Chicago Style Hot Dogs
- Mae Jan 28, 2002 12:34 PM
I just found the most wonderful Chicago Style hot dog spot,complete w/cucumbers and that delightful, peculiar relish. Strangely, they sell Chinese food, which appears to be a hit with the locals, too.
Aloha Island Hot Dog
630 N. Sepulveda
El Segundo, CA
I use to work in that shopping center. I remember when it first opened back in 1990 as Chicago Hot Dogs. The original owner is an actual Chicagian. According to him, no one in LA made an authentic Chicago hot dogs so he set up shop. He soon found out why Chicago style hot dogs were so mediocre in LA, local food wholesaler do not carry the ingredients to make a proper Chicago hot dog; fluorescent green relish, sport peppers, all beef Vienna hot dogs that snap when you bite into them . So he imported most of the ingredients from Chicago. Of course all of this added to the cost of the final product, $4.00 for a traditional hot dog. He was a fanatic about his hot dogs; each of his creations was like a work of art on a perfectly steamed poppy seed bun. At lunchtime the line would be out the door. After a couple of years he sold the business to Japanese American couple and moved back to Chicago. The new owners decided to offer Hawaiian style teriyaki plates along side the hot dogs hence the current name Aloha Island Hot Dog. Under the new owners the hot dogs are OK at best. They don't share the same passion and attention to detail as the original owner did and they probably don't import their ingredients from Chicago.
Okay...I'm an admitted neophyte when it comes to Chicago dogs, having been born and raised in NYC on NY dogs....however! Reuben's Red Hots in Sherman Oaks (in the SF Valley) on Ventura Blvd. just west of Sepulveda Blvd. seems to have the real thing, according to all my Chicago friends. Good all beef Vienna hot dogs and all the fixin's, Chitown-style --cucumber included. It's a hole-in-the-wall place, but aren't ALL the great ones? Worth a try.
I agree that Rubin's Red Hot is the best place in LA for a Chicago-style hot dog. Rubin's is still pretty good but they used to be better. Rubin's has gone through a couple of ownership changes and the quality has slipped a little. The original owner, a guy from Chicago named Rubin, sold the place to Ribs U.S.A a few years ago. And then Ribs U.S.A. sold it to an independent operator a couple of years ago.