It’s not your typical Hollywood eatery. For 70 years, Pink’s Hot Dogs has served its faithful customers with delicious food and reasonable prices on the corner of Melrose Avenue and La Brea Avenue.
Established in 1939 by Paul Pink and his wife Betty, Pink’s became an instant icon when it began serving delicious hot dogs packed with chili, mustard and onions for 10 cents each. Before buying his own building, Paul Pink originally began by serving chili dogs from a large wheeled pushcart. Although the prices have changed a little since then, the location and the extraordinary service have stayed consistent. After all, it’s the taste that has hungry patrons coming back for more.
Pink’s is more of an experience than a quick bite. You won’t need exact directions to find the place, just look for the long line of people. You’ll probably be waiting for about an hour before placing your order, but you’ll need that hour just to decide what kind of delicacy you’re really craving.
The journey begins in an alley behind Pink’s parking lot, where an attendant will park your car free of charge. You turn the corner on La Brea and you’re immediately overcome by the sweet aroma of chili and hot dogs. The bright lights illuminate the sidewalk and once you see the six employees working diligently behind the counter, you’re wait is almost over. Pink’s prides itself on the 30 seconds that it takes to prepare and to fill an order.
The choices of hot dogs, hamburgers, and burritos are endless. For example, there’s the “Lord of The Rings Dog,” a 10-inch hot dog drenched in barbecue sauce and topped with onion rings. The name is clever but the taste is epic. This dog has a sweet and tangy combination that will have you salivating even before you can pay its cost of $4.85. Make sure you bring cash, because Pink’s does not accept credit cards.
The menu has evolved to include a wide selection of concoctions, but nothing beats the original “Pink’s Chili Cheese Dog” for $3.75. The serving is monstrous. They pile the chili high on both the hot dogs and the french fries. This delicious meal will leave you both speechless and satisfied. It is also certain to leave both your wallet and your stomach full, meanwhile keeping the Pink’s tradition alive.
Before you even begin to think about how to eat these delicious hot dogs, make sure to grab a lot of napkins, because the chili is messy and Pink’s serves it in generous portions. The tables are kept spotless, as the employees are constantly cleaning the dining area in an effort to keep the large amount of daily customers satisfied and accommodated. There are always plenty of places to sit. The outdoor patio and the indoor dining room can easily accommodate a group of any size, ranging from a family of 10 to a couple out on a date.
As you begin to eat, the first bite is sensational. The chili is warm and the cheese is perfectly melted. With each bite, the flavor sensation slowly makes its way throughout your body. Halfway through the meal, the long line that you originally waited in, soon is forgotten. Satisfaction seems to be the only thing on your mind.
Substantial portions and pleasant tastes make you forget just how much food you’ve actually eaten. Gradually your body becomes jaded, due in large part to the combination of standing in line for so long and from the satisfaction of enjoying a good meal. Drowsy and satiated, your walk to the car feels like a triumphant victory. You have overcome the journey, the goal has been reached and the reward is yours. Pink’s is an iconic Hollywood adventure.
Pink’s Hot Dogs: 709 N. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles; (323) 931-4223; www.pinkshollywood.com.
Open Sunday to Thursday 9:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday to Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 3 a.m. Cash only. Free parking. Average price $4 to $6.
Recommended: bacon chili cheese dog, chili cheese fries, onion rings.