Last week Samir Mohajer, the former Rustic Canyon chef and now chef-owner of The Cabbage Patch in Beverly Hills, opened Spoc's Sausage Stand a few blocks from the UCLA campus.
The 100-square-foot space is the former home of Roll Inn, a.k.a. “Buck Fiddy”, a walk-by joint known more for the late-night booze-sopping-absorption-rate of its $1.50 subs than the quality of its ingredients. For $2 more, Spoc's offers any of its nine sausages, including a smoked chicken-mango version, honey smoked brat and linguica (smoked Portuguese-style pork link), on a La Brea Bakery bun. Fork over an additional $.75, and your dog is topped with grilled onions and peppers. A combo meal with spicy fries and a soda is $5.50.
For Mohajer, the addition of a sausage stand to his resume was sheer luck. “I saw this abandoned little shack space and grabbed it,” he explains. “Today with restaurants so Internet driven, even Cabbage Patch, I wanted to get away from that trend and do something that's all cash, just an old-school business.”
It was also a matter of economics. “Who can afford a million dollar restaurant investment? Good food doesn't have to mean you have to spend a fortune.”
Mohajer says the inspiration for turning the sub shop into a sausage stand came from Top Dog in Berkeley (a former girlfriend was a student at UC Berkeley). “Chez Panisse and hot dogs, that's all we ate when I was up there.”
Mohajer currently sources his sausages from Papa Cantela's Sausages in Vernon. “I'd like to do it all in-house eventually, but it's so busy [at Cabbage Patch] right now… when the students get back, I can see what they really want in terms of street food and expand the menu later.”
As for the name, it's not Comic-Con Trekkie shorthand. Spoc was the name of Mohajer's late and much-lamented red Doberman. What can you say; the man likes his dogs.
Spoc's Sausage Stand: 972 Gayley Ave., Westwood. Currently no website or direct phone number. Open daily, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. “We will be extending to late night in a few weeks, as soon as I get my staff down,” says Mohajer.