Hot Stuff

Cheetos emerge as the next “it” menu item

Young adult’s desire for extreme, eye-catching food and beverages knows no bounds. Their excitement towards this consumer category has given rise to hybrid culinary concoctions, with each dish becoming more unexpected and share-worthy than the previous. The latest foods to heat up the Internet are those infused with Cheetos.


Last year, poke—the Hawaiian dish of sliced, raw fish and mix-ins—became a hit at fast casual and fancy eateries alike. Now, taking the trend to new heights, Los Angeles-based restaurant The Low-Key Poke Joint created a Hot Cheetos Poke Burrito, which has inevitably generated ample attention online. The poke wrap/sushirrito can be customized with different varieties of raw fish and add-ins before being rolled in Cheetos dust. While stuffing Cheetos inside burritos isn’t a new idea, this creation merges two top food trends of the moment to create an eccentric dish that consumers are eager to try.


Cheetos is commonly associated with childhood snacks, but it’s getting a grownup twist as the haute new item at Okipoki in Los Angeles. The eatery offers yet another sushi-Cheetos hybrid with its aptly named Hot Cheetos-stuffed Inferno Sushi Burrito. The owner said the concept started as a joke among staff based on their love of the food as kids, but with food mashups involving Cheetos becoming buzzy, they decided to give it a try and have found it to be a popular item on their menu. Okipoki’s take is extra hot given that it’s stuffed with spicy tuna, drizzled in spicy mayo, and rolled with a red furikake and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos crumbs.


Burbank, California restaurant Ameci Pizza Kitchen offers an extra cheesy version of its pies with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos on top. After the dough is covered in marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese, the snack is lightly sprinkled on and thrown in the oven. When the pizza is done cooking, more Flamin’ Hot Cheetos are placed on top, absorbing the oil and creating a chewy crunch. Given how hot the final product is, people have been challenging others to finish an entire 20’’ pie in a short span. Ameci’s has garnered much attention for its take on pizza with Cheetos, but it’s hardly the only take on this trend.