Lip Chips are such a hot item in Los Angeles you have to have a source to buy them. Will they make it in Washington?

It's not the chips, although they are nicely salty and greasy, just like potato chips should be. It's the cans. Everyone wants one. After al, where else can you buy a can big enough to hold 3 pounds of potato chips for $25! Or one that holds 1 1/2 pounds of these California-creations for $15?

Do you have any idea how large a can has to be to hold taht many potato chips?

If there's such a thing as California-style design, Lip Chips have it. Sort of laid back and mellow. Big beautiful red lips and potato chips on a field of clouds, mountains, grass and stream.

All you have to do is hie yourself over to the White Flint Bloomingdale's if you want to be the first on your block to serve Lip Chips, described as "all natural," presumably because they contain none of the preservative BHT, are un-peeled and seasoned with sea salt. After you've eaten up the two weeks' supply you can always refill the can with just any old brand, or as some tasters have suggested, something better.

The chips received positive ratings from most people who tried them. "Crisp and greasy. I love 'em," said one. "Thick, but too greasy," said another.

Speaking of chips, Bill Schreiber says "people who sit down with Chip Ahoys (so they aren't potato chips, but it makes a good bridge) probably won't want to take my book to lunch with them."

The subtitle is Schreiber's book tells it all: "How to Survive a Big mac Attack." It's a nutrition guide to what you put in your stomach when you eat in a fast-food restaurant.

The book, entitled "Fast Food Nutritional Guide," contains the calories, carbohydrates, protein, fat, sodium and cholesterol count for the foods served in 17 of the best-known fast-food emporiums in the country -- with one rather glaring exception for Washingtonians -- Roy Rogers. According to Schreiber, Marriott, which owns Roy Rogers, told him they had "never done a nutritional analysis of their foods."

Schreiber put the book together because he has a diabetic child, a hypertensive father-in-law, an uncle who is a heart patient and "is the son of a mother who has alternated counting calories and carbohydrates throughout her adult life."

So in addition to nutritional values for the foods, Schreiber includes a diabetic exchange list. There are directions for using the book, for surviving fast food meals with a little basic and useful nutrition information thrown in.

The book is quite small, will bit in almost any handbag and every brief case. You can order a copy by sending $2 to: Fast Food Guide, P.O. Box 234, Indianapolis, Ind. 46206.

Can you find a smoked trout that isn't salty, but is firm of flesh, that doesn't cost an arm and a leg? Such an creation exists, courtesy of Two Rivers Trout, Ltd., a Shepherdstown, W. Va., firm that has been trying to figure out how to smoke frozen trout for 10 years. It sells for $6.39 a pound in all Magruders' stores and makes a delicious alternative to smoked salmon, which is more than twice as expensive.

Frozen trout of specified sizes has been readily available for some time. But in the past, according to Two Rivers' marketing specialist, Bob McReynolds, smoked frozen trout produced a mushy product. Now the company has come up with the secret to smoke trout and keep it firm. Fresh trout won't do for the volume Two Rivers' envisions because both supply and size are unpredictable. McReynolds says the trout will last 30 days in the refrigerator but do dry out. They are at their best, he said, if used within a week.

When Tom Snyder is not anchoring Prime Time Saturday or hosting the Tomorrow show, he can often be found in his kitchen . . . just before his dinner guests arrive, frying up a few chopped onions. The onions aren't necessarily part of the meal: They're part of the ambience. "It's like spraying Airwick, only better," he explained on the phone last week.

"If you go to somebody's house isn't it nice to smell something nice when you walk in?"

Snyder says the onion aroma is not to cover up a meal of carry-out food because he does his own cooking . . .steak Diane, roast chicken, crepes Suzettes. He likes to make things which can be cooked at the table, but not for the usual reasons. "I learned to cook from going to restaurants where they cook things at the table," he said.

The aroma of the cooking onions performs an additional function. It puts Snyder's guests at ease, convincing them something is really going on in the kitchen which will eventually appear on the table.

Snyder's gambit is reminiscent of the real-estate agent's trick: to bake gingerbread when prospective buyers are coming to look at your house.

Where do French chefs go for dinner on their nights off? Robert Greault, who plies his trade most nights at Le Bagatelle, of which he is part owner, joined a group of friends for Mongolian Hot Pot at Aline Berman's Court of the Mandarins last week. Greault was just back from 10 days in Hong Kong and Singapore, where he and several other American chefs met with Chinese chefs. Next to French food, Greault says he likes Chinese food best and often eats at the Court of the Mandarins.

Berman explained to her guests that Mongolian Hot Pot, so called because the meats are beef and lamb, is the only genuine hot pot. The rest, she said, are just copies.

Several weeks ago, we told you about a yogurt cheese maker available for $2.50 and some box tops from Dannon yogurt. Now we're here to tell you that if you haven't already ordered one and if you have a Melitta coffee maker, you can use that instead.

We can't take credit for the idea. It comes from Kitchen Bazaar. Here's what they say to do: "Just put a paper filter into your plastic top and drop in a cup or pint of plain yogurt. Place the filter top over a cup to catch drippings and then place the whole thing into the refrigerator. (If you prefer a very tangy cheese leave it out on your countertop at room temperature.) Within 24 hours most of the liquid will have dropped out of the cheese and you will have yogurt cheese, a tangy, creamy speadable cheese similar to cream cheese, but with many fewer calories."

The delightful cookbook, "Spoon Bread and Strawbery Wine," written by Norma Jean and Carole Darden is now in paperback (Fawcett, $2.50). The book contains the recipes and reminiscences of the sisters' family as far back as they can trace their roots, which is somewhere before the Civil War. Lovely old-timey recipes with wonderful anecdotes about the family and fascinating photos from family albums.