Make no bones about it, when it comes to headline-making county fair foods: Fried is tried-and-true.
If something edible is rolled in batter then thrown in hot oil, it is a fancy-capturer, but there's another trend at work on the county fair scene, a tasty one if not an especially outlandish-freaky-foodie one: Gourmet bites, posh sips, and bites that are unfried, unsugared, unstuffed with another food product.
The Los Angeles County Fair, being a biggin' -- that's totally an official term, by the way -- covers all parts of the supping spectrum over its month-long run (which, by the by, runs through Sunday, Sept. 28.
Let's not lead with the fried stuff, as lusciously moist though it is, and instead begin with the wine and beer tasting scene. It's robust at the Pomona party, and the crafty brews run the refreshing gamut from Icelandic white ales to Wisconsin rieslings. Plus? Plenty of regional libations to feel local pride over.
As for the non-stand-y eats? Farm Fresh Flat Bread is the grilled specialty at The Farm, Asian cuisine is on the menu at the lantern-lovely Luminasia, and the Top of the Park Restaurant & Bar has that sit-down inside dining experience.
Okay okay okay: All that booth-blissful crackly-fried goodness is in full fried-fun blossom at the fair, of course.
Want funnel cake? You got it (aside: funnel cake is more old-school than the term "old-school). Deep-fried bacon-wrapped pickles? They're around. The Krispy Kreme Burger of yore has gone full-on triple decker, and the fried Doritos from the San Diego County Fair? Yeah. They're at Chicken Charlie's. Prepare to get orange-tipped fingertips.
If you're someone who feels overwhelmed among the bite-laden booths, best take a peek ahead of time. You can start right here, fair foodie.