‘Half & Half’ @ Sly’s
Courtesy Photo

Face it: As much as fried foods beckon with a siren crunchy call, they too often lure us onto greasy rocks that then sit at our stomach’s pit.

Not this dish.

Chef James Sly seems to know the cleverest way around every classic, so of course he comes up with this extravagantly mounded plate of skinny onion rings and what he calls home fries that will make you want yet more when they are devoured. He uses red onion, no doubt mandolined to a paper thinness, probably soaked a bit to take the sting out (I’m guessing here), and then coated in the perfect batter, both in its salt-pepper mix and its crispiness. Since the onions are so fine, there’s none of that pull-the-veggie-out-of-its-coating clumsiness — here the fried-ness and onion are a happy, delicious one.

Meanwhile, the home fries are the best potato chips you’ll ever eat — again, very thin, adding to the plate’s “oh, just one more” allure. But even so thin, they seem to have a top, bottom, and middle, the outsides a kind of crust for the somehow bit of chew inside. A couple of millimeters of spud never tasted so good. $10; 686 Linden Ave., Carpinteria; (805) 684-6666; slysonline.com.


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