Pink's Hot Dogs: Los Angeles -- Get in Line!

Gasp in Paris at legendary Lasserre when you taste their foie gras-laced pigeon, but faint when they glide the restaurant's ceiling open. They pop you like champagne, and spray you into the Paris night, making you one of the bubbly stars.

But that magic is weather dependent. I love reliant, good ole Pink's Hot Dogs in rain-deprived Los Angeles, where you also dine under, and often with, the stars.

I eat like a long-single middle aged woman writing a personal ad. I easily go from blue jeans to a ball gown. I like cozy nights snuggled up to a fire at home just as much as dancing the night away! I too, like long walks on the beach, as long as there's a restaurant at the end with valet parking.

Hey you, liveried Parisian footman: Raise that silver domed dish, let the birds within fly out and away, spelling my name in the sky. Hey you, lady with liver spots: Pull that Hoffy hot dog out of the vat, just as you've done since 1939, and stop it's wiener jiggle by soothing it into a white, fluffy bun.

You can speed down La Brea Avenue, hell bent on avoiding traffic and that homeless man. Blink and you'll miss Pink's small storefront; however, glance over and catch the Holy Hot Dog Grail short line of people waiting for Pink's, and you will screech your car into their narrow drive with the skill of a sex-starved Andretti.

Pink's wraps a weenie in bacon that keeps lines wrapped around the block. They don't care how big a star you are; everyone cues up, snakes through the ropes, reads the menu and changes their mind ten times before reaching the counter -- at Pink's pace. I lean out and peek ahead, cursing the family of six tourists in front of me, making me regret that crucial mistake that delayed my departure from home. From now on that cat feeds itself.

Sociologically, the same people that choke once they reach the ordering spot at Pink's are the same undeciderers who leave their bewildered mate at the alter. Geez, you had all this time and you don't freaking know? Are you effing kidding me? Sure, maybe you're not ready. Maybe you need to sleep with a few bridesmaids or eat a Martha Stewart dog or take a walk on the wild Rosie O'Donnell Long Island Dog side. But at the end of the day, at the end of the line, you have a lot of people waiting for you to make up your mind.

I'm not afraid of commitment and step up to place my standard order: a Guadalajara Dog (relish, onions & tomatoes, topped w/sour cream, a Chili Cheese Dog and a Tamale (chili, cheese & onions).  Sometimes other items jump on my tray, but I am a drunk immigration agent and look the other way.

The crew are buskers, slinging their dogs as performance art right in front of your mouth-watering eyes. They never judge, work as a team and happily crank out tray after tray of food with the same precise snap-happiness the hot dogs themselves give at first bite. Pink's has lasted longer than many of the stars' head shots hanging along the walls like trophies in an African Hunting Lodge.

The tamale and other Mexican food should be part of any order. I brazenly wear a white shirt, a foolish laugh at the futility of their tiny napkins vs. my chili skills. See my own dad in the background here? He's the geezer slinking away, disguised in shades, a fake beard and gimme cap, denying he knows me. Or to get another Polish Dog.

Sip wildly sugary drinks like Grape Crush and Bubble Up and get hopped up as you sit in the back parking lot at plastic tables. The umbrellas throw shade and keep God himself from reaching down and snatching your sinful 12-inch Jalapeno Dog.

Pink's has earned its reputation as the best hot dog stand on the West Coast. You have to stay hungry to survive in Los Angeles. That's why we are all so thin. Get fat and you don't get cast in a movie or asked out -- you get dropped like a hot rock, and forgotten.  Just ask.... oh, what was her name?

Pink's, providing perfect hot dogs. Time stands still, and you still stand in line.

Pink's Hot Dogs. 709 N La Brea Avenue,  Los Angeles, CA 90038 (323) 931-7594.

1 comment:

  1. Way out in LaLa land, world center for celebrity, the overwrought and overdone, is an oasis called Pinks where weiners are done right. Be they Polish style, Chicago style, Coney Island, Michigan or Michoacan, What a fitting tribute to the dead end of a pig. Gastronomes and Dad's gather at Pinks to do battle with world hunger.
    I am really looking forward to OUR next visit there.
    Love you,


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