Starting June 10, the good people of Los Angeles can finally experience the absurdity that is the Black Tap milkshake.
Starting Saturday, June 10, they’ll be served at Fat Sal’s Deli in Hollywood, the late-night phenomenon that’s as indulgent with its sandwich stuffings—think mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers, and fries—as Black Tap is with its milkshakes.
The all-new flavor, which will only be available on June 10 and 11, is a Banana Waffle Salted Caramel Shake, a banana milkshake topped with a house-made quarter waffle, opalescent chocolate pearls and a chocolate-covered banana. (Dirty jokes before or after, it’s up to you.) The whole thing is showered with rainbow sprinkles and caramel syrup, of course, because it definitely needed more garnish.
We had an opportunity to taste the new creation on Friday. Envious looks abounded from regular customers as the milkshake arrived at our table. A six-year-old gave me a death stare. Surprisingly, the shake isn’t overly sweet—the banana flavor is subtle, though waffle as garnish admittedly isn’t. It’s a fitting complement to the salty umami of the Fat Texas, Fat Sal’s most popular sandwich: a satisfying beast of a thing with pastrami, chicken fingers, bacon and mozzarella.
Fat Sal’s co-owner Josh Stone grew up with Black Tap founder and chef Joe Isidori in New York—another reason this collaboration felt natural. Although you might not guess it by the casualness of their concepts, both are veterans of the fine-dining scene. Isidori even has Michelin stars under his belt. His haute cuisine experience helped him develop the skills to perfectly execute his most beloved genre of cooking: comfort food. “I was a chef in a fine dining restaurant, and at 3 o’clock in the morning, we’d be chowing down on chicken wings,” he remembers.
“Everyone says, ‘Organic, sustainable, local,’” Isidori says. He makes the universal ‘fuck off’ symbol. “[My style] is classic, nostalgic, memorable. And what’s classic and nostalgic and memorable to me is a cheeseburger from New York City. My dad and I on Tuesdays, when we would close the restaurant, we’d go to a diner get a burger, fries and a beer. That was the happiest time in my life. So I set out to recreate that.”
Judging by the four hour-long lines that New York’s Black Tap is famous for, it seems he’s succeeded. When Black Tap came to L.A. once before for a Santa Monica pop-up, they sold 400 shakes in just three hours, prompting Isidori to run to Johnny Rocket’s to borrow ice cream. For those who can’t make it to this latest collaboration, there are whispers of a brick-and-mortar L.A. Black Tap location before the end of the year. That might be a secret though.
“My publicist is going to kill me,” Isidori says.