Nachos are party food, sporting event food, late-night soak-up-the-booze food or -- conversely -- kid food. Nachos are not aspirational food. At its most basic, this is a platter of chips covered with a neon foodstuff called cheese. Even when elevated, it isn't pretending to be much more. But it does hit all the points of salty-sweet-crunchy-tangy-spicy joy, and for that it is a huge favorite -- whether you admit to loving this dish or keep it secret.
As a dish, it was invented at The Victory Club in the early 1940's, by Ignacio "Nacho" Anaya in Coahuila, Mexico. It became a staple of cantinas and happy hour menus some time after that.
But a truly good serving of nachos is going to have more than just chips and cheese. It should have flavor, heft, variety, quality ingredients and some thought behind it. Ideally, the toppings are layered in, as opposed to just being tossed on top.
Sure, you can get your fill at El Torito Grill or (we assume) Chili's, but this list isn't about those places. This list is of spots serving up something bigger, bolder and better. And while we not-so-secretly think the number one spot should have gone to the canned cheese and stale chips being passed off as nachos at Dodger Stadium -- because drinking a cold beer and watching our team play on a sunny day is as close as many Angelenos get to nirvana -- we set that aside and came up with 10 other options for your approval. Turn the page.More »