LA's 5 Best Onion Rings

By Lesley Balla  |  April 21, 2014
Credit: Lesley Balla

When it comes to fried foods, the onion ring is like the red-headed step sibling to French fries. They're beautiful when done right - either big, bulbous and batter-dipped, stringy and golden, or cornmeal-coated and crisp - but too often they're misunderstood by cooks. Or just fried frozen, a no-no in the nom-nom world. Having had a delicious plate of fantastic onion rings at Umami Burger the other day, we decided to find more that are just as great. Here's your go-to for the best.

Umami Burger: When these giant rings come to the table piping hot, you practically need a knife and fork to cut into them. The sizable sweet onions are molten inside, sheathed in a thick, soft golden coating. The house-made ketchup is a perfect accompaniment. But ask a server if they have any Gindo's Spice of Life open - this sweet-hot sauce is sold in all locations - and if they'll bring a little spoonful to add to your ketchup. It makes the rings magical. 

Akasha: Known for putting a healthful spin on things, Akasha Richmond created a masterful plate of onion rings at her Culver City restaurant. The organic onions are super sweet. And she uses rice flour instead of wheat flour, which gives them an incredibly light and lacy crisp crunch. The spiced paprika aioli is fantastic for dipping. And bonus: they're gluten-free, a bonus for the sensitive eaters amongst us. 

Fat Dog: We love these onion rings. The coating is a light tempura batter that gets an amazing crunch when fried. It makes for easier eating and dipping into the ketchup and/or garlic aioli (which are also killer when mixed together, by the way). They're perfect with one of the craft beers on tap.

Burger Lounge: The organic grass-fed burger served here - be it elk, lamb or beef - is made even better with a plate of onion rings by its side. Fresh yellow onions are dipped in buttermilk, dredged in flour and then double-coated with panko for extra crunch. The housemade buttermilk ranch dressing is tops for dipping.

25 Degrees: Sometimes getting to the burger joint inside the Roosevelt Hotel is a hassle - unless, of course, you're staying there, or within walking distance, or you find yourself carousing around the Walk of Fame or Chinese Theatre and desperately need something more edible than Hooters. Once inside, you'll want a pile of these onion rings alongside your burger. The coating isn't too thick but it's super crisp, so you never pull the onion out of its golden shell when you bite into it.