Hot Dogs

6 Great Old-School L.A. Hot Dog Stands

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Tue, Sep 3, 2013 at 8:00 AM
click to enlarge Art's Chili Dogs - JIM THURMAN
  • Jim Thurman
  • Art's Chili Dogs

Last year, we took a look back at a 1972 Los Angeles Times article by the late celebrated food writer David Shaw on hot dogs, focusing on the places that are no longer around. Forty-one years on, six survive. For all the stereotypes, we continue to discover there is more and more of Los Angeles that dates back far further than anyone is allowed to believe. Here are those six old-school L.A. hot dog stands, listed alphabetically and by Shaw's 1972 ratings, which appear as asterisks.

click to enlarge Pink's chili dog - JIM THURMAN
  • Jim Thurman
  • Pink's chili dog

6. Pink's (***)

Arguably the most recognizable food landmark in Los Angeles, Pink's won our 2012 readers poll for "Best hot dog." Paul Pink began selling hot dogs from a push-cart near the intersection of La Brea and Montrose in 1939, then built the familiar stand in 1946. They serve the same all-beef Hoffy hot dog with natural casing, made special for Pink's since 1939, and topped by chili from Betty Pink's recipe. The only changes are the addition of a few celebrity named hot dogs -- and their photos lining the walls. Obviously, the photo of Dr. Phil hasn't been up long. The larger question: Whose photo once occupied the space now taken by Oprah's favorite doctor? 709 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles; 323-931-4223.

click to enlarge Chili Dog, Tommy's - JIM THURMAN
  • Jim Thurman
  • Chili Dog, Tommy's

5. (Original) Tommy's (***)

The small red-roofed shack Tommy Koulax opened at Beverly and Rampart in 1946 has become part of local lore. Mention Tommy's and it's their burgers that immediately come to mind. Understandable, but unfortunate, as Tommy's serves a hot dog good enough to make our list of the 10 Best Hot Dogs in Los Angeles: an all-beef hot dog with a sheep-skin casing, specially made for them by Papa Cantellas, topped with all-beef chili, onions, pickles and a tomato slice. Random trivia: Lawsuits in the 1970s and '80s against a spate of similarly named imitators led to a name change, from Tommy's to Original Tommy's. 2575 W. Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles; 213-389-9060.

See also: 10 Best Hot Dogs in Los Angeles

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