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BEST HOT DOG

  • d
  • Dog Fan Dec 1, 2003 05:56 PM

who serves up the best hot dogs in LA? Pink's? Marty's? Tail of the pup? The street vendors Downtown with their bacon wrapped rendition? WHO?

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  1. The downtown street cart vendors in the garment district used to have great hot dogs when they were using Sabrett franks. They still prepare the hot dog the same way now but thay have switched to another brand, which I believe is called Meadow Farms. It's not nearly as flavorful.

    There must be one single business that rents those carts and supplies all the hot dogs and other products to the individual vendors. They are all identical.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Sam D.

      they used to use sabretts!!!!? wow! sorry i missed out on that phase.

      i find the bacon wrapped renditions (found outside you nearby Hollywood watering hole/club and USC football game) to be the most filling (after a few drinks of course)

      =)

      1. re: jaydee

        What I truly miss out here are GRILLED hot dogs. One can find them all over NYC (not just @ Nathan's). I'm talking about the grilled and slightly crunchy tubes of heaven you can get at Papaya King or Gray's Papaya. With some brown mustard and kraut....just the best.

        Does anyone know where a comperable dog can be found out here?

        drooling away....

        Theo

        1. re: Theo

          Although I don't mind steamed dogs, I agree that grilled hot dogs are the way to go. Thus:
          -Nathan's on Pico near Doheny is pretty close to back east
          -Weinerschnitzel (believe it or not). Their grilled all beef hot dog was a real surprise. IMHO, definitely better than most of the other suggestions, and definitely superior to Pink's.
          -Jody Moroni's hot dogs are grilled I believe
          -Johnny's in Culver City - chargrilled and excellent
          -The Hat grills 'em, but they're split in half.

          1. re: Les

            Les -

            good tips all. Thanks. I also forgot that I can see the famed Papoo's Hot Dog Show in Toluca Lake from my office window. They do a decent grilled dog as well (and their well done fries just rock).

            1. re: Theo

              i wasn't too impressed with the hot dog at papoo's, though it might have been because i had too many fixin's. i was however, pleased with their fried zucchini

              1. re: jaydee

                Try the beef hot dog at Papoo's which is very good, although I think a bit pricey. Yet another reason to venture to Weinerschnitzel down the street which is a much more reasonable and also very good.

            2. re: Les

              With all due respect to differing opinions, the Nathan's on Pico bears absolutely no resemblance to anything found in Coney Island (well maybe the logo). The hotdogs served on Pico do not have natural casings. The buns always seem to be borderline stale and tend to crumble in your hand. Also, unbelievably, the last time I was there I was told (after I had the hotdog in my hand) that they had run out of mustard! Now I've been known to commit a culinary crime or two in my time, but the mere thought of putting ketchup on a hot dog is unfathomable.

              The fries are great though!

              1. re: Creamfinger

                I haven't been in a couple of years, but it was pretty good back then. Still, a friend of mine from Brooklyn goes there fairly regularly and is always happy.

                1. re: Creamfinger

                  Don't forget that your hot dog cost like eight bucks or something! I went there once and just got basic combo meals for me and another and the total bill was twenty two dollars!

        2. b
          bluemonster66

          Lately, my fave has been Skooby's on Hollywood Blvd. This is a more "upscale" dog that the ones you'd find at the carts or at Pinks, but they're pretty darn tasty. I'm not crazy about their fries, but other people seem to like them a lot.

          1. For my money, it's Cupids in the Valley. They have about 4 or so stands. I was born and raised in the Valley, and have since left, but Cupids is the one reason that I will always return.

            10 Replies
            1. re: Tom M.

              Have to dissent on this one; the best hot dog in the valley is Rubin's Red Hot--the Big Red I think it's called, anyway a long dog on a long bun served Chicago style--peppers, cucs, bright green relish and other delicious morsels--on an onion bun.

              1. re: juny1cat

                That sounds really good. The onion bun makes it sound so good. One more thing just made my "must do" list.

                1. re: juny1cat

                  Second this!!

                  1. re: juny1cat

                    Oh, this is a really old thread!

                    1. re: juny1cat

                      unfortunately, Rubins is no longer there. They took it away for the new freeway exit or entrance. Sad.

                      1. re: velveteyes

                        They did, but for whatever reason, they built around it, not through it...so, it sits vacant and depressing, a stark reminder of what it once was.

                        The Weiner Factory had the same ridiculous, frustrating fate, and it too remains vacant (NOT a pink, sorry, stinkberry) to this very day after closing December 31, 2007.

                        I miss WF tremendously, as I used to get their turkey dog, the best I ever tasted (I don't eat beef). Specially made for them, with a nice little spicy kick that was so damn tasty. Best hot dog ever, IMO.

                        Now I'm really sad. The closest places now (The Infield in SO and Fab's in Reseda) are sad replacements. Good toppings, but sadly, the turkey dogs they serve everywhere else besides WF are just plain ho-hum, boring, plain...you get the picture.

                        Any other WF turkey dog lovers feelin' my pain?

                        1. re: GK in SO

                          Never had a dog with birdmeat but I too, along with so many others miss the WF so, that said, I do feel your pain!

                          1. re: sel

                            I've notice a "Leased" sign on the building. Anyone know who they were leased to?

                            1. re: ReelMike84

                              Mike, that sign has been up for EVER (perhaps since the pinkberry deal fell through, I think around a year ago or so).

                              I have to seen that darn sign and the place all boarded up often, as I live in the neighborhood and drive by frequently. Constant, depressing reminder of what's happening all over.

                              1. re: GK in SO

                                Wow I didn't realize. I'd rather they just bulldoze the place if it is never going to actually reopen, and just end the constant sting of sadness the sight of an empty hut brings.

                  2. I don't know which brand(s) of hot dogs they will be serving, but I am looking forward to going to The Stand which is scheduled to open in Encino on December 16. Richard Shapiro, co-founder of The Grill, is one of the three partners.

                    I have included a link to the article that appeared in The Daily News.

                    Link: http://u.dailynews.com/Stories/0,1413...

                    1. As far as the valley goes, I like Weiner Factory. Great, steaming hot dogs and buns. Good with mustard and slaw. In the city, I like Tail of the Pup. No lines like Pink's and their extreme hot dog is awesome.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Folgers97

                        I second the Weiner Factory. Also they have a great spicy polish dog, CCO*!! Yummmm.

                        *(Chili/Cheese/Onions)

                        1. re: LesThePress

                          I third the Weiner Factory. Red cabbage and cheese dog with mustard (easy on the mustard). I think I have eaten hundreds of these. Mmmmm. Watch for restricted hours though, not open at night.

                          1. re: Debbie

                            Another nod to Wiener Factory; wonderful snap to the dogs. But those air fries have got to go.

                      2. If you like a chili dog, Tommy's, at Beverly and Rampart, is an experience.

                        1. All the places mentioned in these posts, except for maybe the carts(they just can't seem to get cart dogs right in LA) serve great dogs. Each one a little different. Try 'em all. And don't forget Carney's!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: 2chez mike

                            Ohhh. I love Carney's hot dogs. Doesn't the cart on Robertson across from the Ivy serve Sabrett dogs???

                          2. Does the cart across from The Ivy on Robertson sell Sabrett dogs? His umbrella indicates so and the lines at lunch are always long.

                            1. If you like the grilled Vienna type hot dog you can't do better than Marty's Home of the Combo on Pico just East of Overland, next to the fire station. Nothing else will do the trick when I really need a hot dog fix.

                              Another really good hot dog is unexpectedly at Tommy's. I have not had one in so many years, I think they still have it on the menu.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Just Larry

                                How do you find a parking place for Marty's? There are only two metered places close to Marty's and they are always taken. :(

                                1. re: velveteyes

                                  The parking was easier going on 6 years ago when Just Larry wrote that because there were less cars (and people) then. ;-D>

                              2. With a nod to Creamfinger, on Townsgate just off of Westlake Blvd. in Westlake is Smiley's cart, from which he dispenses Sabrett dogs and polish sausages. A variety of toppings including the infamous Sabrett onions. Free bottled water. $2.50 for a dog and $3.50 for a polish. Delicious, and always a line.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: TomSwift

                                  Thank you sir.

                                2. What about Costco? You can't beat $1.50 for a hot dog and a drink.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: Greg

                                    I'm a fan of Costco as well, but the Polish sausage, not the regular dog.

                                  2. My TOP HOT DOGS in L.A.
                                    1. Fair Oaks Pharmacy! - on Fair Oaks Av in South Pasadena
                                    2. Larry's Chili Dog - 3122 Burbank Blvd. in Burbank
                                    3. Skooby Dog -- 6654 Hollywood Blvd in Hollywood
                                    4. Carney's -- Sunset Blvd in Hollywood or Ventura Blvd in Studio City
                                    5. Pinks -- La Brea at Melrose in Hollywood
                                    6. Weiner Factory -- Ventura Blvd in Sherman Oaks
                                    7. any kosher deli dog (Brent's, Canter's, Langer's, Art's etc.)
                                    8. Cupid's (various locations)
                                    9. Tommy's Chili Dog (ditto)
                                    10. Oki Dog (when feeling indestructible)

                                    13 Replies
                                    1. re: gothspace

                                      The best at Taste Chicago in Burbank on Verdugo and Hollywood Way. Its more of a poilsh sausage, but daym its delish!

                                      1. re: stacyface

                                        Wondering if "Taste Chicago" does the real Chicago dog with the weird toppings, which I must admit I'm too much of an L.A. dog purist to have tried yet. Thanks to Stacyface, I might have to go for one now!

                                        1. re: gothspace

                                          Even the neon green relish -- yes.

                                          1. re: gothspace

                                            THey do have a few different types of hot dogs. Here is their website. http://www.tastechicago.biz/ my absolute fave is the Maxwell Street Polish with a poppy seed bun and extra mustard :) try their fies, different than regular french fries.

                                            1. re: stacyface

                                              IMO Taste Chicago is best at the Beef and Sausage Combo. The sausage is really good. Add those green pappers -- Tell-em give up some of doz green peppers. Like more den two or three (sooo hard for dem to part with doz things sometimes -- like they are will go broke if they give you what you paid for. Well, maybe that reminds you that you are not really in Chicago cuz if you were you would not even have to ask fo doz peppers.

                                        2. re: gothspace

                                          Oooh... Oki Dog. Went there for the first time about twelve years ago or so when Jonathan Gold wrote a glowing review. The original Oki Dog is a work of art. Two grilled hot dogs stuffed into a huge tortilla with chili, pastrami, mustard, cheese and pickles. Great hangover cure but probably more deadly than the drinks you had the night before.

                                          1. re: gothspace

                                            Nice list, goth! I love Larry's, CUPID's (is my fave - original locations only), Carney's and Pinks. I just recently had a great dog at Fredo's Philly Cheesesteak on North Lake in Pasadena. 1/4 lb all-beef grilled dog. Served in their Amoroso rolls with thinly sliced red onion, relish and mustard. FANTASTIC!! Get to go to Chicago next week and have some real C-Dogs! Can't wait!!

                                            1. re: WildSwede

                                              I totally agree with Tom M., and WildSwede about Cupids being the BEST hot dog place on the planet. Tom M. mentioned that he used to live in the SF Valley. I did too. There was a Cupids on the 3 way corner of Tujunga, Chandler, and Lankersham. I got my hot dog fix there for years and was disappointed that they closed. Then I found a Cupids on Victory and Tyrone in Van Nuys. They closed too. Now I drive 40 miles each way to the Cupids on Lindley just south of the Northridge Cal State U campus. They are the BEST.

                                            2. re: gothspace

                                              QT's Chicago Hot dogs in Sherman Oaks and other valley locations are my fav. Also, enjoy the dogs at Taste Chicago in Burbank. And if you are in Orange County, try Portillo's Hot Dogs in Buena Park. Portillo's is famous in Chicago for it's hot dogs and beef sandwiches.

                                              QT's Chicago Dogs
                                              4344 Woodman Ave
                                              Sherman Oaks, 91423
                                              818.386.0111

                                              1. re: gothspace

                                                My SO is hot dog obsessed and he would approve of your list (though we haven't tried Fair Oaks for dogs, Cupid's or Oki) with the addition of The Stand in Encino. I like their cobbler!

                                                1. re: sarahvagaca

                                                  I was sadly not too thrilled with THE STAND when I went for the first time last week, I will go back on a Monday for the $1 hot dogs after 5pm (I think the dogs are not good enough for the price, but the place is clean and cheerful)..and nothing beats getting a beer with your dog (unfortunatley, they have "Stella" listed but no longer carry it-darn. I loved the potato chips but I HATED the chili. Cute place. The burgers looked really good...still loving THE WEINER FACTORY on Ventura/Kester (or is it Hazeltine?), not as clean of a place but the dogs ROCK! and the chili is soooo good! The service GREAT!

                                                  1. re: tatertotsrock

                                                    It's Ventura/Kester, or was. I heard it closed, or is about to close. I used to live around the corner many years ago. When my now-ex and I moved up to the Bay Area, we'd time our departure to get to the Weiner Factory in time for lunch.

                                                    1. re: rednails

                                                      Gone but not forgotten

                                              2. you have to try city bakery on 26th and San Vicente. It is perfection, an amazing hot dog on a buttery brioch bun is a must

                                                5 Replies
                                                1. re: Emalish57

                                                  My total fave also. I was told that the dog is a skinless Niman Ranch all beef dog. You can get saurkraut on the side, plus it comes with excellent pickles and your choice of coleslaw, something else I can't recall, or fruit (which is usually packed with fresh mango, papaya, and pinneapple). All for $5.00!!! If goes great with their Alice Palmer --- fresh lemonade and tropical green ice tea. The farmer's lemonade is good too.

                                                  1. re: Marco Polo

                                                    I hear Jerry's Dogs in Santa Ana and La Habra is great.

                                                    1. re: Evan G

                                                      Heard this also, on these very boards.
                                                      Tried it; won't waste my money on a second visit.

                                                      1. re: Evan G

                                                        Jerry's Dogs is GREAT! Except when it's busy (usually) and your hair smells like a campfire when you walk out because they use a real bbq, not a flat grill. Love the fresh potato chips with nacho cheese dip. Great barbequed hamburgers too. Highly recommend.

                                                        1. re: Oh Robin

                                                          We are still looking for a Sabrett's hot dog in Orange County. We haven't yet tried Portillo's in Buena Park or Jerry's in La Habra but we will soon! Anyone try Katella Deli in Los Alamitos for hot dogs?

                                                  2. I think this counts as a "hot dog" - the Louisana spicy dogs at the Farmer's Market in Brentwood is AMAZING. Grilled onions, veggies, spicy, the works.

                                                    1. Last week I was doing a hotdog crawl through the Vally.
                                                      WEINER FACTORY became my top pick...the weiners are yummmy, snappy, and full of flavor. The buns perfectly steams and don't get all hard and funky if they sit unwrapped. The chili is EXCEPTIONAL-exactly the style of chili that I prefer. The cheese is pretyy, and fluffy, and generously piled on top. The young men behind the counter are cheerful and had no problem suggesting tother dogs to try in the 'hood. I still have to try HOt Dog Show on Reverside in TaToluca Lake...any one have any comments on this place?

                                                      1. Has anyone tried the Golf course near Venice beach? A while back someone posted about their stand on the course. (Open fired grill)

                                                        Anyways My favs:
                                                        Chronies in East Los Angeles (keenan and Whittier blvd.)
                                                        Larries in Burbank
                                                        The all beef at Der Wiener Schinztle (sp?)
                                                        and
                                                        Carnies

                                                        5 Replies
                                                        1. re: auntflo

                                                          My thoughts exactly, auntflo! Sue's a pleasure and her hot dogs are divine! She even accommodates those on a low-carb diet with romaine lettuce "buns." Also the dogs are loaded with omega 3's.

                                                          http://www.letsbefrankdogs.com/

                                                          1. re: nrique

                                                            there's a new champ in town-- let's be frank-- i've had them and they're fantastic. here's the expert's opinion:

                                                            http://www.laweekly.com/eat+drink/fir...

                                                            1. re: auntflo

                                                              Previous thread / review of the new dog cart in CC here on Chowhound:

                                                              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/468535

                                                            2. re: nrique

                                                              Yes!! It was I that posted about the hot dogs at Penmar Golf Course.
                                                              It still is the best hot dog I've *EVER* had. The dogs are split and grilled to perfection, while the bun is gets nice and toasty on the griddle.
                                                              I have yet to find another hot dog better than this one. I personally don't like the steamed kind... this seems to be the only place that ONLY grills the dogs (not steamed THEN grilled or whatever). Also, not a lot of other places take the time to toast their buns.

                                                              1. re: banquisha

                                                                Carney's will grill on request.

                                                            3. I might be considered a simpleton by all you sophisticates, but I still think the COSTCO $1.60 hot dog and coke the best tasting and best bargain in town. I get mine with sauerkraut, deli mustard, relish, and a dash of ketchup. It's a Kosher dog, all beef, and always tasty. I prefer the Polish Hebrew National. Chacun a son gout.

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: Golem

                                                                Golem, which Costco has the sauerkraut?

                                                                1. re: eartha

                                                                  ALL Costcos do, but you have to ask and there isn't a sign stating anything about sauerkraut. I agree 100% Golem, very hard to justify spending more money for a dog that at best MAY only be a little better than Costco. Try both the hot dog and the Polish dog

                                                                  1. re: eartha

                                                                    As far as I know, they all do. Just ask for it at the counter, where you pay. But you do have to ask.

                                                                    1. re: Golem

                                                                      Thanks for the tip. I have to go to Costco today and I will check this out.

                                                                2. IMHO Jeffs Gourmet Kosher Sausage makes the best dog in LA - they make their own and are strictly kosher - http://www.jeffsgourmet.com/

                                                                  -----
                                                                  Jeff's Gourmet Kosher Sausage
                                                                  8930 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035

                                                                  1. Pacific Coast Hotdogs in OC is very good and I would definately try em if your in the OC. I've only had the chili dogs and chili fries and they were excellent.
                                                                    PCH uses Hoffy brand dogs, steamed and they also have a Chicago Dog, New York Dog, and Fire dog offered on there menu. I was amussed seeing the guy use this obviously home made routed out board to hold the dogs while he dressed them. Very clean, he washes his hands in between customers. Always a line..

                                                                    http://www.yelp.com/biz/pacific-coast...

                                                                    1. L.A. Hotdog Pilgrimage of July 2008

                                                                      With my sis and mom in town to visit, my wife and I yielded to sis’ idea to find the best hotdogs in LA; our own kind of culinary pilgrimage. We settled on a parametric study including: dog flavor, texture, snap, size, bun, toppings, fries, drinks, atmosphere, and parking. We also targeted grilled, instead of boiled or steamed. After much online research and a good bit of bickering, we charted our course for this Tuesday afternoon to Pinks, Skoobys, Carneys, Marty Ds, Lets Be Frank, Surfas Supply, and the City Bakery. Although the four of us differed in opinion many times, I’m doing the typing so the opinions are mine. Here’s what we found:

                                                                      Pinks: Definitely an LA landmark and a must-visit for out-of-towners. But it had at least a 45-minute wait at the window (as usual), so we did a drive-by. From several past experiences, the jalapeño dog is gigantic and good; other dogs are just OK. But it’s the toppings that make the experience, hitting all animal-vegetable-mineral kingdoms and all junk food groups, in any combination. Fries are ordinary; a few interesting bottled soft drinks; prices were fair. Having a dedicated parking lot (free) and plenty of tables to relax were pleasant surprises in this not-so-great part of town.

                                                                      Skoobys: An interesting little spot in the heart of Hollywood Blvd. Dogs ($2) were about 1/6 pound with great flavor and a great snap. The garlic dog ($3) was worth every penny – killer garlic. The bun was dense and flavorful; be careful if you’re stuck on a standard white bread roll. The fresh squeezed lemonade was GREAT. And oh, the fries – perfectly done, skin on, nice thickness, and had that subtle sweetness that any Nathans Coney Islander will know. Primarily a walk-up window establishment, Skoobys had a few bar stools where you could watch the world go by and soak up the Hollywood experience. Street parking was difficult.

                                                                      Carneys: A cute little train-car restaurant on Sunset Blvd. The dog was quite a disappointment. It was so small, maybe an 1/8 pound, that it was lost in the bun. I couldn’t really determine taste and texture, although I sensed a nice snap. The dog was completely split (not scored), which I happen to like - probably an attempt to make it look bigger. Fries were terrible (last week’s leftover McDonald’s); drinks were just standard. Price – not a good value for the product. The big private parking lot was the only redeeming factor. One thing to note – the burger at the next table looked pretty good.

                                                                      Marty Ds: Finally a great dog !!! This 1/3 pound monster is worth any journey. One dog is a meal at this place (girth and length) – it sticks way out both ends of the bun. In the heart of Beverly Hills, where quality is king, this dog fits right in. Great taste ! We spent some time with the owner who said he imports the dogs (specially made to his specs) from Brooklyn. This guy is hell bent on giving his customers the ultimate hotdog experience. The tube is slightly scored to let the grill impart a gentle crunch to the exterior, followed by a good snap. Fries were unusual - good & plenty, with a nice thickness, a hard exterior and a mush middle. Specialty drinks included vanilla and chocolate egg creams. Price was a bit high ($8 for a dog + fries), but still a good value given the quantity, quality and table service. Pickle was disappointing. Parking was difficult on a crowded Beverly Blvd.

                                                                      Warning: The other hotdog grills close early: Let’s Be Frank (4 pm), Surfas (3 pm), City Bakery (3 pm); so we never got to them. Maybe next time . . .

                                                                      9 Replies
                                                                      1. re: CountDogula

                                                                        For your next round -- Fab Hot dogs in the San Fernando Valley. On Tampa just South of Vanowen. They do several regional styles of dogs, like deep fried rippers, New York Coney island style and traditional Chicago Dogs. Everything I have had there has been terrific.

                                                                        1. re: CountDogula

                                                                          Weenez in Downtown L.A. (500 S. Spring Street) is the closest to a NY grilled dog that I've found in L.A. (Weinerschnitzel's is pretty okay, but a natural casing dog would be better still).

                                                                          Pup & I went to the Doghouse in La Canada this week. Tasty Sabrett's dog, but it's steamed and not grilled.

                                                                          1. re: Briggs

                                                                            Weeneez was pretty good; I found them a little expensive and not as good as Fab's.

                                                                            Great snap on the dog though.

                                                                            1. re: ns1

                                                                              Hands down...with the atmosphere of Dodger Stadium a grilled Dodger Dog. Next would be off Smiley's cart in Westlake Village which has the Sabrett dogs

                                                                              1. re: gdodgerfan

                                                                                I've only had one Dodger Dog that came with my gf's tickets. Cold, bland taste/no spicing, no snap and a cheap bun..................glad I'm not a baseball fan!
                                                                                Smiley's cart is on my list, has been for a long time. He's never there when I look!

                                                                                1. re: sel

                                                                                  Smiley's cart is 100 yards from my office. It still says "Smiley's Catering" but Smiley sold out about a year ago to another personable guy. I can't tell that anything has changed, though, except the new guy is smart enough to bring a lawn chair for himself. He's usually there from about 11:00 to 2:00, but recently he hasn't been there every day of the week. He is there most days, however.

                                                                                  1. re: TomSwift

                                                                                    When I'm in the area, a company I do projects for is nearby, it's usually weekdays around lunch to late lunch time. Guess I just haven't hit it on the right day!

                                                                                  2. re: sel

                                                                                    Oh yea, the Dodger Dog that I tried and tossed after one bite was not grilled.

                                                                                  3. re: gdodgerfan

                                                                                    Avoid Dodger Dogs like the plague.

                                                                            2. Has anyone tried Happy Dogs outside the Van Nuys courthouse? I saw it the other day when I was across the street, but sadly had no time to investigate. I do know it was the space formerly occupied by another place I never partook in, Law Dogs.

                                                                              1. Right now I have to go with Vicious Dogs in NoHo. Awesome grilled dogs of every variety.

                                                                                http://www.viciousdogsnoho.com/

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: mst3k

                                                                                  AND it's grilled!!! i'll have to make a trip to try it ASAP! THANKS!!