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Jun 8, 2010 12:50 PM

hot dog comparison: Fab's vs Vicious

As a long time Fab's fan, I've driven by Vicious dozens of times and never even considered stopping in. The place has generally favorable reviews, so one day I figured why not - it's not like I haven't looked up the place online (numerous times).

The first thing I feel when I step up to the counter is utter confusion. Where's all the menu items online? How the hell is this menu organized? To add to the madness, there's paper specials taped to the counter and the walls. I tell the girl at the counter to give me a few minutes.

Anyway, after a few minutes we decide. The girlfriend is craving something "like" an LA street dog, so she gets a steamed bacon wrapped dog with mayo. I get the "patrick's special" (or something like that) which is basically a sausage topped with peppers and marinated meat, almost like an italian beef sandwich.

So the orders come out. Mine looks pretty good; hers looks...anemic. Small dog, small bun, the whole thing looks like it's straight out of Ralphs. More or less tastes like it too - no snap to the dog at all. Disappointing.

I don't remember all the details of mine, save that it was "good enough" but pretty salty. Think we ordered some onion rings too.

Overall, the best way to describe the Vicious experience is unremarkable. Totally undeserving of their 4* yelp rating.

So next week I find out that we're heading out to the valley. Heading out to the valley in my book means a pit stop at Fab's. Now, this is the first time I've been to the new location, and it's AWESOME. Sure there's still a line out the door, and the line is awkward as hell, but there's 10x as much seating AND there's room to actually move around inside! Much unlike Vicious, the menu here is super easy to navigate, completely logical.

We order a bacon cheddar melt, bacon cheeseburger, garlic tots. They come out, and instantly you could tell the difference. The dog was nice and plump and LOOKED tantalizing.

I'm gonna save you the details and just say that it was as awesome as I had expected. The cheeseburgers here are heavily underrated; they put care into each one and the quality of the bacon is fantastic.

At the end of the day, Fab's vs Vicious can be summed down to this:

You know Fab's is awesome the second you leave the door, and go home to tell all your internet buddies and post pictures online (well at least I do). I can't even remember exactly what I bought at Vicious Dog's - it was that forgettable.

Vicious Dogs
5231 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601

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  1. Hi ns1,

    Nice review, thanks. :) Haven't been to either yet, so I'll have to try Fab's one of these days.

    And where are the pics? :)

    3 Replies
    1. re: exilekiss

      Ask and ye shall receive.

      2nd picture is a philly cheesesteak dog with a polish sausage instead of hot dog

      1. re: ns1

        ns1, thanks for the great pictures. That Philly Cheesesteak Polish looks tasty. Did it taste as good as it looks?

        1. re: Norm Man

          It was a friend of mines. Looked VERY good though, esp. with the polish instead of the dog.

    2. i suppose i really should give it another try.. i've tried 2 diff dogs (inclu. the ripper) and the fritopie.. couldn't even finish the dogs as they were not good at all. the fritopie, however, was decent. i'm in no hurry to go back, but i will leave it open. havU tried slawdogs?? i have yet to try that one.

      1 Reply
      1. re: namstermonster

        Haven't tried Slaw Dogs yet

        There's definitely a few of Fab's dogs that I don't like, although the ripper is not one of them. IMHO, the bald eagle mustard relish is one of the greatest condiments ever invented.

        My "regulars" @ Fabs are the LA street dog, brat w/sauerkraut, or a plain steamed dog w/ grilled onions and BE relish. Never tried the fritopie as I'm always drawn to the garlic tots (not on the menu)

        The Slaw Dogs
        720 N Lake Ave, Pasadena, CA 91104

      2. There was a hot dog place on the corner of Ventura and Winnetka that featured something I would like to find elsewhere. I don't remember what it was called but they took 2 hot dogs, covered them with chile, onions, cheese and jalapenos and wrapped it all in a tortilla. Does either place have a similar item?

        4 Replies
        1. re: mucho gordo

          I know Fab's has a few wrapped dogs like that, not sure about Vicious. You can also find a similar dog @ Oki Dog, which I also enjoy for what it is (Pico location).

          1. re: ns1

            Thanks, ns1. Just checked out Fab's menu and, sure enuf, they do have something similar. Got to try it.

          2. re: mucho gordo

            Fab has a two double-dogs that are similar. One is the Fairfax Burrito Dog (similar to Oki dog) with pastrami, chili, cheddar cheese, onions and mustard and the other is the Texas Burrito Dog with bacon, chili, cheese, onions, mustard and crumbled fritos. Both are wrapped in a tortilla. Fab will put jalapenos on different dogs also. So I cannot see why they wouldn't do a double dog wrapped in a flour tortilla with the items you wanted.

            I've found Fab very willing to modify toppings. My favorite item to get is the Mexicali toppings -- adobo sauce, chipotle peppers, guacamole, sour cream and onions -- but on a "firecracker," their spicy polish sausage.

            1. re: Jwsel

              YESSSS!!! What you get sounds almost perfect. If they're willing to work with me on toppings, I'll be there.
              Aren;t they located where QT's hot dog used to be?