You’re in for a treat with these top dogs in town: Critic’s Choice

OK, we’ve all had our holiday fun and feasting. And somehow another roast turkey or standing rib roast doesn’t sound as appealing as it did on Day One or Two or Three. At this point, it’s hold the gravy, the rich desserts and the bubbly and get down to basics. Just about now I’m craving a great hot dog with a squirt of mustard and not much else. Here’s where to find a few good dogs around town:

—S. Irene Virbila

Let’s Be Frank

Burger hounds head to Father’s Office at the Helms Bakery complex. Funny thing, hot dog lovers end up there, too, at Sue Moore’s Let’s Be Frank cart. The dog looks ordinary, but the beef is all grass-fed from a sixth-generation family farm. You can taste the beef’s quality, which raises the humble dog to something special.


Find Let’s Be Frank at the Helms Bakery Complex in Culver City at Helms Avenue between Washington and Venice boulevards 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesdays-Fridays and 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, and outside Silver Lake Wine, 2395 Glendale Blvd., Los Angeles most Thursday nights 5 to 10:30 p.m. Dogs, $5.75.

Short Order

I came for the burgers one night but ended up getting Short Order’s Pretzel Pup on a whim. Where has this beef-and-bacon link been all my life? Juicy and deliciously smoky, it has a natural casing’s requisite snap and arrives nestled in a housemade pretzel bun with a squirt of pungent mustard and jam queen Jessica Koslow of Sqirl’s own fermented kraut. With a carafe of Green & Red Zinfandel, the Pretzel Pup makes a fine lunch or late-night snack. I don’t go crazy for corndogs, but if you must have one, you can also get that same beef-and-bacon dog encased in a batter made from Anson Mills’ cornmeal.

6333 W. 3rd St., Stall No. 110, Los Angeles; (323) 761-7970, Pups, $7 to $9.

Slaw Dogs

For the experimentalist, the Slaw Dogs in Pasadena takes the ordinary dog on a giddy trip. You can get the traditional, a Vienna all-beef link slathered with an emphatic beer chili, cheddar cheese, onions and even cole slaw. Or get it picnic-style, with potato salad, BBQ sauce, onion rings and dill pickle sharing space in the bun with the beef dog. Taste buds get a workout with dogs wrapped in bacon and sparked with pico de gallo and garlic mayo. Or wrapped with macaroni and cheese? Say what? You can make your own combos, too, choosing links, sauces and custom toppings à la carte.

720 N. Lake Ave., Pasadena, (626) 808-9777, Dogs, $4.99 to $8.88.