Recently, we've seen the rise of everything from hyper veganism to cronuts and Sriracha-flavored everything, but not every trend can go the way of chicken and waffles or Asian Cajun shrimp boils. Some are destined to be married, some are meant to be beded and left, and the rest, well… they might not be the best to talk about.
These are the food trends that we'd love to take home to the parentals, the ones we'll always remember fondly and the ones we can't wait to forget.
Cronuts — Bed
Earlier this year, everyone from New York to Los Angeles was getting in line for the croissant-donut hybrid lovingly christened the “cronut,” and it's time to ask the long-awaited question: Does it have staying power of the classic croissant or the mighty American donut?
Well, no. Don't get me wrong, the cronut makes for great food porn, but its buttery-fried texture means eating one is a slightly overwhelming experience, even worse when it's covered in sweet cream. That being the case, the cronut is an experience, so it's worth giving it at least a one-night stand.
Juice Bars — Marry
Who knew that one great day we would be drinking our kale. Kale-stained juice bars like Nekter and Juice It Up! have been sprouting on every Southern Californian corner, joining the ranks of the “JUGOS NATURALES” stands and redefining our idea of what makes for a refreshing drink. They're here to stay, because where else but Southern California can you enjoy a glass of cold juice in February?
Sriracha-Flavored Everything — Kill
Sriracha vodka, sriracha candy canes, sriracha lip balm, lollipops, and popcorn, the guys at J&D are seriously trying to bring Sriracha into every aspect of your life, and I'm going to say it's starting to get annoying. Sriracha itself is great, the coercion of its flavor into every food commodity possible is getting out of hand. Slippery slope argument be damned; next thing you know, you will be finding it in your frappuccino and as the filling in your chocolate, and who knows what that will do to us. [Not to mention the complete disconnect between anything sriracha-flavored and Huy Fong's genuine cock sauce. We know, we know, sriracha is a Thai sauce, not a Huy Fong creation, but there's no way it'd be as big in the US without David Tran.]
Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream — Bed
Even if the taste of LN ice cream doesn't blow you out of this world in a rocket ship made of love, it'll at least you leave you feeling infatuated. The experiences at liquid nitrogen ice cream shops are comparable to finding a science museum where everything is edible. Remember that feeling when you first visited Portola? When you were impressed before you even had the coffee? It's that feeling but again.
That being said, LN ice cream will never replace the same thing. There's just not much past the novelty, but you don't want to miss out on the fun of feeling like a kid again, even if it's not the best thing you've ever eaten.
Egg-and-Gluten-Free Desserts — Bed
Egg- and gluten-free desserts are impressive in the untraditional way they are produced and their surprisingly pleasant taste, but they still fight a trailing battle against their egg-and-gluten-containing counterparts. Nice to have every once in awhile, I'm not expecting everyone to switch anytime soon.
Totally Organic Restaurants — Marry
In a country with a food culture so heavily impacted by fast food and artificial ingredients, it's refreshing to see Southern Californian restaurateurs trying to go local and organic. While fast food is indeed fast and guiltily satisfying, eating at an organic restaurant will not only show you how literally wholesome organic produce tastes, but it will leave you more feeling conscious about where food comes from too.
Fancy Banh Mi Joints — Kill
When it's easy enough to get a $3 banh mi in Little Saigon, there's no point in shelling out for a $14 sandwich at some cliché hipster spot, especially when it fails to compare to the genuine standby. Why would you pay nearly three times as much for something worse, anyway?
Raw Veganism — Bed
Going on a sustainable, raw vegan diet deserves some mad respect because, let's face it, most of us would be complaining about the horror five hours in. A life without well-done Buffalo wings, steak and fried carbs? Or even fire? That sounds kind of crazy. So, kudos to those of you who can, but we'll pass. [Editor's note: Read Dominique Boubion's attempt to go raw vegan… here!]
Korean-Mexican Fusion — Marry
If there are two ethnic foods that complement each other like Noah and Allie from the Notebook, it's Korean and Mexican food. Because these two cuisines consist of distinguishingly yummy meats, it's no wonder that swapping carne asada and bulgogi and kimchi, rice paper and tortilla has consistently worked out well. Fusion food, let's make it official, you're one of the most Southern Californian things about Southern California.
Fancy Fast Food — Kill
Listen, every major fast food chain in existence, stop trying too hard. It's okay to be cheap, simple and quick, that's who you are and that's why we go to you. You don't need artisan ciabatta, brioche or pretzel buns, you burgers don't need to break $5. You're fine just the way you are.