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Coachella 2012: 7 sinfully gluttonous eats

Kogi
Walking the grounds at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in search of nourishment quickly becomes a game of how badly do you feel like cheating on your diet.

Healthful options such as tofu and tempeh sandwiches, falafel and freshly cut fruit are vastly outnumbered by stands advertising beer-battered French fries and hot dogs with artery-clogging toppings.

Pop and Hiss went on a lookout (and maybe a sampling) of some of the most sinfully gluttonous eats.

Here’s what caught our eyes and/or piqued our appetites:

7. Philadelphia cheese steak. Steak sliced wafer thin with cheese, sauteed onions and mayo on a roll for $9 from a nondescript stand near the tents. Not the worst thing you can put into your body -- if you’re too tired to walk the 20 feet for a chicken salad, this will do.

6. Garlic crab fries. The things Coachella vendors have done with French fries are mouth-wateringly offensive. One stand took beer-battered fries flavored with garlic and topped them with Dungeness crab and a handmade garlic aioli.

5. Yellowtail sushi -- or anything the stand simply labeled Sushi in the VIP area offers, for that matter. Listen, sushi is always a great eat when done correctly. But how well can it hold up out in the desert? (Even if the answer is perfectly, which we’re sure it does.) Once the sun kicks temperatures into the high 80s and you’re somewhere dancing away with a cold beer, your stomach will gladly repay you for the seafood intake by hauling you to one of the many porta-potties.

4. Any of the bacon dogs from Sausage King. This might have been a repeat dish for this writer, but it’s impossible to avoid. A bacon-wrapped all-beef dog topped with grilled onions, avocado, spicy mayo, teriyaki sauce and sesame seeds -- though we recommend holding the seeds and teriyaki sauce and adding cheese.

3. The infamous Kogi truck. The line for Kogi at Coachella and wherever it can be caught in Los Angeles is always amusement park-worthy, but its BBQ is just that mouthwatering. Although last year I regretted the burrito that was stuffed with spicy pork, soft scrambled eggs and cheese, this year I feel a bit adventurous and have my eye on the calamari taco.

2. Coolhaus. Nothing on the Coachella grounds is as decadent as one of these ice cream sandwiches. With more sun expected Sunday, the line is sure to ramp up. The truck offers a handful of artist-themed sandwiches. What caught our eye? Grouplove’s Scooplove, which features salted caramel ice cream on a chocolate chip cookie, and Gary Clark Jr.’s Austin Breakfast, which is Jameson whiskey-flavored ice cream stuffed with Lucky Charms cereal on your choice of cookie. 

Gravy Train fries

1. Gravy Train’s poutine fries. Another French fry item makes the list, this time for the Canadian delicacy that’s the perfect drunken feast. I opted for the veggie, which takes the traditional fries topped with savory creamy gravy and fresh cheese curds and adds sauteed onions and mushrooms. I confess, even my stomach hated my decision. But my curiosity just might have me return for the sliders that combine the traditional poutine fries with mini burgers on Hawaiian sweet rolls. That’s not too much, right?

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-- Gerrick D. Kennedy @gerrickkennedy

Photos: (Top) The line at the Kogi truck. (Below) Gravy Train’s poutine fries. Credit: Gerrick D. Kennedy / Los Angeles Times

 
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