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Hot Dog, Hot Dog, Hot Diggity Dog

First, let me say that hot doggery is an intensely personal thing. Whatever you grew up eating is "what a hot dog should be". For me, it's brown mustard and sauerkraut. No onions, no relish, no chili and fortheloveofallthat'sholy NO KETCHUP.

And I just had the best hot dog I've had since coming to California ten years ago.

A jumbo dog from the cart outside the Home Depot on Katella and Xtra (no, I'm not making that street name up) in Orange. Great snap, nice bun that didn't split or mush, brown mustard, sauerkraut. They have bacon dogs too, which looked good. And the usual-for-California accoutrements (onions, etc.). They're not dirty-water dogs because they're actually heated on a flat top grill.

I'm glad to have found it. The guy was really nice. And while it wasn't exactly cheap it hit the spot, and that's what Chowhounding is all about.

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  1. Sir Das, for an amazing hot dog experience you must get to Fab's in the Valley. They have many different and amazing styles. It is a good thing it is to far away from me otherwise I would be there daily. RIP Big Weenies in Hollywood!

    6 Replies
    1. re: Burger Boy

      can anyone even get in there any more? i went by around 2:30 p.m. last weekend and it was a mob scene.

      el linus

      1. re: linus

        Sure, it's easy to get in - you just have to wait a bit. If your schedule permits, try to get there at 11:00 when they open, or go about 3:00 pm (weekdays). Weekends are not a good bet. The Stadium mustard is sublime. Brooklyn Pizzeria next door has a banner that says you get a free slice (cheese) if you bring your Fab receipt in.

        1. re: linus

          It's a mob but I've never waited more than 20 mins for food.

          Downhill alert on the tots though, ask for them well done, esp. if they're busy

          1. re: ns1

            Always well done. And with garlic.

            1. re: ns1

              i don't dispute your report, but the amount of people i saw standing outside the joint makes me think 20 minutes is optomistic.
              and, call me irresponsible, but i rarely want a hot dog at 11 a.m. or 3 p.m.
              on the other hand, maybe in the buddy/cop movie of life, i'm just getting too old for this...stuff.

              el linus

              1. re: linus

                Well I've had good luck 2/2. That said, one time after I ordered (about 730p) 20 people got in line.

                Oh yeah, I've ONLY gone there twice since DDD because it IS a mad house. They are quite appreciative when their regulars drop in though :)

        2. Hey DU.Are you an ethnic dog eater as well? The completo(Chile), dogao(Brazil), Colombian, Sonoran(Mex), or the bacon-wrapped hot from Mexico City?

          Is there a California dog? Do share your hot dog experiences. What other spots do you like around town?

          5 Replies
          1. re: streetgourmetla

            Some seek out hot dogs; some come to hot dogs through opportunity. I only really eat hot dogs when I see one and go, "Yeah, that's what I want." Hot dogs happen to me through serendipity, that unexpected but pleasant conjunction of my wanting a hot dog and a hot dog being available. I don't really seek them out.

            I notice most American-style hotdoggeries in LA with onions. I'm not a big fan of raw onions on hot dogs.

            I have been to Japadog (tasty but weird, like most Western food translated for Japanese tastes and re-exported); I have had DF-style bacon dogs, which I really do like. Never had a Chilean, Brazilian, Colombian or Sonoran tubesteak before, but I wouldn't reject them. I imagine it would end up like my opinion of CA pizza: tasty, but "foreign".

            Now, of course, I'm wondering what to eat for dinner -- one hot dog left me kinda hungry.

            1. re: Das Ubergeek

              Whats for Dinner, You Say ???

              If my memory banks are functioning correctly, then I believe you've relocated near the Anaheim area, so I would love to hear any opinion on how tasty the "Grilled Deer - Flank Steak" is at Jagerhaus. I'd go myself, but I reside in WLA and don't get down there anymore much myself. It's on my to-do list, which gets longer my the month:


              1. re: JBC

                I'll try that out sometime but honestly it's too hot for a heavy German meal.

                I think I'm gonna hit up Breed Street and continue the street-food theme.

                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                  Breed Street is the BOMB! Be sure to try the Quesadilla with the corn fungus D.F style. The Pombosa sandwich is great, did not try the Birria & consume. Save room for the fresh Churros!

              2. re: Das Ubergeek

                I don't really seek them out either. Sometimes, I'll get a dog from the woody's stand at Lowes and they always taste good...usually because I'm famished and it hits the spot. I'm with you on the kraut and brown mustard only, that's how I prepare mine.

            2. I'm totally with you, DU. Just like my dad, I would Never have any other condiments on my dog. The turmeric mustard (you know the brand) never darkened our door, either. When I grew up, hot dogs were BEEF, period. No pork, chicken, turkey, or worse.

              The ingredient list of most American hot dogs puts me off unless I'm very hungry. IMO that's why the bacon wrapped dogs taste so good - they distract you from your normal inhibitions.

              Anyone tried a 7/11 dog that's been 'rolling around' all day? Maybe some of the fat and corn syrup has melted off (heh heh).

              The most surprising place for a quick hot dog bite is the big truck stop at the Frazier Park offramp; they claim to serve Vienna brand dogs.

              1. how much was the hot dog at the home depot? you said it was pretty expensive, and was it an all beef dog? sabrett's? kosher best? hebrew national? etc?

                4 Replies
                1. re: kevin

                  Definitely all-beef. I didn't ask whether it was kosher or what brand it was.

                  I believe it was $3.75 for a jumbo with sauerkraut.

                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                    sounds good, did you ever go to Mattern Deli for a dog or the PCH dogs just a few minutes away.

                    1. re: kevin

                      No. I'm ashamed to say I haven't been to Mattern Deli... and as I said, I don't seek out hot dogs, hot dogs just happen occasionally to me.

                      1. re: Das Ubergeek

                        i see. yeah, i seek out hot dog stands that are good.

                        still lamenting, the passing of Wiener Factory, now that was an amazing place.

                        i guess most don't share my views in hot dogs.

                2. Polish with kraut and mustard at Costco...

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: flylice2x

                    They don't use all-beef dogs at all locations, the one near me doesn't have kraut, and the mustard is French's type turmeric yellow.


                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                      Might not be Hebrew National but it should be all beef. Huh

                      1. re: Burger Boy

                        have you guys been to The Stand, www.thestandlink.com great hot dogs and burgers there. and served with fresh made chips.

                        1. re: camajise

                          When I worked in Century City last year I went often to the Stand but more usually I got the brat, which I liked a lot.

                          1. re: Das Ubergeek

                            is he there every day?

                            it sounds pretty good.

                            1. re: kevin

                              I don't know... I don't go to Home Despot every day. :)

                    2. re: flylice2x

                      Works for me, the deli mustard at Costco'a has some kick to it & mine usually has kraut.

                      Has anyone tried Tommy Pastrami's dogs (they're Nathan's)
                      Was there a few weeks back for lunch with friends, and one of them got a dog, but for some reason I forgot to ask her how it was (must have been the HUGE pastrami sandwich I was trying to negociate into my face at the time)

                    3. Not to be too LA or anything...but Pink's is not only a (albeit only) good dog...but an amazing show after 12am!..The soft parade of drunken humanity is worth the kosher mediocrity! Im with you Home Depot folks...the smell of carmeliizing onions on the plane is intoxicating enough...Sorry Costco devotees...I gotta vote you off the island for your call.
                      Your friend in Franks,

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: OmnivoreShell

                        I'd skip the scene at Pink's and head right over to Carney's on Sunset!! Less (much less) of a wait and in my opinion a better and snappier dog. I've never grown tired of the Chicagoan there.

                        And not to get off the topic of dogs, but the chilli cheese fries with a few hot peppers on top complete the meal!

                        1. re: LATrapp

                          agree on the quality on Carneys (if you're in that area) but the douche-bag level is just not the same as it is at Pinks latenight

                          . I agree with OmnivoreShell, the parade of idiocy is worth the crap dogmeat!

                          's better than a movie!

                      2. Had a good bacon wrapped dog from a portable stand outside the Golden Gopher the other night. Lots of trimmings. I usually avoid ketchup on dogs but with all the onions and stuff and sour cream (?) this went well. $2.

                        1. Since I'm sitting here wearing my "Chicago 2016" T-shirt eight days before the International Olympic Committee announcement, I especially hate to see an entire thread on hot dogs and no mention of Portillo's (Buena Park and Moreno Valley), Mustard's (Los Alamitos), Chicago on a Bun (San Diego), the cart in front of the Lowe's near the Palm Springs airport, or other fine Southern California purveyors of the mild and delicate Chicago Vienna Beef dog, which contains no 20-year-old bitter dried spices or other off-flavors chosen for their compatibility with cheap condiments like ketchup. BTW, my preference for Vienna Beef is not just some "intensely personal thing," as the Ubergeek calls it, but rather the honest expression of a timeless and universal truth. (I hope I got all that right. It's hard to read upside-down off the front of my T-shirt. ;-)

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: Harry Nile

                            Thank you! Portillos for sure!!! Don't forget Cupid's in the Valley also.

                            1. re: jayspun

                              be careful about just saying "the valley" as the Cupids in Tarzana is rank and NOT the same old Cupids as back in the day (or the same as the one in Northridge)

                              1. re: JackonCrack

                                so which one makes dogs like they used to?

                                1. re: jayspun

                                  The Northridge (Nordoff /Lindley) one is still stands strong!

                                  1. re: JackonCrack

                                    There are just three originials left - the one you mention, Jack (my personal favorite), the one on Vanowen just east of Winnetka and there is one in Simi. All the others (i.e. the ones that sell burgers, fries, sausages, etc.) are not the original and taste different. Cupids is my choice!! ALWAYS!

                                    1. re: WildSwede

                                      Is the Cupid's you mention the one next to Dagla's?

                          2. Hi Das,

                            Great find. Thanks for the report. :) Do you know if they're there all day / through the evening? Thanks.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: exilekiss

                              I don't, really. Usually I find that they close down after dinner hour, but I'm not sure in this particular case.

                            2. I vaguely recall reading about a downtown spot that had a very expensive dog--like $15 or $25. There was some sort of gimmick--like it came with a cocktail or something. I think Steve Lopez did a column on it. Wonder if that''s still happening?

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: mc michael

                                hot dog for me sabrett onion sauce kraut browm mustard steamed bun.years and years ago a special treat was a howard johnson dog a rectangular gun slightly toasted kraut mustard and green relish.

                                1. re: mc michael

                                  If your referring to the Trifecta Rest. & Sports Lounge - It ain't happening anymore:

                                  ..."“Haute dog”? Better stop at the ATM before heading to the Trifecta Restaurant and Sports Lounge in the newly revitalized downtown Los Angeles. Who knew the urban renaissance came with such a price tag? The LA Times’ Steve Lopez invited venerated Pink’s hot dog family members to join him in the tasting of the new “Bold Venture – The Big Footer.” This is essentially a foot-long hot dog on a buttered, toasted bun. It comes with sauerkraut and New York style red onions, brown mustard, ketchup - and a $15.00 price tag.

                                  Their waitress gave it a ringing endorsement, comparing it to "the ones you get at CostCo." The tasting crew decided it was no match for a steamed dog and didn’t justify it’s price tag. Even the chef of the Trifecta praised the Pink’s hot dogs. Ironically, the Trifecta’s haute dogs come from Chicago!...."

                                  You can see pictures of the place & many menu items, but alas not the $15 dog, here:


                                    1. re: mc michael

                                      Papoos.. Toluca lake across from bobs big boy,grilled dog been there for decades 1940s?...Carneys steamed or grilled very good..ya know george forman grill slice of onion crush the bun in that thing..

                                2. I can't believe no one's mentioned Vicious Dogs in North Hollywood - so.good.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: mystererae

                                    Agreed. J Gold talked about them last year. Good stuff.

                                    1. re: mystererae

                                      Love Vicious Dogs! And the owner is ridiculously nice and helpful with the menu.

                                      My heart also belongs to Earlez Grill on Crenshaw. Mmmmm. It's also nice since I can go with my Veggie friend and don't have to hear them bitch... ;-)

                                    2. Baby Bad@$$ Burgers have these smaller hot dogs, which actually are really great! Snappy and they cook them right ! Much better hot dog experience at this truck than at Golden State..


                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Dommy

                                        I tried out Chicago's Best in the Food Court on Main near Jamboree last week in Irvine.
                                        A Chicago style dog & fries for $3.65. It was pretty darn good, although I admit I was a thrown off my game a bit evaluating the dog itself as the fresh hot & tasty fries had me off on another tangent. Yum!
                                        Planning a return visit soon, I really love the Chicago style in dogs.

                                      2. I was driving north on Hill in Pasadena (between Colorado and Walnut) last night and noticed a Hot Dog banner on the new building that is being built on the west side of the street next to Hill Avenue Grace Lutheran Church. I cannot wait for them to open - I hope it will be good. Cannot remember the exact name of the place since I was going pretty fast. Anyone heard anything about it?

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: WildSwede

                                          please let me know if that hot dog joint opens up and return with a review.