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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Let's Be Frank about Bad Dogs

I'm introducing a new section featuring the dud of the week or month -- that much-hyped place that merely disappoints and makes you yearn for the real deal.

I'm kicking it off with Let's Be Frank, the hot dog stand in Culver City that got rave reviews from J. Gold as well as LA Times. Verdict: I want my Top Dog! The selling point is supposed to be the fact that the dogs are grass-fed and completely organic. A gourmet hot dog, one called it.

First of all, they are too big and too expensive for a hot dog. Look at the size of that -- it's definitely not a snack. Then it's $5 or something exorbitant like that. I'd rather have a decent bowl of ramen for that price. But the most important thing about a hot dog -- the flavor of the sausage -- just doesn't compare to the juicy, crunchy, spicy and complex flavors and textures of Top Dog's Hot Link. Don't even get me started about the bread and condiments. The sauteed onions added a nice touch, but no amount of embellishment can make up for a lackluster star.

The dog tasted bland and because the owner was a bit frazzled with multiple customers at once (service was a tad slow), the dogs weren't even nicely charred on the outside. I simply don't understand how such a mediocre dog can generate so much buzz while other perfectly amazing eats don't get the time of the day. Don't get me wrong. The lady, who apparently hails from the Holy Grail of organic -- Chez Panisse -- was super nice.

The cart is located in the Helms parking lot near all the furniture shops on Venice Blvd. It may be a step up from Pink's, but make no mistake. This is no Top Dog. The search continues...


Omurice said...

agreed. $5 is too expensive for a not-so-distinctive tasting dog, no matter how range fed its orgins.

great shirt in the photo. see everyone at the 2010 world cup!

phasmid said...

Too bad -- the dog looks good in the photo.
I honestly can't see how Top Dog does it so inexpensively, though. You would think the costs would add up...

Omurice said...

maybe profit isn't the "top" priority for top dog, which could also explain its limited expansion despite the growth possibilities