Venice Boardwalk Funnel Cakes and Other Essential Westside Greasy Foods

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A funnel cake on Venice Beach. Photos: Courtesy

Paying homage to the grease on National Greasy Foods Day. 

By Kerry Slater 

Finding a spot to grab a healthy bite to eat in Venice is easy, with ample restaurants serving quality, nutritious and delicious meals. Sometimes, however, there is nothing as satisfying as chowing down on a hearty, greasy plate of food, and there was no better day to do that then on October 24, National Greasy Food Day. In honor of this day of cooking grease, deep-fried delights and buttery goodness, here are four Westside eateries to get your grease on.

Rae’s Restaurant

Rae’s Diner, Santa Monica.

I spent five years living in the Midwest and came to appreciate the prevalence of no-frills diners to get a cheap, greasy and hearty breakfast. Moving back to Los Angeles, finding a spot that matches this description is quite the task. Rae’s Restaurant on Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica, however, seems to fit the bill. A Westside staple since 1967, from the interior and menu to the staff and of course the food, not much has changed over the years at Rae’s. The eggs are buttery and fluffy, the bacon is crisp yet hearty and the potatoes are as any breakfast potatoes should be, greasy. On top of all of this, one can leave stuffed and coffeed-up for under $12, which on the Westside of L.A. is nothing short of a miracle.

Rae’s Diner is located at 2901 Pico Blvd in Santa Monica. Call (310) 828-7937 for more information and take note, CASH ONLY!

Venice Beach Boardwalk Funnel Cakes

So much has changed over the years in Venice, from Abbot Kinney to Rose Ave, but in many ways the Venice Beach Boardwalk has remained more or less the same. The same characters, the same crowds and of course, the same funnel cakes. There is not one vendor that stands out from the pack as the wholesome, greasy joy of eating a funnel cake really only requires dough, a deep frier, sugar and whipped cream. So next time you are in Venice, craving a funnel cake, follow your stomach and head to the Boardwalk.

Fat Sal’s

A Fat Sal from Fat Sal’s in all its glory.

Many people discover Fat Sal’s for the first time when the line for In-n-Out is too long. One bite of their fat, greasy subs, however, is enough turn passersby into regulars. Their signature sandwich, The Fat Sal, is symbolic of the restaurant’s commitment to grease. With roast beef, mozzarella sticks, onion rings, fries and brown gravy all between a garlic hero, Fat Sal’s is literally not for the faint of heart, but for those looking to indulge, look no further.

Fat Sal’s is located at 972 Gayley Ave in Westwood Village. Call (855) 682-4373 or visit fatsalsdeli.com to learn more.

Marugame Udon

Shrimp tempura at Murugame Udon.

“American food” and “greasy food” are two culinary categories that frequently get interchanged, which is a shame because there are plenty of other types of cusines that can work a number on your arteries. Marugame Udon, located on Sawtelle Boulevard, is an example of this, with their ample selection of fried tempura options available. Large cauldrons of bubbling cooking grease greet diners are they proceed down the line at this cafeteria-style eatery as chefs churn out sizzling deep-fried tempura, from shrimp chicken to potatoes and carrots. Wash it all down with a bowl of udon noodles and a Sapporo and satisfaction is guaranteed.

Marugame Udon is located at 2029 Sawtelle Blvd. Call (424) 317-2222 or visit marugameudon.com for more information.

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