Nestled in the San Fernando Valley in Reseda is Fab Hot Dogs, a joint with a menu as big as the U.S. map that hangs in your third-grade classroom. Indeed, you can get your own geography lesson just by scanning Fab's menu: There are the self-explanatory Philly Cheese Steak and Carolina Slaw dogs, a Boston dog with BBQ baked beans and a Texas Burrito Dog topped, appropriately enough, with Fritos. What Fab might be best known for, though, is the Ripper, which comes straight from the northern part of the Garden State: a hot dog thrown into the deep fryer until the casing explodes. For hot dog aficionados on this side of the Jersey shore, this Ripper alone is worth the drive to Reseda: It's a juicy, crisp, lovely frank unlike most anything else you've had. Because tater tots are to hot dogs as french fries are to hamburgers, the tots here should be ordered and consumed — as you did in your elementary school cafeteria — with equal parts ketchup and glee. 19417 Victory Blvd., Reseda. (818) 344-4336,

—Tien Nguyen

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