TAIL O’ THE PUP
ICONIC HOT DOG BRAND RE-OPENS
Growing up in LA, certain landmarks just stick with you. While it was hardly a culinary measuring stick, the famed Tail O’ the Pup on San Vicente Boulevard just north of the Beverly Center was iconic. It was a hot dog stand in the shape of a hot dog. Kitsch to some, it defined Los Angeles to haters and those passionate of the City of Angels. I remember seeing the stand in films like Body Double, L.A. Story and Ruthless People and just beamed with joy seeing it on the big screen.
Now, after an eleven-year hiatus, the beloved hot dog brand has re-launched the first of several locations with a food truck concept in the parking lot of Opening Ceremony—a popular retail destination—on trendy La Cienega Boulevard in West Hollywood.
A modernized take on the 21st century hot dog stand, the re-launched Tail O’ the Pup will serve some original recipes, hot dogs, burgers and specialty items that made its stand famous for over 70 years.
“It was very important to us to preserve the Los Angeles landmark while modernizing Tail O’ the Pup for the tastes of 21st Century Angelenos,” states partner Kevin Michaels. “We wanted to remain close to Tail O’ the Pup’s original location and felt Opening Ceremony was the perfect place to park the new truck.”
“It’s been our dream to see our beloved Tail O’ the Pup revived and ready to serve our amazing food,” says Jay Miller, grandson of longtime owner Eddie Blake.
The new menu will include classics such as; The Baseball Special (mustard, relish, onions), The Mexican Ole (chili, parmesan cheese, onions) and The Red Eye (tomato, mustard, relish, onions) as well as brand new recipes, which include The Pastrami Dog (pastrami, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, mustard), The Nacho Dog (guacamole, cheddar cheese, Pico de Gallo) and The Italian (red bell peppers, pepperoncini, diced onions, tomato, shredded lettuce, Italian dressing).
During our recent visit for lunch, we feasted on an array of satisfying yet decadent and indulgent eats.
All hot dogs are served with all beef Hoffy Hot Dogs and you get to choose from beef, turkey or veggie. The Baseball Special comes with mustard, relish and diced onions, while The Mexican Ole features chili, and The Boston Celtic comes with baked beans.
New creations include the hearty Ultimate Chili Dog, as well as crowd pleasers like The Pastrami Dog; The Nacho Dog; The Blue Dog with blue cheese, crumbled bacon and caramelized onions; The Italian with grilled bell peppers, pepperoncini, caramelized onions, tomato, shredded lettuce and Italian dressing, along with The German with sauerkraut, caramelized onions, grilled red bell peppers and mustard.
But it’s not all about hot dogs as the menu also features The Greatest Burger—that’s what they call it. While it’s definitely not the greatest burger, it’s solid and a little reminiscent of In-N-Out as it comes with two slices of American Cheese, shredded lettuce, caramelized onions, sliced tomato and 1000 Island Dressing.
We were fans of Moms Grilled Cheese with American, cheddar and Swiss cheese with grilled tomatoes on white bread. And because this is a partnership with the Killer Shrimp folks, there are tots, wonderfully delicious tots. The Animal Tots with caramelized onions, cheddar cheese and 1000 Island Dressing are out of this world good. You can also get Animal style fries or onion rings, all of which will wholly satisfy.
While the original Tail O’ the Pup was a 17-foot hot dog stand (designed in 1946 by programmatic architect Milton Black) the new West Hollywood location is a food truck but it’s still comforting to know that an LA landmark is back once again in the city’s vibrant landscape. The original stand is getting a makeover—so very L.A.—for its upcoming transition to Downtown. But anyone in the West Hollywood area can now feast on solid comfort food that is high on taste on low on gimmick. Welcome back Pup!
Tail O’ the Pup
is located at the Opening Ceremony parking lot at 451 N. La Cienega Blvd. Open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 7pm. Call 310-579-1213.
Story by Jose Martinez
Photography Courtesy of Tail O’ the Pup