I’m sure that we could devote an entire month to all of the chips and salsas that come out of Southern California, specifically around Los Angeles. I don’t think there is anything at all surprising about them as chips and salsa and the influence of Mexican cuisine is a very big part of LA and Southern California culture. We admittedly were stretching for some food posts today (Ahem, excuse, ahem.) but we found some chips and salsa that are coming to us from Orange County, both of which are super legit: Have’a Corn Chips and Lucky Habanero salsa.
The two may not be that surprising of finds to some of you, Laguna Beach’s Have’a Chips in particular. The two were found near each other in the West Hollywood Whole Foods last night as I furiously went from aisle to aisle sweating, screaming in my head, “WHAT AM I GOING TO WRITE ABOUT???” The Have’a chips are an LA yuppie delicacy, an expensive tortilla chip alternative to Tostitos and Homeboys. The bags are clear with handwritten text and look half full or half empty–regardless you only are getting half a bag full. They are basic tortilla chips that are crunchy and thin with a very interesting flavor: there is a small lime spritz on them and a very noticeable soy sauce influence. Sounds a little silly, yes, but they are fantastic. They’re great to eat on their own and great to eat with whatever dip you want as they are not too overpowering. Their refinement is very valuable.
The Lucky Habanero dip was totally new to us. We grabbed the Orange brand’s Dragon Lips sauce, which we did not think meant anything else but “Hot Salsa, you guys.” Jesus H., people: this is a hot fucking salsa. It’s a very finely cut with a strong vinegar note to it and hot, hot heat that you can notice visibly in the habanero seeds floating around the mix. It is not inedible but if you or a friend are sensitive to heat, this is not for them. This will probably make them cry. After a few dips, I thought I was fine but then I ended up eating three handfuls of Have’a chips to try to pacify the heat. After a while the sting goes away and you are left with a sweetened almost pickle-like after taste. The vinegar prevails!
These are great items for parties, particularly the salsa for all the heat lovers. The chips are fantastic but, again, they are pretty price at around five dollars for each little bag. They are great, though. You can find Lucky Habanero at local Whole Foods and lots and lots of other places and the Have’a Chips at any higher end market like Whole Foods, Gelson’s, Bristol Farms, and more.