Tail o' the Pup
329 N. San Vicente Blvd. · Los Angeles, CA
If anything captures the kitsch and flavor of L.A., it's got to be Tail o' the Pup. There's no mistaking what's for sale here. You walk up to a building shaped like a hot dog and try to order a muffin, there's got to be some pathway missing between your right and left brains. This is marketing stripped down to its wiener. You want a frankfurter? Head on over to the building shaped like a frankfurter!
And the dogs aren't bad. In fact, I rather enjoy them. And the line isn't nearly as bad as it is at Pink's. Quick, friendly service and a tasty bite to eat, that's what you get. But, beware the none-too-shy birds hanging around the back porch. Make an emphatic gesture with your arms and your hand will come back one french fry shorter than when you started.
Designed in 1938 and constructed in 1945, it originally had bar stools out front just a few steps from the street. (As the story goes, this feature made it one of Orson Welles's favorite spots as he could pull up in a limo and order directly from the back seat.) But after facing the threat of demolition in 1986, is was pronounced a cultural landmark and moved a few blocks away, where it was raised above street level and bedecked with a deck.
If you happen to be near the Beverly Center around lunch time, skip the globally overrated Hard Rock Cafe and walk on over to the oversized hot link. Tell them Wesley sent you. (They won't know what the hell you're talking about, but it'll be fun for me.)
Update: Tail o' the Pup closed at this location at the end of 2005. Their landlord terminated their lease in favor of building a gay-and-lesbian retirement community. Word has it the Blake family, who owns the Pup, is planning to reopen in a new location soon.
If you hear anything before I do, be sure to let me know.
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