I’ve found myself dreaming lately of potato latkes shaped like waffles, as served at Freedman’s in Los Angeles. In August, Freedman’s and its latkes featured in Bon Appétit magazine’s list of the 10 hottest restaurants in America. Jonah Freedman, who co-owns the restaurant with his sister Amanda and Nicholas Papadatos, has said that the aim was to re-create the classic Jewish deli—complete with pickles, Reuben sandwiches and brisket—but to make everything younger and cooler.
Mr. Freedman set out to re-engineer the potato latke. Much as he loved the latkes he grew up with, he knew he couldn’t achieve the texture he wanted with the traditional patties of shredded potato and onion greasily fried in a cast iron skillet. He told me that he figured out it was going to take five separate processes—bake, shred, waffle, freeze and fry—to get a latke that was truly crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.