Yes, home of the Lakers. What better place to celebrate their recent victory than at notoriously iconic hot dog stand, Pink’s! Not long after that epic game, this was our destination. It was completely and totally appropriate seeing as hot dogs are somehow always associated with sports and while it wasn’t baseball, this basketball game was sheer testosterone-filled madness that indeed called for one of Pink’s behemoths.
Contrary to the stereotypical hot dog stand, Pink’s has numerous idiosyncrasies. Firstly, it is probably one of, if not, the only hot dog stands that has their own parking attendant. Secondly, it has an unfathomable variety of hot dogs with ridiculously entertaining names that are representative of Los Angeles, for the most part. Lastly, the swarm of people waiting in line are all happily willing to wait for up to an hour just for the opportunity to have one of these bad boys. Now, if that alone isn’t a clear indication that Pink’s is worth the visit, I don’t know what is.
What I do know is what I took from our own empirical analysis. Although I wouldn’t particularly mind waiting in line for an awfully long time for something as simple and processed as hot dogs, I doubt that I would willingly do so on a hungry and empty stomach. Our visit to Pink’s directly followed a hangover feast on Korean soups and then another unexpected visit to another food truck, the Calbi truck, where we shared Kimchee quesadillas (o-m-g delicious) and spicy pork and chicken tacos. Ergo, none of us cared about the perpetually never ending line. We clearly needed at least some time to digest all that we had consumed within the past few hours prior. Hey, don’t judge us. It was our last day in California and we were assiduously and relentlessly trying to stuff ourselves with any and all foods available solely in that state. Unfortunately, we only succeeded at visiting and eating the tip of the food iceberg.
As I was saying, while I feel extremely honored to have visited such a landmark, I definitely feel as though a visit to Pink’s is just that: a matter of tourism as opposed to a truly satisfying dining experience. Then again, what do you expect out of a hot dog anyway? I still firmly believe that it is a place worth visiting, don’t get me wrong. We ordered “The Ozzy Spicy Dog,” a spicy Polish dog topped with nacho cheese, American cheese, grilled onions, guacamole and chopped tomatoes, “The Hollywood Walk of Fame Dog,” comprised of a dog topped with yummy coleslaw and chopped tomatoes, as well as a side order of chili cheese fries. Again, don’t judge us!
The Ozzy Spicy Dog was mouthwatering and gratifying. It was overloaded with rich toppings that are commonly known to be delicious when combined. The underlying spicy-ness of the Polish sausage definitely hit the spot for me. This one was excessively messy and having a fork and knife at hand was a must. Was the mess worth it? Oh, hell yes. The same goes for the chili cheese fries, which was an enticing pile of impeccably seasoned french fries topped with nacho cheese and Pink’s famous chili. Sadly, The Hollywood Walk of Fame Dog turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. I was anxious to try a hot dog slathered with cool and refreshing coleslaw, but it turned out to be much too sweet even for one with an insatiable sweet tooth. It was also too watery, which made the surrounding bun distastefully soggy. We finished everything nevertheless, but I suppose on our next visit to L.A., we’ll try some of the other great hot dogs on their list. I don’t know about you, but the “Martha Stewart Dog” (10″ Stretch Dog, relish, onions, bacon, chopped tomatoes, sauerkraut & sour cream) or the “L.A. Philharmonic Conductor Gustavo Dudamel Dog” (stretch hot dog, guacamole, American & Swiss cheese, fajitasmix, jalapeno slice, topped with tortilla chips) sound pretty damn good to me.