Los Angeles is home to countless kale lovers, avid juicers, spin enthusiasts, gluten-avoiders, and strict dieters of all shapes and sizes.
But everyone cheats once in a awhile, don’t they? You might as well enjoy it.
A cheat day is best approached as the culinary equivalent of a Monet painting–the combination of a variety of ingredients that together form a masterpiece. To put it succinctly, you want to indulge.
To that end, next time you’re feeling like you want to burn down your diet for the day, check this list (in no particular order) to see some of L.A.’s most indulgent options. We even broke it into two parts, the first half for savory fare, the latter half for the sweeter stuff.
And of course not everyone’s definition of decadence is the same so let us know your favorite cheat day spots that didn’t make the list in the comments below.
Above all, enjoy!
For Lovers of Savory Foods…
1. P’tit Soleil
Poutine is what cheat day fantasies are made of and this Westwood eatery is serving up gravy-covered French fries worthy of food coma bliss. They have 10 different options including the traditional Poutine Mario made with French fries, cheese curds and gravy and the gourmet Poutine Marat with filet mignon and a cognac cream sauce.
Eating in a train may not be ideal but when it’s parked in WeHo serving up delicious chili cheese fries, it’s perfect. Check out the train wreck fries made with American cheese, grilled onions and 1000 Island dressing and pair it with their double cheeseburger.
3. Beer Belly
It’s a craft beer spot in the heart of Koreatown and it’s home to plenty of decadent craft foods but none as rich as their duck fat fries served with duck cracklins best paired with their grilled cheese with maple syrup.
#BURGERWEEK returns @theoinkster (Hollywood and Eagle Rock) and we have a front-of-the-line GOLDEN ticket to give out. Full details on our blog, but here's how to win. -Go to Beer Belly this Saturday (5/30) between 12-5pm -Order our Beer Belly Grilled Cheese -Whisper to your server "Burgerlord me please" -Your server will then take your name and email address -One lucky person will be selected randomly at the end of Saturday and will then be contacted by the Oinkster team by Sunday for redemption details.
4. Cha Cha Chili
Asian fusion in L.A. is nothing new but this hole in the wall in East L.A is dishing up some of the best Mexican-Korean combos that will make the trek worthwhile. Their signature short rib (kalbi) chimichanga made with tempura and covered with cheese and Sriracha mayo makes for cheat day leftovers- the best kind.
5. Egg Slut
If you can’t enjoy a cheat day at an eatery with the word “slut” in it, where can you? Though they’re famous for their “slut” specialty made with a poached egg on potato puree, that does not a cheat meal make. Lucy and Ricky, Cam and Mitchell and eggs and bacon are perfect examples of classic pairings that just make you feel good so naturally the bacon, egg and cheese sandwich is a great choice. Feeling a little more adventurous? Try the gaucho made with seared wagyu tri-tip and chimichurri over a medium egg.
6. Masa of Echo Park
The Windy City comes to the City of Angels in the form of a 2-inch cornmeal crust deep-dish pizza. Prepare to wait because they take about 40 minutes to bake but it’s worth it after you take that first bite. Build your own is always fun but the Lots of Meat pizza with their secret recipe sweet Italian sausage is the perfect indulgence.
7. The Oinkster
Their pastrami is on point but this fast-food eatery is entirely made of great cheat day options. They recently opened a Hollywood location with an exclusive menu featuring items like The Cluckster made with buttermilk fried chicken and house made ranch but the classic Oinkster Pastrami with Belgian fries is never a bad choice.
8. Food Haus
You could walk right past this place with its unassuming exterior, it’s that deep a hole in the wall but it’s a different world once inside. From the décor to the mini shopping carts that hold the fries this place is all about fun. Their truffle fries are a must with both great flavor and texture that’ll puts some other French fries to shame. Their burgers are all top-notch made with grass-fed beef on a brioche bun but the Bleu Burger with crispy onions and jalapenos hits the spot.
9. Little Jewels of New Orleans
Southern-style mac ‘n’ cheese is undeniably one of the ultimate comfort foods now add crawfish to it and it’s enough to make you wonder why you haven’t done that before. It wouldn’t be a NOLA foodie experience without Blue Plate mayo slathered on their po’boys made with French bread shipped straight from New Orleans.
10. Bar Amá
This is Tex-Mex gourmet style with plenty of mouthwatering options including one that isn’t even on the menu: the puffy taco. Their tacos are already delicious but, if you request it, they’ll fry the tortilla to create a deliciously greasy taco. The Super Nacho Hour menu is a study in cheat day meals with the eponymous super nachos- no exagerration- as well as Nana’s Frito pie which is as sinfully delicious as it sounds.
And For the Sweet Tooths…
Their Butterscotch Pot de Crème can turn your day around, it’s that good. Made with salted caramel and crème fraîche it’s decadent and a perfect marriage of sweet and salty flavors.
12. Morrison Pub
It’s straight out of the oven and into your mouth because who can wait after taking one look at their bread pudding? They offer three ice cream options but vanilla is best especially when paired with their caramel whiskey sauce because this is a pub after all.
13. Nickel Diner
Speaking of flavorful combinations, bacon and donuts aren’t exactly up there with cookies and ice cream but this eatery makes it work so well that it’s one of their most famous concoctions. The savory flavors of the bacon complement the sweetness of the donut and maple beautifully and make for one epic cheat day treat. Make sure you get there early because they run out quickly!
14. Magnolia Bakery
Their famous banana pudding is utterly simple yet one bite and you wonder where this dessert has been all your life. Banana lovers can rejoice in the fact that they don’t skimp on the bananas making for a rich dessert that perfectly balanced wit the vanilla pudding.
15. Diddy Riese
Cookies and ice cream on their own are already a great dessert but combined they’re even better. This cash-only local favorite offers a variety of cookies and ice cream but the white chocolate chip cookie and strawberry cheesecake chunk ice cream are a must.
16. Bottega Louie
BL is the most reviewed L.A. restaurant on YELP and the star of the show is their macarons. Visually they’re a stunning array of colors so you’ll likely eat with your eyes when making a selection but the salted caramel with milk chocolate ganache and the Earl Grey macarons are a really good place to start.
Southerners may cry blasphemy when they see “Blue” velvet on the menu but one bite of this L.A. version of the Southern classic and all is forgiven. With three layers of blueberry chiffon cake and white chocolate cream cheese frosting it’s the level of sweet reserved for birthdays and celebrations all in one slice- it’s OK to be selfish.
Pancakes are always a treat but these are enriched with ricotta and blueberries and drizzled with maple syrup. What better way to kick off a cheat day?
When the restaurant is named after a custard-filled treat expectations are high and their brunch sweets deliver. The baked pancake with lemon custard is reminiscent of a soufflé with a fluffy texture with gooey custard enticingly dripping on top. There’s something about French toast that evokes lazy Sunday mornings and their thick cut slices of toast topped with red wine poached prunes and mascarpone are truly some of the best in the city.
20. Joan’s On Third
For almost 20 years this L.A. restaurant has been churning out sweets and its legion of devotees includes quite a few celebs. Their chocolate cupcake with coconut is moist and just the right amount of sweet and the tartness of their lemon bar is perfectly tempered by the powdered sugar so if you’re going to cheat it’s best to get two of each.