When it comes to hot dogs, New Yorkers can be a very tough audience. That's why Papaya King is so impressive.
While the name suggests its fame would be associated with fruit drinks, the 80-year old establishment is renowned for something else — hot dogs, some of the best if not THE best in the city. These dogs have been praised by the likes of Julia Child, Anthony Bourdain, and Martha Stewart. A New York legend, they've shown up in Seinfeld and How I Met Your Mother episodes as well as in several movies.
So it only makes sense that the celebrated dog would come to Hollywood. Papaya King just opened an outpost smack dab in the center of Hollywood, not far from the Walk of Fame. It didn't take long for lines to form.
Turns out that LA is the top city for hot dog consumption, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council. New York is in second place.
Seth Cohen, a principal with Papaya King, explained the brand's west coast migration to the New York Times: "Los Angeles has perfect hot dog weather, year-round." Sam Nazarian, Papaya King's founder, added, "L.A., I think, is looking for something new." Nazarian worked a deal with SBE, a restaurant developer, to open a stand in Hollywood, followed by other locations on the West Coast.
It isn't the first time a New York restaurant has set it sights on California, and it surely won't be the last. Evan Kleiman, owner of LA's popular Angeli Caffe restaurant, cookbook author, and host of KCRW's Good Food, told the Times, "Anything imported from New York, it's going to have that hipster vibe. In L.A., there's always room for a visible, iconic place that has a lot of expatriate attachment to it."
Seems like Papaya King in Hollywood will keep the kind of hours New York is known for, too. The yellow and orange hot dog stand will stay open until 3 AM to take advantage of the pedestrian traffic from night clubs in the area.
New Yorkers, meanwhile, might be eager to arrange a swap to bring some LA fast food legends to the Big Apple, such as In-N-Out (the subject of an April Fools' Day hoax last year) or Pink's hot dogs.