What started with Roy Choi's Kogi truck and the Seoul Sausage crew bringing an Asian fusion sensibility to street food has grown into a full-blown culinary movement. Sriracha has become the new ketchup, and kimchi and pickled ginger are the new sauerkraut.
The all-American hot dog in Los Angeles is experiencing wave of new flavors from the East. Here are some local spots, plus one Orange County find, that take the quintissential ballpark, backyard barbecue food and give it an Asian twist.
Japadog: The cart that originated in Vancouver is finally in Los Angeles, introducing Angelenos to their famous "Terimayo" dog, yakisoba-noodle-topped dog and more. The best-selling Terimayo is a simple combination of teriyaki sauce, Japanese mayo and seaweed on the cart's signature all-beef hot dog. It's sweet, salty and will make you wonder why you never reached for the teriyaki sauce as a hot dog condiment before. Location varies. www.japadog.com.
The Dog Haus: If you can walk in and convince yourself not to eat three orders of the chili cheese tots, try the "Another Night in Bangkok" specialty dog at the restaurant's Canoga Park outlet. A pork sausage packed with spicy Thai red curry is topped with cilantro aioli and an Asian slaw made with cabbage, green onions and sesame oil. The dog is topped with bits of salty peanuts and served on one of the restaurant's signature Kings Hawaiian roll buns. And if you can't make it to Canoga Park, the restaurant's other locations serve a "One Night in Bangkok Dog" with cucumber kimchi relish instead of the slaw. 6501 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Canoga Park, (818) 340-4287, www.doghaus.com.
The Humble Potato: This small restaurant in Los Angeles, blocks away from Otis College of Art and Design, specializes in Japanese fusion. It's known for its burgers topped with fried egg, but is also turning out some serious hot dogs. All of the dogs have a Japanese twist, but the "Little Tokyo Doggu" comes with a juicy beef frank wrapped in bacon, topped with caramelized onion, soy-pickled jalapeno, shichimi togarashi (Japanese spice mixture) and a generous drizzle of HP spicy sauce (made with Japanese mayonnaise, tomato paste, paprika and other spices). And if you're a pork katsu fan, try the pork katsu dog, made with a katsu-batter-breaded and fried sausage topped with Japanese curry, a heap of coleslaw and a fried egg. 8321 Lincoln Blvd, Los Angeles, (323) 989-2242, www.humblepotato.com.
Tokyo Doggie Style: You didn't think we'd have an entire L.A. hot dog list without a veggie dog, did you? At this roaming hot dog cart, vegetarians and meat eaters go for the "100% Homie Veggie Dog". It's a house-made veggie dog that contains edamame, brown rice, cilantro, onion, hijiki (a type of seaweed), ginger and garlic salt. The dog is topped with a tangy yuzu citrus coleslaw, aonori seasoning, wasabi mayo, cilantro, pickled daikon and sweet teriyaki sauce. It's a mouthful, no meat required. Location varies. (310) 570-8420, www.tokyodoggiestyle.com.
Fritzi Dog: Neal Fraser's artisanal hot dog stand at the Original Farmers Market has multiple variations of the classic hot dog, but sandwiched on the menu between the "L.A. Street Dog" and the "Memphis BBQ Dog" is the "Tokyo Dog." It's a sausage made with pork and a hint of curry topped with wasabi aioli and wasabi peas. The dog gets a drizzle of fiery sriracha ketchup and a sprinkle of nori strips. 6333 West 3rd Street, Stall #742, Los Angeles, CA (323) 936-9436, www.fritzidog.com.
Dogzilla: This Orange County food truck can sometimes also be found at special events in L.A., doling out its loaded dogs and fries. For something extra special, try the "Yaki Dog." It's similar to the yakisoba noodle-topped dogs you can sometimes find outside the Japanese markets in the South Bay. A spicy link is completely covered in yakisoba noodles that have been pan-fried with bean sprouts, cabbage and green onion. Then it's topped with okonomiyaki Japanese barbecue sauce, some aonori and pickled red ginger. The dog is served on a sweet King's Hawaiian bun, and it's even better with a side of fried garlic chips. Location varies. www.dogzillahotdogs.com/.
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