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The Best Hot Dog I've EVER had... you'll be surprised!

*Grilled* to perfection, bun cooked golden on the griddle, and all the condiments you can handle... jalepenos, relish, (another kind of pepper), onions, etc etc.
What I really liked about the hot dog itself was 1) It wasn't so skinny that there wasn't much substance... you know those hot dogs where you definitly need at the very least two to fill up? Or how about those super skinny ones hiding in buns and all you taste is bread and condiments? 2) It wasn't so fat that all you got was a mouthful of meat that overpowered the bun and condiments. The dog size here is just right.

Hands down the best hot dog I've ever had in my life... even better than the ones I've had in NYC and Chicago.
I think it really was in the way it was made...
The man making the hot dog puts so much CARE into everything he does. He took pride especially in his side of french fries. As he served them to me, he said in a very proud manner (which was so darn cute!), "These are the best french fries... they're not greasy. You know why? Because they're cooked at the right temperature." I love a cook who has so much pride! You know what though... he was right. They looked so extremely non-greasy that they looked weird to me because I'm so used to super greasy fries! The fries he made were DELICIOUS.

All this at the Penmar Golf Course Coffe Shop. I ended up here because my husband (who lived in Chicago for about 6 years) called me and proclaimed that this was THE BEST hot dog anywhere and that I had to go and try it myself. He doesn't do that very often...
Of all places... WOW!

I've been to Skooby's, Pinks, Ketchy's II, and lots of other places I can't remember right now... this place takes the cake!

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  1. Where in tarnations is Penmar Golf Course?

    2 Replies
    1. re: HBfoodie

      1233 Rose Avenue in Venice.

      It is a good beginning golf course.

      1. re: liu

        It seems the most ghetto of the golf courses but yet they have the best coffee shop food of all the courses I've been to!

    2. Great discovery in an unlikely place! That's a real Chowhound at work. Good job, banquisha.

      1. I think there may even be a discount if you are a member of one of the clubs (men's/women's) or if you're a senior citizen or something.

        1. That sounds good, but what happens if this particular cook isn't there? Or is he always on hand?

          1 Reply
          1. re: monkuboy

            Same two men work the place. They're both very very good. They both do their dog and fries the same way. The "main" guy's name is Gus and he was the guy who loves his fries :)
            Sorry I can't remember the other guy's name...

          2. Thanks for the tip. I've always wondered what the name of that golf course was.

            How much did the hot dog cost? Can you go to the Coffee Shop just to eat or do you have to play golf too?

            1 Reply
            1. re: Norm Man

              Dog and fries $3.75 w/o tax
              You can just go to the coffe shop.

            2. You can eat without playing. Maybe you get a discount if you show em your scorecard or something.

              1 Reply
              1. re: mc michael

                It seemed like everyone was paying the same thing I was... with or without golfing.

              2. now . . how does this compare to a bacon wrapped hot dog topped with greasy onions served from a little sidewalk cart? ;)

                sounds pretty tasty though. thanks for sharing.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Alice

                  i think they're much better because they're grilled. dogs cooked on the griddle have too much grease.

                2. Was it an all beef dog? Or beef and pork? What brand of dog was served? Did it have the snap that comes from a natural casing? It's great that you can find a quality dog near you. Have you ever been to New Jersey? Hands down the hot dog capitol of the world.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: hotdoglover

                    i don't know what kind of dog it was nor what brand they use. never been to jersey but i've heard great things about the dogs there!!

                    1. re: banquisha

                      Sabrett's & Nathan's are the most common hotdogs back east.

                    2. re: hotdoglover

                      John, great to see you posting on the Left Coast! I had the opportunity to follow your hot-dogging advice couple of years ago visiting family in NJ, and my kid and partner are still talking about our "Hot Dog Tour of NJ". <3 Syd's...Have you been to our side of the tracks? This place sounds like a good-drive-to Chowhound trip.

                      1. re: KatMom

                        Have never been to the Left Coast, but hope to go some day. Syd's remains my favorite place to grab a dog. Too bad their lease is up next month. They will be forced to move.

                    3. Excuse me but Los Angeles is, by any measure, the hot dog capital of the world.

                      19 Replies
                      1. re: Wes

                        Hamburger capital, very likely...but hot dog capital, no. Any populace that could enshrine the ghastly pink flabby Dodger Dog (in its current iteration) as a culinary icon clearly does not know beans about weenies. And then there's Pink's...

                        1. re: Will Owen

                          Will, with all due respect, you are very wrong my friend. What's Chicago or New York got that we don't have here in Los Angeles? We eat more hot dogs than any other city in the nation... We have a wider variety of styles and toppings... A recent newspaper article dubbed LA the Hot Dog Capital of the World!

                          May I share with all of you L.A. hotdog lovers an interesting blog. Some of you may already be familiar with it! http://www.hotdogspot.com/

                          1. re: Ollie

                            I do not for a second deny that one can get an excellent hot dog here...but if LA were in fact the Hot Dog "Capital", then one would expect that the best dogs would be in the majority and at the top of the market, instead of lurking where only we who know enough to go to hotdogspot.com can find them...

                            1. re: Ollie

                              Ollie- "What's Chicago or New York got that we don't have here in Los Angeles?" Well Chicago's got real Chicago style dogs, Vienna Beef wieners, and about 10 times the number of places that specialize in Hot Dogs. New York city's got a hot dog stand on every other street corner (not necessarily better dogs). Oh Yea. and they don't have Dodger dogs, to their favor.
                              Does anyone know where in LA to get a genuine Chicago dog I'm talkin Vienna Beef, neon relish, perfectly steamed poppy seed bun, and the works?
                              What paper & when was that article you mentioned?

                              1. re: ilikefood

                                Try QT Chicago Dogs, Also The Stand! They have them with the "neon relish", complete with celery salt. Not a fan of the Chicago Style hot dog, I'm a "So Cal Native", but I've had friends from Chicago, that vouch for those 2 places mentioned.

                                1. re: Ollie

                                  I have to say that I have had spoiled natural casing Vienna Beef hot dogs on more than one occasion at more than one location of QT Chicago Dogs. I didn't get sick, but the meat had the odor of curdled milk. I contacted Vienna Beef, and their representative said that would be a clear sign that the dog was being refrigerated improperly or kept beyond its freshness date. If anyone knows of another location serving natural casing Vienna Beef, please let me know. Larry's Dogs in Burbank is now serving Hoffy and Home Plate in Reseda has stopped carrying the natural casing foot long. Taste Chicago only carries the collogen casing dogs.

                                  Steve Doggie-Dogg

                                  1. re: stevedoggiedogg

                                    Doesn't the Nathan's on Pico serve natural casing dogs? (FYI - there is a Nathan's natural casing dog sold in some supermarkets - can't recall if it's Albertson's or Ralph's).

                              2. re: Ollie

                                I've heard the stat that LA consumes more hot dogs than any other city before, and I've always been skeptical. How is it possible that LA eats more hot dogs than New York, where they are available every block? Where are we eating them all? Of course, eating more does not mean eating better.

                                1. re: sku

                                  LA must be broadly defined. Farmer John is in Vernon. Maybe we get credit for all their sales in this area. Meanwhile all the moms and all the preschools and all the school cafeterias are pushing mediocre dogs on the kids. And Costco sells a lot of them.

                                  1. re: sku

                                    THE reason LA eats more dogs HAS GOT TO BE the 1.7 million Dodger Dogs consumed at Dodger Stadium each year- #1 in dog consumption among ball parks in the nation. Validating sku's pt about "eating more does not mean eating better."

                                    1. re: sku

                                      Go to Downtown L.A., especially in the Garment District, albeit, a different style of hot dog but none the less, pretty much on every corner!

                                    2. re: Ollie

                                      Until Top Dog from Berkeley and Oakland set up an outpost in the Los Angeles area, L.A. cannot be called the Hot Dog Capital of the world.


                                      1. re: SumYungGai

                                        I agree completely. Best dogs ever . . .especially at 1:00 am.

                                        1. re: SumYungGai

                                          i've mentioned this before, but in riverside there is a place called "the dogout". they seem to be affiliated with top dog, but i can't find it official anywhere. if you go there, they have hanging on their wall the same drawing of the top dog serving customers (with the campanile tower in the background) that is at the top of the top dog website.
                                          i posted about it here...

                                      2. re: Will Owen

                                        Dodger Dogs were terrific at one point, as you imply. But they ain't now. I'm from Los Angeles and live in New York now and I'd have to agree that Chicago and New Jersey are the epicenters of hot doggery. Most of the best hot dogs in New York have a NJ provenance, but I've actually eaten more hot dogs IN Chicago than in NJ. One can't walk down the street in most neighborhoods of Chicago without encountering hot dog opportunities. We can debate the merits of Chicago dogs versus L.A. dogs, but one of the ways you measure a center is by sheer quantity. There are many more hot dog places in Chicago than L.A.

                                      3. re: Wes

                                        If Pinks and Dodger dogs are your bases for that assessment, you need to taste real hot dogs.

                                        1. re: Wes

                                          Quantity yes. I'm wondering if this relates to so many kids in preschool woofing down mediocre dogs. Will they enter their dotage eating gourmet dogs at some high end eatery?

                                          1. re: Wes

                                            los angeles as the hot dog capital of the world is the single most ridiculous thing i have EVER seen written with any seriousness on these boards.

                                            1. Just tried Marty's "Fire Dog" on Pico... Penmar still holds the title! Marty's was just greasy like everyone else's :(

                                              1. The Farmer John Dodger Dog hasn't changed a bit in my 47 years of life. It's as consistent in its distinctive blandness as the Oscar Meyer frank.

                                                Steve Doggie-Dogg

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: stevedoggiedogg

                                                  Steve Doggie-Dogg where are you? It's been eons since you put up a fresh review. Get yourself out of the Valley and sample some of the pushcart bacon wrapped dogs downtown. There are hundreds of dog stands (and legions of loyal fans) waiting for reviews.

                                                  1. re: sku

                                                    I've been tied to local hangouts during hot dog hours by work. Hot dog stands all seem to close early. When the work load lightens up and I'm free again during non-vampire hours, I'll be out doggin' again.

                                                    Also, NoHo has been experiencing a BBQ rennaissance of sorts. I've been distracted by ribs and tritip!

                                                    Steve Doggie-Dogg

                                                2. It ain't that hard to serve up a decent hot dog. Even Costco can do it. What's amazing is how many BAD dogs you can get around here, including Pinks Which Stinks.

                                                  1. There is/was nothing better than the food item called BURN AT THE TURN at the Simi Hills golf course. It is/was a chili cheese dog chimichanga!!!!Biting into that deep fried tortilla and finding a chili cheese dog inside was the best damn thing I may have ever eaten! Only if someone else in this city could replicate this, we'd all be happier.

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: MrStomach

                                                      Good to know! I've been looking for a replacement for A&W's Chimichilidog forever!!

                                                      1. re: MrStomach

                                                        Did you put hot sauce or mustard on that?

                                                      2. I'm sorry. The thought of eating another one of those chimichangas got me crazed. The Burn on the Turn was at the Cascades Golf course in Sylmar. Maybe ask them before you go out there. 818-833-8900...Remember to get at least two because you'll be sorry if you only get one....which was what I did.

                                                        1. the place is closed, STILL!....depressing.

                                                          1. Respetting the OP's opinion, I went to try twice with three different people. Combined conclusion: very average dog with outlandish price; average condiments.

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: kel

                                                              sorry you were disappointed :(
                                                              it is still my favorite dog in town though. what did you not like about it, and where have you had better condiments?
                                                              i would say that at $3.75 for a dog and fries in this town is still a pretty good deal. at where and what price are you comparing this to?

                                                              1. re: banquisha


                                                                I live just on the N side of Penmar and play / eat there quite often. I do agree with you that the food there (especially for the money in this town) is quite good. Also, I would like you to know that Gus, (the main chef there), has read your post. He showed it to me the other day and asked if I knew who you were, (I'm a web director, so naturally everyone thinks that I know everything about computers). I said that I didn't but that I would try to find the list and post a reply to the thread. He wants to thank you personally for the gracious comments regarding the food - so next time your in there you should mention it to him...

                                                                Also, haven't read all the threads for this subject - but if your looking for a place that specializes in Chicago / all beef / etc, hot dog(s) - the best place I have found is a place called Taste Chicago in Burbank. It's owned by Joe Montania (spelling) - if that says anything....

                                                                1. re: vantuck

                                                                  Thanks! I am in New York this week so I won't be able to see him till I get back but, ask him if he remembers the lady that always comes in by herself, in a suit, and always either sits at the bar or takes out. I will be sure to mention it to him... I did not know that he reads these houd' postings!! No wonder his food is good!

                                                            2. How is $3.75 'outlandish' for a dog and fries?? At least in this country.

                                                              1. You can do better than that.... next time you are at the Staples Center take a risk & have one of those bacon wrapped dogs sold out of the food carts by illegal immigrants...lined up by the parking lots... that will probably be the best hot dog you have had thus far.

                                                                But hands down, the best hots without despite.. IMHO (and I have been to Manhattan & Chicago) are vendors at Alameda & Chapultepec parks in Mexico City.

                                                                The frank itself is juicy & bursting with flavor... the bacon is fresh & tastes like real pork... the grilled onions, jalapenos, tomato, avocado & fresh Bimbo bun all conspire to deliver the best hot dog experience you will ever have.

                                                                1. I had the Penmar dog and fries today made by Gus. The fries are right out of the freezer. At least they are not the mealy krinkle cut ones. The dog is good, mostly I think cuz it's grilled, split and made right then. It's a Nathan's dog. It's a pretty good dog but certainly not the best ever--even in LA. Hell, you could match or better it on any grill. I think you could add bacon if you wanted--they sell "extra" bacon for stuff. One other positive aspect of this creation is the sesame seed bun which is larger than your usual fall apart bun and heated up (on the griddle I think). This adds the "substance" the O.P. mentioned.

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: mc michael

                                                                    Yes the fries are out of the freezer like most other places BUT, they're made right. That is why they're so crisp and non-greasy. It's hard to find a place that makes fries like Gus.
                                                                    You're right about the grill and bun thing... that's what makes this dog special. Sure, you can grill your own dog at home but, I can't seem to find anyone that cooks their dogs on a grill.
                                                                    For a better dog in L.A., where would you suggest me try instead?

                                                                    1. re: banquisha

                                                                      Not sure where that better dog is, but it must be there. The quest begins. Pricewise, for a good everyday dog, the $1.50 dog and drink at Costco is a winner. Hebrew National dog.

                                                                  2. "I can't seem to find anyone that cooks their dogs on a grill."

                                                                    The Nathan's on Pico near Doheny (if they're still there) grills their dogs.

                                                                    And Wienerschnitzel (of all places) grills their beef dogs as well. To this former east coaster this makes them one of the better L.A. dogs.

                                                                    1. Who knew?

                                                                      I'm a New York "Nathan's" man who suffered through eight years of gastronimical nightmares living in Ocean Park, Santa Monica, just 2 miles from Penmar. Came back to NYC in'02.

                                                                      Tried Pinks and when they opened the Nathan's on Pico, tried that. Nothing measured to Coney Island.

                                                                      Wish I'd known about Penmar, having passed it about a thousand times.

                                                                      1. Haven't been to the Penmar Golf Course Coffee Shop, I'll check it out soon! Pink's stinks! Skoobie's is pretty good with their fries and lemonade. I also like Carnies. Never been to Chicago but had some good Sabrette's dogs from carts in Manhattan but that's for another board. Best dog I've ever had - thanks to CHOWHOUND - is in ELA on Whittier Bl. between Kern and Fetterly Avenues usually both sides of the street but I like the smiling lady that is usually on the N side of the street. Bacon-wrapped beauties 'con todo' and this gringo usually has to request the grilled fresh jalapenos. The elote vendor, or as my kids call her; "The Corn Lady" that is often there is good too!. Today she was in the parking lot behind the furniture store 1 blk. east. She's the only one with a couple of umbrellas. Park, search em out and enjoy! I love LA FOOD ADVENTURES! YUM!!!

                                                                        1. My favorites:

                                                                          Carneys - Studio City
                                                                          Weiner Factory - Sherman Oaks
                                                                          The Stand - Encino/Sherman Oaks
                                                                          Hot Dog Lady - Bacon Wrapped Cart parked at the 99c Only store Sherman Way next to Jons near Reseda