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Papaya King is coming to Hollywood...

The first west coast outpost of NYC's legendary Papaya King hot dog stand is coming to Hollywood (at Hollywood Blvd and Wilcox) Any thoughts or tears of joy?

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  1. They are what they are, great crispy hotdogs and fruit drinks (I prefer the orange). Enjoy!

    1. Outstanding! I used to live near the 86th and Lex location. I hope this outpost doesn't suffer the dilution that many places do when they try to expand beyond their region.

      Looking forward to having a dog and a half-papaya/half-mango . . . without jetlag.

      1. Good to hear.
        We need a good grilled natural casing hot dog.

          1. just hope the food comes from NY not local .

            20 Replies
            1. re: tnsquire

              Their hot dogs are made especially for them by Sabrett's.

              1. re: monku


                sorry to disagree with you on this, although Papaya King does use a Natural Casing All Beef Hot Dog made by Marathon Enterprises, the makers of the Sabrett label, they are the same dogs and not a unique recipe. Hotdoglover has mentioned this in the past. I relayed a story about Katz's where I purchased what I thought to be a special house recipe there as well, but when I got home, the Marathon label was clearly attached


                While I'm sure this will be a welcomed addition to the Snap Dog option on the West Coast.....I'm also sure a lot of people will be disappointed.....don't get me wrong, I like Sabrett franks very much. When I used to get them in NYC in the past, they were 2 for .75, then 2 for a buck and last, @ 2 for ?.....In the past couple of years, they opened a franchise location in New Jersey with high expectations, but the buzz wore off quickly due to the original price of $2.50+ per hot dog....a steep price for a Sabrett, especially if you were a customer in NYC in the past, where a single dog was in the $1- 1.25 range pre-toppings.

                I can only surmise people will flock to there, but will leave with the notion what all the fuss was about.

                1. re: fourunder

                  I know Marthon is the parent company of Sabrett's and they make hot dogs for Papaya King which is supposedly their own recipe (they claim to use a certain spice). My next door neighbor sold bulk spice to Marathon. More people know the Sabrett's name than Marathon.

                  I also know Marathon made the hot dogs for Nathan's, not anymore. Sabrett's is the #1 dirty water dog served at push carts in NYC. The hot dog is the #1 lunch staple in NYC.

                  I grew up in New York (Long Island, North Shore) and during the summer almost every Saturday night was spent at Nathan's Oceanside eating 50 cent grilled hot dogs. Think 9 in one night was my personal best.

                  Sabrett's is probably the NYC hot dog of of choice by default, Chicago it's Vienna. Los Angeles' brand is Hoffy, but most people here probably don't care or realize it...they think it's Farmer John's Dodger dog(a poor excuse for a hot dog).

                  1. re: fourunder

                    I can only surmise people will flock to there, but will leave with the notion what all the fuss was about.


                    I'm pretty sure this Papaya King opening in Hollywood is a franchise. I wouldn't be surprised if a plain hot dog is at the minimum $3.50. Over the years there have been Nathan's franchises that have come and gone silently. It's very possible this Papaya King will face the same fate.
                    Papaya King is an institution like Pink's, how many people flock to the other places Pink's sells hot dogs ?

                      1. re: fourunder

                        Pink's get's no respect from this board.
                        They're #1 in this town as far as sales, celebrity endorsements(wall of fame) and they do have great chili dogs (Hoffy) , my fav the Polish sausage (w/chili, mustard & onion), the jalepeno is just too hot for me, but yes, they have combinations for every taste.
                        You have patience, if I see more than 10 people in line I won't go. I hate the lines there and will only go when they first open at 9:30am on a Sunday morning. Many a smart tourist will also show up at that time.

                        I haven't been to Rutt's Hut, but tried the ripper at Fab (one of our dog joints on the radar right now and they import the same hot dog as Rutt's uses), it didn't do anything for me.

                        Never had a Chicago dog from Chicago, but have had a few at Portillo's(a Chicago landmark for hot dogs) location in Buena Park. They are authentic with the Vienna natural casing hot dog, all the authentic toppings and even served on the S. Rosen poppy seed bun they get from Chicago....I still don't get the Chicago dog...how can you even enjoy the hot dog with all that stuff on it?

                        1. re: monku

                          Wow, so Pink's is number one in celebrity endorsements? The best reason to stay away.

                          1. re: IPA USER

                            Celebrities sell products don't they?
                            Wall of fame includes chefs like Gordon Ramsey and Nobu Matsuhisa.

                      2. re: monku

                        There was a Nathan's franchise on Pico Blvd that closed a few years ago. There is a Nathan's combined with a Arthur Treacher's in Hawthorne.

                        Where else in LA has there been a Nathan's franchise?

                        1. re: reality check

                          Those were two I was thinking of and I believe there was one in the valley maybe Van Nuys.
                          I went to that one on Pico a couple times and they didn't look like they wanted to open for business.

                          1. re: monku

                            Now that you mentioned the Valley, maybe Burbank? I know some people may not consider Burbank the valley, but it's close enough. Maybe, near where Kenny Rogers Broasters used to be, may they were even combined?

                            1. re: reality check

                              I think the place in I'm thinking of was on Van Nuys Blvd. South of the 101 on the east side of the street.
                              They sold sandwiches and stuff and I'm pretty sure Nathans hot dogs, but it wasnt a true Nathans franchise, they happen to sell Nathan's hot dogs.

                              As ga as that Burbank location isn't there a Tommy's down the street?

                              1. re: monku

                                Doesn't the Infield stand (part of the Dip "empire" - lol) offer everything from Sabrett's to Vienna Beef to Hebrew National to Nathan's?


                                1. re: Servorg

                                  Good call, have to putit on my hot dog hunt list.
                                  How come it's never come up before. Line up like that is a gem.

                                  1. re: monku

                                    Infield has been mentioned a few times on CH.

                                    Every Tues. it's $2, everything on menu. But substitutions or deletions are not allowed. If the hot dog comes with relish and you want no relish, it's full price.

                                    1. re: reality check

                                      Interesting about "deletions" in their $2 specials.
                                      I almost wanted to go there tonight.

                                      1. re: monku

                                        It gets busy there on Tues. and that policy, at times make for faster service. Though I have been there when somebody will argue about the policy and that makes the wait time that much longer. At those times it would be easier to put no onions or relish on the hot dog.

                                        But, some of the hot dogs come, like the Sandy Koufax dog come with nothing on it, and you can add your favorite toppings. Most toppings are free-mustard, onions etc. Chili, cheese etc are extra.

                                        1. re: monku

                                          One other thing, that no deletions policy is only on Tues. You can have any hot dog your way, the other days there are open.

                            2. re: reality check

                              In days of a bygone era (my recollection is early-to-mid 70s thru mid 80s or so?), there was a Nathan's hot dog restaurant on the north east corner of Ventura Blvd. and Louise in Encino.

                              Not sure if it was a franchise or not though, but do still remember the yellow signs with green lettering, and the pretty good (but not great) dogs.

                              I always preferred Cupid's or the dearly departed Weiner Factory to Nathan's.

                              1. re: GK in SO

                                To GK in SO. Thanks for bringing back memories of that particular Nathans. I remember that location served pizza as well as hot dogs. It was delicious back then, too!

                        1. re: DrBruin

                          What do you consider the best?

                          1. re: monku

                            Hmmm.... the "best" is a tough question... I'll need to think about this some more. Some of my favorites...

                            In the OC, I liked Mustard's but haven't been there in a long time because I don't live in the area....
                            In LA, I enjoy a good Dodger dog at Dodger Stadium (perhaps because it's the whole atmosphere).
                            Nationwide, I enjoy the Costco dogs.

                            When I lived in NY, I found the Papaya King dogs to be too small...and I got some gristle in a few bites on more than one occasion.. I think the cripsy exterior that JNK loves made them tough. I think Papaya King is decent "you've just been out to the bars" food or "you've got no money" food. I am only referring to their original dog. I haven't had their chili dogs or jumbo sausages.. I'm sure it'll do well for a while while the novelty hasn't worn off and because there are enough ex-NYers who live in LA who'll probably visit once for nostalgia's sake... I don't see this business lasting

                        2. I'm sure looking forward to having a Papaya King Dog, after hearing so much about them.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: laliz

                            I suspect your enthusiasm is what poster fourunder is concerned about... Try not to get your expectations up too high. Several years ago I did a hot dog crawl of NYC & tried Papaya King along with the other Papaya and Nathan's on Coney Island. Nathan's was the hands down winner. Both Greys and King were thoroughly ordinary (though fine) and for a population that is used to eating real papaya, I suspect the sweet orange "papaya" drink will cause Angelenos some confusion.

                            It is worth managing your expectations on this one.

                            Mr Taster

                          2. Oh, my God -- Hot Dog Revolution was my preferred name. Went to the one on Broadway on the Upper West SIde -- 68th?

                            Even at this remove I know the experience was for atmosphere and now would be for nostalgia. I wouldn't approach it with high expectations regarding the food, were I you. But I'll have to go.

                            Upper West
                            3321 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90404

                            1. get the papaya drink mixed with orange juice.. yummmmmmm

                              1. Papaya King? meh. If Gray's Papaya was coming I'd be impressed.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: maxzook

                                  me too; Gray's Papaya is/was better choice!

                                  1. re: foufou

                                    i disagree. i've always preferred papaya king to gray's. and not just because gray's is a knockoff of papaya king.

                                2. am i missing something? wasn't the joy of papaya king and grey's papaya the fact that you can get 2 hot dogs and a papaya drink for $2 or something in that neighborhood? if they come into the neighborhood with the same price point, i think they'll do well. it was good for what you got. nothing extrodinary but cheap and in the neighborhood.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: cdub

                                    no you are missing a thing.....papaya king and grey's were definitely "cheap eats" and you got what you paid for!

                                    1. re: foufou

                                      For those talking about Pinks and those places, come on over the east side and go to Tops Jr in Alhambra. The best chili dogs and chili fries in my opinion. You gotta try them out.

                                      I want to go to Papaya King in Hollywood. I don't think it's open yet but I will certainly try it out. I heard so much about PK and never been to NYC. Now when they open I get to do so.

                                  2. For anyone asking about the price - it's the same as in NYC. The original franks are $2 with one free topping. Addl. toppings are $.50. Specialty franks run from $2.25 - $3.50. Combo with fries/drink are $5-6 range.

                                    Not sure about the larger sausages as I only have had the food from their temporary truck ATM, but so far it looks like they're keeping it consistent with the original.

                                    Oh and for the record, as far as taste, it's what you'd expect from the simple NYC style dogs. Go in knowing that and you'll like it just fine.

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: vronic

                                      This is good advice. Don't go expecting PK to compare with Fab or Wiener Factory [RIP]. Their strength is their simple natural casing dogs, cooked on a griddle until browned in places. What I particularly like about PK is their mustard, which is sort of a cross between brown deli mustard and Dijon. I think some of the specialty dogs and toppings were introduced since I moved from NYC 15 years ago, so I can't comment on them, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were mostly disappointing. My memory may be selective, but I don't remember ever seeing curly fries (or any fries at all) at PK, either. Maybe now that they're franchising, they're trying to be more things to more people?

                                      1. re: Peripatetic

                                        The Papaya King website (encompassing the NYC location) does have the curly fries on the menu - maybe it's a new addition?

                                        1. re: vronic

                                          Some sleuthing turned up this 2000 article that says Papaya King was purchased by a venture capital firm in 1997 and subsequently added the curly fries:


                                          I left NYC in 1996, so it was after my time.

                                        2. re: Peripatetic

                                          My visit this afternoon is my first to a PK in about thirty-five years, so my comparisons will be hazy at best.

                                          Basically I agree with those who warn of high expectations. This is, first and foremost, cheap and slightly-better-than-average street food (and I don't mean Feininger-style). It's small and cramped and there is no place to sit, and counter-space for maybe three people (on the same counter as the mustard, which is a choice of French's or Beaver Deli-Style).

                                          Of course the prices have gone up since my last visit but they're still in line with where they stood in the cost-of-living back then. Also I don't remember such toppings as mushrooms or sides such as the curly fries -- I seem to recall they had bags of chips, most likely Wise.

                                          Worth checking out if you're in the neighborhood or having a bout of NYC nostalgia or hungry and broke after midnight, but I wouldn't drive from a distance (as I would for Fab's or used to for Weiner Factory).

                                          Papaya King
                                          1645 Wilcox Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028

                                          1. re: maxzook

                                            > small and cramped and there is no place to sit, and counter-space
                                            > for maybe three people

                                            That's pretty authentic.

                                            > I don't remember such toppings as mushrooms or sides such as the curly fries

                                            The curly fries were introduced in the late 90's (see http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7626...)

                                            > mustard, which is a choice of French's or Beaver Deli-Style

                                            Noooo! PK's house blend of mustard was a big part of the attraction! French's and Beaver are not substitutes. Beaver (and it's co-brand Inglehoffer) are not even indigenous to the East Coast. :(

                                            Barely seems any point in going now.

                                            1. re: Peripatetic

                                              Yeah, Beaver mustard is a definite non-starter for any business evoking foods with NY roots. I still remember years ago that Langer's had the stuff and it has since been mercifully replaced by Gulden's.

                                              Mr Taster

                                              1. re: Peripatetic

                                                I did not get that close a look on the label on the mustard container except to say it did not look like a special house brand but some brand name, most likely French's but I wouldn't swear to it (I had the Beaver brand).

                                                If and when I get back there I'll check more closely ... it's a few blocks from my bus stop, but as I said I'm not going out of my way to hurry back. Maybe someone else who gets over there sooner can verify.

                                        3. I'm excited--I've never tried them in NY. I got an email last night that said if you say "I pledge allegiance to the King!" at the register you will get a free order of curly fries! Sounds fun. =)

                                          1. Tried this place over the weekend and it was nothing special, in fact their Original combo was kind of gross. Papaya juice was good, but I was looking for a good hot dog. Skooby's down the street is much better. The average bacon-wrapped street dog in Los Angeles is better too.

                                            6654 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028