Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A New King Is Crowned

Move over Pink's, there's a new king of hot dogs in Los Angeles and his name is Papaya King!  I was in Hollywood on Monday night and heard that a New York legend was opening a store in Hollywood.  I really didn't know much about the history of the original Papaya King.  I just read that they served fresh tropical juices and hot dogs.  Papaya juice and a chili cheese hot dog?  Makes sense to me.  I had to try one.

My friends and I drove from Redondo Beach to Hollywood in just under 30 minutes and found an empty/free parking meter just one block from our tropical, meaty destination.  Gosh, I love weekdays.  We walked into the New York-esque joint that had no tables or chairs, and just enough space for a line to form behind the register.  The line was about ten people deep and the hot dogs were flying out as fast as the cashiers could take the orders.

An obese man an his wife walked in behind us and was immediately impatient/upset with the line.  He complained incessantly about the NY style setup of the restaurant before the door even shut behind him.

"Are you in line?!" asked the obese man.

"Yes." I replied.

30 seconds elapse.

"Are you in line?!" asked the obese man.

"Yes, we are." I replied.  And just to prove to him we were in line, I asked the ladies a few people in front of us if they were in line.  They replied with a look that said, "duh..." and a bunch of people turned around to look at me as if I had broken the cardinal "no talking to strangers in a crowded place" rule in their anti-social world.

30 seconds elapse.

"Are you in line?!" asked the obese man, for the third time!

"Yes, we are," I replied, "but it doesn't look like it because those ladies holding straws decided to stand away from the counter so it looks like we're all not in line."

"Where is the line?!" asked the obese man, this time addressing a timid new employee behind the counter.

"You're in the line, sir." said the employee.

The obese man finally stopped asking questions, having found a credible answer from the employee (my answers and verifications were apparently useless) and resumed his heavy breathing and salivating.  I was trapped.  I was standing in front of an impatient, obese man and his food.  That's never a good place to be.  I feel bad for the person that gets stuck in front of this obese man in the 45 minute line at Pink's Hot Dogs.  It seems that patience is no longer a virtue and has been replaced with aggravated entitlement.  

As the line moved forward, I noticed these square pouches being flipped on the grill.  The grill master informed us that they were Knishes (basically fried potato pancakes) and tasted great with cheese on top.  Papaya juice, hot dogs AND Yiddish snacks all in one place?  My mind just exploded.

Between the three of us, we ordered papaya juice, a chili cheese hot dog with curly fries on top, a regular chili cheese hot dog, a NY musher (mushroom and grilled onions) and a knish with cheese.  We took our food to the Hollywood & Highland center to enjoy on the patio before our movie started.

"So, Papaya King after the movie?" asked my friend after only a few bites of his NY musher.

"Yes," I replied. "Let us pray that this movie is short."

The moral of this story?  I'm not convincing when I tell people that I'm in line, and Papaya King is amazing.  Oh, did I mention that they're open until 3:00 AM every day?

*Update: My friend Mark reminded me that if you check in at Papaya King on Facebook 5 times, you get a coupon!  No additional app needed.  The coupon is built into Facebook!

You better get going before Papaya King's line starts to rival Pink's line.  Their grand opening was yesterday, and trust me, word is going to spread fast about the new king of hot dogs!

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*Update #2: If you say "I pledge allegiance to the King" at the register, you get free curly fries!  Offer good through June 30, 2011 with a $5 minimum purchase.