y4pcT1JaIwGptQJPO6l_mZmgv34 tiffin unboxed: November 2012

The Best Onion Rings

I love onion rings. When you love certain things, usually even a bad version of it is still pretty good.

However, rings that I can live without have the following qualities:
  • too heavily breaded
  • soggy
  • too greasy
  • the onion slides out with the first bite  
Recently I had to pass on a whole plate of rings battered with Cap'n Crunch cereal, because the extreme sweetness with the cereal did not work (even though that was one of my favorite cereals in childhood, along with Lucky Charms).

Akasha Mar10_onion rings chipotle aioli
House Made Onion Rings at Akasha
For me, and many others, one set of onion rings rise above all in L.A. - the House Made Onion Rings at Akasha. Coated with rice flour and served in a cone with smoked paprika aioli and housemade ketchup, they never fail to satisfy the palate.

Recently, after a movie with a couple of friends, we stopped by at Short Order LA. I had to leave early for another engagement, but managed to try their Shallot Rings.

Short Order shallot rings Nov12
Shallot Rings at Short Order LA
Shallots seem to take the taste factor up a notch even from onions. The batter appears to be corn meal in these mini rings that come as tasty and light as possible, as well as perfectly seasoned and crispy.

Tony-onion-ring 5824ajonionring 5822carmonionring
Photos from Boards and Recreation at this link

Throwing in a several at a time into my mouth, it reminded me of the Sopranos finale, the "communion onion ring" scene at the diner. This little bowl for $4 during happy hour felt bottomless even with 4 of us.

Photo courtesy of FastFoodCritic.com review at this link
In a pinch, my favorite less fancy onion rings are undoubtedly the rings at Popeye's Louisiana Chicken. You get 6 of them for $1.99. They are battered rather than breaded and zesty, with a great choice of dipping sauces (not that they need anything).

Although I avoid fast food and the onion rings cannot be found at all branches, I do get tempted to stop when I pass by a Popeye's location. If served right after frying, they taste homemade.


One of the reasons I love to continue blogging is the sharing of information. After tweeting this post, a friend gave me another onion ring suggestion. And it definitely deserves to be added to the list.

Eden Burger Bar's onion rings are lightly battered and perfectly seasoned. A home run!

Eden Burger Bar Dec12_onion rings

Mexican Seafood Crawl

During the late summer my friend, Robert, hosted a Mexican Seafood Crawl in Los Angeles. This kind of thing can be tricky due to the expansive city, but he did well with not too much driving and just enough time in between to want more food at each stop.

Mexican Seafood Crawl Aug12_4 Ricos Mar Azul Mariscos truck c tostada mixtiada

It's always a treat to discover an incredibly tasty, inexpensive and fresh snack close to home. I didn't even know of the Ricos Mar Azul Mariscos truck in Highland Park.

They serve a couple of tostadas and cocktails of shrimp, abalone, octopus (camaron, abulon, pulpo). Many of us opted for the Tostada Mixtiado, containing all of the above and topped with secret recipe sauces, avocado slices, hot sauce and lime. 

Mexican Seafood Crawl Aug12_2 Ricos Mar Azul Mariscos truck a

This Mexico City style truck off Figueroa enjoys a shady location right in front of a park. There are even picnic benches in close proximity.

Mexican Seafood Crawl Aug12_3 Ricos Mar Azul Mariscos truck b menu

And looking at the menu, you can see that all their menu items go for $2 each! Some of the food crawlers vowed to come back after the crawl for another tostada 'dessert'.

For the next stop, we all decided on the best route to get to Ricky's Fish Tacos.
All but 1 or 2 in the group had already tried them and welcomed another visit. This isn't the first time I blogged about Ricky's, and probably won't be the last. You can see their original location at this post.

Mexican Seafood Crawl Aug12_a Rickys Fish Tacos_agua fresca spinach cucumber

Mexican Seafood Crawl Aug12_b Rickys Fish Tacos agua fresca spinach cucumber

Ricky's is open from Thursday to Sunday, except for catering jobs and/or other events. They serve until they run out in the afternoon, and they usually do.

We placed our orders and proceeded for their agua fresca of the day. In this case a refreshing blend of spinach, cucumber, lime and sugar. It looks like a "green drink" but doesn't taste as healthy as it looks.

Mexican Seafood Crawl Aug12_c Rickys Fish Tacos fish batter

Mexican Seafood Crawl Aug12_d Rickys Fish Tacos fish frying

Mexican Seafood Crawl Aug12_e Rickys Fish Tacos fish frying

Mexican Seafood Crawl Aug12_f Rickys Fish Tacos fish frying

Looking at the batter (also secret ingredients) and hearing the sizzle of the fish and shrimp frying up and tortillas browning on the grill, it really whets up the appetite.

Mexican Seafood Crawl Aug12_g Rickys Fish Tacos fish frying

Mexican Seafood Crawl Aug12_h Rickys Fish Tacos fish and shrimp combo taco

Once your order is called, you adorn it with the salsas and creamy sauces you desire. The taco miraculously retains its crunch to the end. Not that it takes long to completely devour them.

Rickys Fish Tacos Oct12_tacos agua fresca a

It must not be hard to imagine why these Ensenada style fish tacos (you can also get shrimp and combo) are on my top 5 favorite lunches list.I"ve been known to plan my schedule around going there if I every have reason to be in the area on Thursdays or Fridays.

Mexican Seafood Crawl Aug12_La Cevicheria a

Mexican Seafood Crawl Aug12_La Cevicheria c bloody clam ceviche

Our final stop at La Cevicheria on West Pico Boulevard. During the last Baja trip, I had the pleasure of trying the local Chocolate Clams (you can see it on this post).

Since then I'd heard of the Bloody Clams, named for their reddish black color.
They serve it Peruvian style (Peruano) and Mexican style (Concha Negra), with worcestershire sauce along with the staples of onion, cilantro, tomatoes and fresh mint.

Mexican Seafood Crawl Aug12_La Cevicheria b bloody clam ceviche

Mexican Seafood Crawl Aug12_1 Ricos Mar Azul Marisco truck tostada mixtiada a

Because Robert and I had reservations for a play in Santa Monica, we had to ask for our order to go. We ended up eating it with the tostadas during the 5-minute intermission of the play.

If couldn't have been messier, literally dripping onto our clothes, but we didn't care. The chewy, plump clam slices and all the accompaniments won us over.

Because of being on the run, we missed the opportunity to photograph the ceviche over ice and in shells, like they are served, but at least we got to enjoy it.

Ruskin Theater Group Aug12_Sideways Play d

On the way back to the car, this abandoned mannequin head, most likely from the antique sale from earlier in the day, bid me my farewell.

Ricky's Fish Tacos (Food Stand) on Urbanspoon
La Cevicheria on Urbanspoon