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Dec 19, 2008 02:11 PM

Hot Dogs or Fish Tacos North of the Airport (LAX)

Hi there, I am coming in to town and staying just north of the airport. I am looking for any well respected LA fish taco or hot dog institutions. Mind you, I have no idea my way around LA so if it's too far away, I probably won't be able to find it. I may have to drive up to Brentwood or BHills, so if there are any places along the way, I am more than down to try and convince my wife that we gotta pull over just to try some street foods.
Thank you in advance for any help!

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  1. The westside of LA (Brentwood or B Hills) is not exactly a nirvana for fish taco hunting. There is a chain, Wahoo's with a location on Wilshire Blvd. adjacent to Brentwood that has "decent" fish tacos. Strangely enough there is a place in Century City "Pink Taco" (no use making any jokes about the derivation of the name - they have all been made here many many times) that has pretty good fish tacos for the westside. If you can go farther East there are several great places, but the closest is in the Silverlake area. If you are interested in doing some traveling for the real deal just let the board know and the information can be provided.

    Hot Dogs can be had at Marty D's in Beverly Hills on Beverly Blvd. Also The Stand in Westwood (and another location in Century City) is decent. My tastes run to chili cheese dogs and when I have a hankering I go to Carney's on Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Servorg

      In Westchester, just north of LAX. is the Bridge Cinema where you'll find Fish Tacos and a Jodi Moroney's (sp) for hot dogs right next to each other in the complex.

    2. Any chance you could go for a burger instead of hot dogs? Also, do they have to be fish tacos? Lots more options if the answers are yes.

      6 Replies
      1. re: a_and_w

        Don't know of any good hotdog places just north of LAX. I've heard Marty D's is good, but never been there. There is the Let's Be Frank cart by the Helms Building which has hormone-free, grass-fed beef franks
        I'm more partial to the bacon wrapped hot dogs I get from the vendor by the entrance to the B&B hardware parking lot. It's on the southside of the street one block west of Centinela and Washington Blvd. (in west L.A.). He told me he is there from 11am to 6pm M-Sat (but he might leave early or not be there on bad weather days). I would think it would be kind of a local thing, but I haven't been to New York in ages. He puts on mayo, ketchup, chunky guacamole and grilled onions (he has some other condiments and has grilled jalapenos). You can also pick up Mexican Cokes and Pepsi in glass bottles from him. Not sure about good fish taco places. I think Tacomiendo on Inglewood Avenue just south of Culver Blvd. sort of features seafood dishes, but I've never had their fish tacos. My last two recs are definitely in cheap price category.

        1. re: Feed_me

          mustard's vienna beef dogs in los al, y'all.

          1. re: hotdogfan

            Isn't Mustard's in Long Beach? I'm trying to keep it within the area the OP asked for (LAX area to BH/Brentwood). I was thinking the bacon wrapped dog w/guacamole might be something a little different and it's mighty tasty (and filling for $3).

          1. re: NYCFORKER

            Awesome. For something downscale, Apple Pan, or Hole in the Wall Burger Joint, both in West LA. For something more gastropubby, check out Father's Office in Sana Monica or Culver City, or Nook Bistro in West LA. Also, Fatburger and In 'n Out (multiple locations) both do tasty fast food burgers. You may be tempted by Barney's in Brentwood, but I personally think it's a mediocre burger.

            1. re: NYCFORKER

              a lot closer would be the excellent burgers served at 26 beach restaurant at 3100 washington blvd, marina del rey. the burgers come with your choice of fries or salad. go with the fries.

          2. Truly good hot dogs have never really been a strength in my part of town - the Westside. But as does just about everything else in LA, even the hot dog scene has changed. While not a brick&mortar, Let's Be Frank is probably the most focused of all hot dog purveyors in SoCal. Almost as a tribute or even a symptom of LA, Let's Be Frank offers up its hot dogs from a trailer that it tows around to two parts of LA that would be worth your visits as a Chowhound: the Helms Building adjacent to Downtown Culver City during the day, and on Abbot Kinney in Venice at night. Both of these areas have very good eats.

            Let's Be Frank does it right - high-grade grass-fed beef, no preservatives, and the buns are from Acme Bread in Berkeley. This sourcing of their bread strongly hints not only at their dedication to quality, it also indicates where the founders are from - the Bay area, and to be more specific, Chez Panisse.


            If either of these places don't fall well into your driving plans, there is a restaurant indicated on the website that does carry their franks. Food is on Pico Blvd in West LA - pretty much in between your travels between Brentwood and Beverly Hills. Food received some initial buzz on the site but seems to have fallen off the radar. I haven't been but it may be worth considering as well.


            4 Replies
            1. re: bulavinaka

              still 5 bucks for a small hot dog that doesn't really fill you up. also, is it me or are the dogs mealy tasting, and grainy, and underseasoned?

              1. re: hotdogfan

                I think their grind puts the franks somewhat close to what most consider to be sausages. I tend to like them for that reason...

                1. re: hotdogfan

                  Have you made the drive out to Fabs in the Valley? What do you think about Carney's chili cheese dogs? You aren't the reincarnation of Steve Doggy-Dog are you?

                  Fab Hot Dogs (location as of May 2010)
                  19417 Victory Blvd, Reseda, CA 91335

                  Carney's Restaurant
                  8351 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90069

                  1. re: Servorg

                    I second the recommendation for Fab Dogs, which opened this summer and quickly became something of a sensation:


                    It's a bit of a detour up the 405 from the route you mentioned, but if you're intent on hot dogs, it's well worth it. The LA Street Dog and tater tots are unmissable. The Bald Eagle is an excellent rendition of a NJ ripper, but you might find that it's "coals to Newcastle" for you.

                    NB: they're only open until 9pm. Also, note that your first reaction upon arrival might be: "this can't be the right place". It's in an improbable location, but so is much of LA's best dining.

              2. You should go to the home of the fish taco: Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill! It is the fish taco institution. Here's the location closest to your stay:


                On the Border Mexican Grill
                6081 Center Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90045

                Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill - Beverly Center
                8500 Beverly Blvd Ste 806, Los Angeles, CA 90048

                5 Replies
                1. re: mimisuki

                  Although I've never tried the fish tacos specifically at Rubio's, the rest of their food has always underwhelmed me.

                  1. re: a_and_w

                    I tried Rubio's fish tacos when I was visiting from NYC and wondered why people made such a big deal about fish tacos. When I moved to LA I discovered Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada in Los Feliz, and now I know. I recommend a visit to BFTE for a good immersion experience into LA food culture. My favorite time to visit is during the day when it's warm enough to sit outside and savor the ambiance of the nearby car body shops and architectural tragedies. I can also recommend Tacos Baja Ensenada in East LA, but that's more of a detour from the west side.

                    NB: Best Fish Taco in Ensenada closes at 8pm, doesn't have a phone, and only takes cash.

                    Tacos Baja Ensenada
                    5385 Whittier Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90022

                    Best Fish Taco in Ensenada
                    1650 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

                    1. re: Peripatetic

                      it should be noted, though, that neither Best Fish Taco nor Taco's Baja are anywhere near the airport.

                      1. re: westsidegal

                        That's a fair comment. I haven't been to Taqueria Sanchez, but I can't think of any places between LAX and Brentwood/Beverly Hills that do "respectable" (to paraphrase the OP) fish tacos or hot dogs, with the exception of Let's Be Frank, which others have recommended (though is only open until 4 or 5pm last I checked). If the OP is willing to travel, I think Fab Dogs or Best Fish Taco in Ensenada are worth seeking out. If the OP is okay with other cuisines, then there are definitely worthwhile places that are closer and would be novel to a New Yorker (Pann's, Father's Office Culver City, Apple Pan, to name a few . . .)

                        1. re: Peripatetic

                          Let's Be Frank moves in the evening to Abbot Kinney. look for the Hipsters Craving Dogs in Venice.

                2. fwiw, as an ex-new yorker, imho, hot dogs are just not LA's forte--especially near the airport.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: westsidegal

                    Totally agree. I lived in NYC for 10 years, and the only hot dogs I've had that are on a par with the Papaya King at 86th and 3rd is Fab Dogs. I never made it to Wiener Factory in Sherman Oaks, though, which I hear was outstanding.