Pink’s is to LA as Old Faithful is to Yellowstone, or more appropriately, as hot dogs are to baseball. Quintessential components so iconic that if removed, the larger body may be left unrecognizable. But it’s not just hot dogs that have led Pink’s to nearly 80 years of success and visits from nearly every A-list celebrity in the galaxy. The food is but one part of a simple, yet soulful experience that every Angelino, and non-Angelino, for that matter, must indulge in.
Pink’s has the privilege of membership in an elite circle reserved only for the finest of casual dining institutions, where customers see waiting in line as a badge of honor. Showing up to the humble restaurant without a slew of people standing between you and your decadent selection would be akin to entering a clear 10 freeway at 5pm. Treasure that day if it happens, but if it doesn’t, the light at the end of the tunnel is divine and well-worth it.
You might need that waiting time to decide on your order. There’s around 40 types of hot dogs to choose from, many of which stretch the hot dog concept to the deeper reaches of the imagination. The Giada de Laurentis dog, for example, features a 9-inch ‘stretch’ dog, sautéed peppers, onions and mushrooms, chopped tomato and shredded mozzarella cheese…crafted by the celeb herself! Pink’s line of burrito dogs wrap various compilations in tortillas instead of a bun. And then there’s a good ol’ fashioned bacon chili cheese dog or a 12-inch jalapeno dog, where mustard doubles as an art medium.
The menu spans far beyond hot dogs, however. No meal is complete without an order of hot fries or fresh onion rings, each of which hold that ideal balance of rich and crispy. The burgers at Pink’s are nothing short of superb—Bacon chili cheeseburger…yes please! Wash it all down with a Crush or Dr. Browns, because it always tastes better in a glass bottle.
Seating is surprisingly vast for such an intimate space. There’s a modest indoor seating area but several patios allow guests to stretch their legs, relatively speaking. And be on the lookout, because you never know who you’re going to run into. The walls are plastered with celebrities who have crossed Pink’s off their bucket list—Jimmy Fallon, Ray Romano, Betty White, Bobby Flay and Katy Perry are just a drop in the bucket. Feel free to kick your legs up and enjoy your stay…you may need a nap after a meal like this.
Pink’s flagship location is at 709 N. La Brea, Los Angeles, CA 90038. Open 9:30 a.m. – 2 a.m. Sun – Thurs, 9:30 a.m. – 3 a.m. Fri/Sat. Avg out-the-door price for specialty hot dog, side and a drink is ~$12/person. For more information call (323) 931-4223 or visit Pink’s online.
Benjamin Brown is a seasoned restaurant writer and hospitality consultant, serving up SoCal's hottest food news and reviews.