twists on traditional Indian dishes such as the ever-popular Chicken Tikka Poutine. For their off-menu special, Badmaash stays true to its name with their Fried Butter Chicken Sammich is available as an off-menu special during dinner service or their recently launched brunch. Made with juicy marinated chicken in a spiced batter, double-fried crisp and dipped in a smoky butter chicken sauce, the sandwich is served on a grocery store bun with pickles and iceberg lettuce and served with cumin coleslaw.
 


 
doma kitchen LA’s Best Secret Off Menu Dishes You Need To Know About

(credit: Doma Kitchen)


Russian Spiced Double Chicken Burger
Doma Kitchen
Villa Marina Marketplace Mall,
4325 Glencoe Ave #8
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
(310) 301-0582
www.domakitchen.com

Chef Kristina Miksyte at Doma Kitchen, offers an international-inspired cuisine with an emphasis on Eastern European and Central Asian techniques. Miksyte wanted to offer guests something else besides a traditional burger, so he decided to offer a special Russian Spiced Double Chicken Burger for those who want to pull their server aside and ask for something off-menu. The fresh-chicken burger is paired with provolone cheese, guacamole, tomato, lettuce, and served on a brioche bun to give diners a lighter option versus a heavy burger.
 


 
bncc83coshop LA’s Best Secret Off Menu Dishes You Need To Know About

(credit: Chef Josef Centeno)


Nacho Tots
BäcoShop
9552 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
(424) 258-6301
www.baco-shop.com

Los Angeles chef Josef Centeno (Bäco Mercat, Orsa & Winston, Bar Amá, Ledlow, P.Y.T.) opened the highly-anticipated BäcoShop in Downtown Culver City in 2017. Featuring lunch, dinner, and grab-and-go items in a convenient and casual environment, BäcoShop integrates bold flavors from around the world into its popular flatbread-based bäcos and bäcorritos and a daily rotation of seasonal salads and vegetables. In addition to items on the menu, guests in-the-know can order the off-menu Nacho Tots, made from BäcoShop’s cheddar-filled, bite-sized hash browns, topped with nacho sauce and all the fixings, including chopped herbs, pickled red onions, jalapeños, and crumbled cheese.
 


 
Jarone Ashkenazi is a freelance writer who covers restaurants, bars, dating, relationships, sports and other lifestyle topics. View his work at www.jaroneashkenazi.com, or connect with him on Twitter: @JaroneAsh.`

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