The LA street dog — or “danger dogs” as locals like to call them — are found at the ubiquitous hot dog carts that pop-up outside of bars at closing time, after Staples Center, Rose Bowl, Coliseum and Hollywood Bowl events, and even just on random street corners with heavy pedestrian foot traffic. The name “danger” comes from in part, well, the danger. These bacon-wrapped hot dogs are cooked on giant steel cookie sheets along side onions, green peppers and jalapenos over hot coals or sterno in shopping carts. If you’re lucky, the person making the dogs have coolers for their hot dogs, bacon and mayonnaise, but don’t be surprised to see everything that is going onto the pan in a large bag just behind the cart.
Sure, there are a few licensed hot dog vendors that sell LA’s version of a Sonoran dog, most notably around Santee Alley in the Fashion District downtown, and hip burger joints like 25 Degrees put fancy street dogs with queso fresco on their menu, but the best ones are the hot dogs that have been turned dozens, if not hundreds, of times on the street. You smell them first, the fatty bacon, the sweetness of the onions and peppers mixing with the smoke of the charcoal that could easily ignite the sidewalk around it. Then you hear the sellers call of, “hot dog, hot dog, hot dog” before you can even see them through the crowd, spinning the dogs with tongs in one hand while adding buns to the vegetable pile to steam with the other hand. Even the most ardent Whole Foods-shopping Angeleno cannot deny the intoxicating smell of the late-night danger dog. Why? Because they’re delicious and they hit all the right spots after a couple of beers; fatty, salty, crunchy and meaty. Which is to say, they’re perfect for watching football.
Except that they’re really hard to make at home.
And easier to LA street dogs (bacon wrapped hot dogs!) at home plus a detailed state of the union of what is going on with the building of Farmer’s Field downtown, the AEG sale, temporarily moving a team to the Rose Bowl and the City of Industry bid all over at Kissing Suzy Kolber today.
As always for OG Football Foodie readers, Google Voice number available for emergency recipe questions and texts (323) 963-4756, 9 AM PT – 10 PM PT, Saturday and Sundays.