LA is known for its trendy restaurants with health-conscious menus, but Angelenos enjoy their fast food, too.
Pink's is probably the world's only hot dog stand with a parking attendant. You are in Hollywood, after all, and that limo pulled up alongside may belong to a star — when Aretha Franklin arrived in town for the Grammy Awards in February 2008, her first stop was at Pink's to order eight hot dogs to take back to her hotel. Specialties of the stand, which opened in 1939, include its trademark chili dog (with mustard, chili and onions), the 25 centimeter stretch chili dog, and the chili cheese dog.
Go in, place your order and watch your dog being built before your eyes. Then top it off with a bottle of YooHoo or Orange Crush soda. Still craving chili? The Original Tommy's World Famous Hamburgers, which started in 1946 as a small walk-up stand on the corner of Beverly and Rampart, has several locations across LA, all serving chili-slathered hamburgers and cheeseburgers (single, double and triple-burger versions), chili cheese fries, regular fries, tamales, hot dogs and chili dogs. Want music as you eat? Fatburger, The Last Great Hamburger Stand is now scattered across several US states, but the original Fatburger is in LA. Jukeboxes blast out everything from rock'n' roll to soul to R&B as you choose from a classic fast-food menu that includes homemade onion rings.
When to go: October through early June are the best months weather-wise. February brings even more stars than usual for the awards shows — the Academy Awards (Oscars) and the Grammy Awards.
Planning: Pink's opens at 9:30am and stays open until 2am, Sundays through Thursdays and until 3am on Fridays and Saturdays. Original Tommy's has most of its restaurants in northern Los Angeles some open 24 hours. Fatburger has several locations in LA — you can order online. Philippe's, a block away from Union Station, is open 6am to 10pm daily.
Websites: www.pinkshollywood.com, www.originaltommys.com, www.fatburger.com, www.philippes.com
Philippe's: Home of the French Dip Sandwich
Philippe's is unique in LA, a place where patrons share tables with strangers and make use of any available seat. In business for more than 90 years, Philippe's clings to its original ambience with sawdust on the floors, servers that keep the food line moving, and vintage photos and newspaper clippings.
Its specialty — beef and lamb French dip sandwiches — started with a mistake when the restaurant's founder, Philippe Mathieu, accidentally dropped a French roll into a pan of hot rotating fat. The result was so delicious that customers came back for more. The menu includes other sandwiches, soups and stews, salads and several esoteric items.