Now in its second month of operation, the quiet King Hot Dog on Western is, in the words of General Akbar, "fully operational." In a northern strip of Koreatown just below Beverly that's not exactly known for quick, approachable lunches, King Hot Dog is pushing diners through its doors with fast, snappy hot dogs on grilled Hawaiian sweet rolls. And it has got napkins by the door, because you're going to need a few.
If it's flair on a bun you want, King Hot Dog is right up your alley. Its K'town-inspired Galbi dog weighs in at nearly half a pound, piled on with thin strips of marinated beef, peppers and onions. The lunchtime line also seems to favor the Mona Lisa, a wry smile of tomatoes, arugula, avocado, crispy onion strips, feta cheese and bacon strips locked into a grilled two-pack of that squishy, sweet Hawaiian roll that has become so popular as a bun around town. Every quarter-pound, house-made dog has something unique to offer, from kimchi to cotija cheese.
The King Hot Dog crew also has been loading up 1/3 lb. burgers with grilled pineapple rings, chili and salty bites of pastrami laced with mozzarella cheese. There are the requisite tater tots and sweet potato fries that so perfectly fit this greasy, fast-casual food genre, but it's really all about the hot dogs at this odd outpost along Western Avenue. Bacon-wrapped dogs mix with kimchi toppings, creating a mix of neighborhoods all under one roof, in that odd Latin-Korean corridor that stretches down Beverly from Wilton to Vermont. And if you've got the time, you can ponder its existence while you gobble up some free WiFi or take in a soccer game on one of the hanging TVs.
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