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Papaya King is coming to Hollywood...

wienermobile Jan 29, 2011 08:41 AM

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. jnk RE: wienermobile Jan 29, 2011 08:45 AM

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

    1. Peripatetic RE: wienermobile Jan 29, 2011 12:17 PM

      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. monku RE: wienermobile Jan 29, 2011 12:40 PM

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

        1. Phurstluv RE: wienermobile Jan 29, 2011 06:28 PM

          OMG - can't wait!!

          1. t
            tnsquire RE: wienermobile Jan 29, 2011 10:38 PM

            just hope the food comes from NY not local .

            20 Replies
            1. re: tnsquire
              monku RE: tnsquire Jan 30, 2011 05:14 AM

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

              1. re: monku
                fourunder RE: monku Jan 31, 2011 10:19 AM


                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
                  monku RE: fourunder Jan 31, 2011 03:16 PM

                  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
                    monku RE: fourunder Jan 31, 2011 03:56 PM

                    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: monku
                      fourunder RE: monku Jan 31, 2011 04:20 PM

                      My first and only time at Pink's....


                      1. re: fourunder
                        monku RE: fourunder Jan 31, 2011 04:59 PM

                        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
                          IPA USER RE: monku Jan 31, 2011 05:53 PM

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

                          1. re: IPA USER
                            monku RE: IPA USER Jan 31, 2011 06:30 PM

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

                      2. re: monku
                        reality check RE: monku Jan 31, 2011 05:29 PM

                        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
                          monku RE: reality check Jan 31, 2011 05:47 PM

                          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
                            reality check RE: monku Feb 1, 2011 09:31 AM

                            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
                              monku RE: reality check Feb 1, 2011 09:40 AM

                              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
                                Servorg RE: monku Feb 1, 2011 10:11 AM

                                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
                                  monku RE: Servorg Feb 1, 2011 10:25 AM

                                  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
                                    reality check RE: monku Feb 1, 2011 10:39 AM

                                    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
                                      monku RE: reality check Feb 1, 2011 10:46 AM

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

                                      1. re: monku
                                        reality check RE: monku Feb 1, 2011 11:12 AM

                                        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
                                          reality check RE: monku Feb 1, 2011 04:05 PM

                                          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
                              GK in SO RE: reality check Feb 1, 2011 11:48 AM

                              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
                                foodhappy RE: GK in SO Feb 1, 2011 04:05 PM

                                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!

                    2. r
                      reality check RE: wienermobile Jan 29, 2011 10:47 PM

                      LA Eater story about Papaya King going Hollywood.


                      1. DrBruin RE: wienermobile Jan 30, 2011 07:54 AM

                        Really medioce hot dogs...

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: DrBruin
                          monku RE: DrBruin Jan 30, 2011 08:01 AM

                          What do you consider the best?

                          1. re: monku
                            DrBruin RE: monku Jan 30, 2011 09:00 AM

                            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. l
                          laliz RE: wienermobile Jan 31, 2011 09:58 AM

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

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: laliz
                            Mr Taster RE: laliz Jan 31, 2011 12:31 PM

                            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. c
                            Capybara RE: wienermobile Jan 31, 2011 01:09 PM

                            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. thew RE: wienermobile Feb 1, 2011 10:36 AM

                              get the papaya drink mixed with orange juice.. yummmmmmm

                              1. maxzook RE: wienermobile Feb 1, 2011 11:28 AM

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

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: maxzook
                                  foufou RE: maxzook Feb 1, 2011 12:07 PM

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

                                  1. re: foufou
                                    thew RE: foufou Feb 2, 2011 03:28 AM

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

                                2. c
                                  cdub RE: wienermobile Feb 1, 2011 12:09 PM

                                  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
                                    foufou RE: cdub Feb 1, 2011 04:09 PM

                                    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
                                      HoundDogz RE: foufou May 14, 2011 01:20 PM

                                      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. vronic RE: wienermobile May 14, 2011 05:42 PM

                                    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
                                      Peripatetic RE: vronic May 14, 2011 06:21 PM

                                      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
                                        vronic RE: Peripatetic May 14, 2011 07:37 PM

                                        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
                                          Peripatetic RE: vronic May 14, 2011 08:01 PM

                                          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
                                          maxzook RE: Peripatetic May 24, 2011 07:19 PM

                                          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
                                            Peripatetic RE: maxzook May 25, 2011 01:33 AM

                                            > 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
                                              Mr Taster RE: Peripatetic May 25, 2011 01:47 AM

                                              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
                                                maxzook RE: Peripatetic May 25, 2011 09:41 AM

                                                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. Milena Joy RE: wienermobile May 25, 2011 10:29 AM

                                          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. e
                                            Ernie RE: wienermobile Oct 6, 2011 02:17 PM

                                            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

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