LOS ANGELES MAGAZINE ONLINE — International Wieners for National Hot Dog Month at Dog Haus — by Eddie Lin Kung Pao
Nowadays, the separation between gourmet and gluttonous hot dogs can appear, as Robin Thicke might croon, as a “blurred line.”
Are gourmet hot dogs found at places like The Slaw Dogs and Dog Haus really that different from the classic Oki Dog (a “hair of the dog” late-night snack you’d kill for after a Circle Jerks show in the ‘80s, made with pastrami and flour tortillas)? The modern gourmet hot dog is often heaped with limitless combinations of ingredients from foie gras to mac ‘n’ cheese. With the recent import of Vancouver’s Japadog cart, the variations only appear to get more inventive (and more Asian-inspired).
But, Japadog isn’t the sole gourmet hot dog purveyor aiming to be top dog in the Asian franks category. Dog Haus, the local juggernaut gourmet hot dog chain, is muscling way in with three exceptional Asian-influenced weenies that represent Korea, Thailand, and China.
Kung Pao Cajun: If the bayou bumped up against Sichuan province, this flaming sausage roll would be the result. A Cajun andouille sausage slicked with kung pao sauce and fixings like bell pepper, green onions, peanuts, and water chestnuts. The savory combo of crunch and spice are what make this sausage sizzle.
Another Night in Bangkok: This one is Thai-seasoned inside and out. A spicy Thai red currywurst lays the foundation for this fiery sausage wedged between three Hawaiian sweet rolls. Peanut sauce and a sweet Asian slaw with crushed peanuts lend sweetness and a nutty crunch.
Tae Kwon Dog: A snappy, 100% beef skinless hot dog is further beefed up with a bulgogi glaze, cilantro aioli, kimchi, Korean chili powder, and,everyone’s fave, a fried egg. This Tae Kwon Dog packs a sweet punch balanced by a spicy-tart kimchi.
It happens to also be National Hot Dog Month—a time, perhaps, to reconsider the hot dog as simply an American institution. The wiener in a bun has outgrown its U.S. borders and explored flavors far beyond mustard and ketchup. Next year, we could be celebrating International Hot Dog Month or World Hot Dog Month, all while devouring Filipino dinuguan, Oaxacan molé, or Icelandic pylsur hot dogs. Hey, it could happen.
Dog Haus, 6501 Topanga Canyon Blvd, Canoga Park, 818-340-4287 (All three Asian dogs available at Canoga Park location. $5.99 to $6.99 each.)