Friday, July 12, 2013

Oki-Dog Cheap$kate Dining Review - VIDEO

A culinary car crash of cultures, the Oki-Dog is a true representative of diverse Los Angeles. Combining the all-American fast food standbys of hot dogs, chile, and American cheese, with the Jewish deli classic pastrami, and wrapped in a Latin street food Mexican blanket of flour tortilla, the only thing missing is an Oriental twist. Well, the Oki-Dog fast food joint is still run by a Japanese Okinawan native, Sakai "Jimmy" Sueyoshi - so there you have it. (And at the end of this blog post is my Cheap$kate Dining video review for your viewing pleasure.)

Now each ingredient may not be topnotch, but when brought together, the Oki-Dog is a tasty hot mess of a burrito, and not for the faint of palate. Oozing hot cheese and chili with each bite, the two grilled hot dogs have a welcome thin-skinned snap and the thick-sliced pastrami brings it over the top with peppery, corned beef cured flavor.

The ingredients are fried on a flat-top stove. There are heating bins that hold boiled hot dogs and chili. The Oki-Dog is a 2 tiered construction. In the outer tortilla fold are a wiener and all the pastrami.

The center of the burrito is stuffed with chili, cheese, and another wiener. I haven't had the appetite to try an Oki-Bomb (sauerkraut, pickles, and onions are added) but can only imagine how huge that would be.

It really shouldn't work but it does. For just under 4 bucks, it's a substantial meal. If you can finish one with an order of fries, you are one hearty eater or a teenager. My own wolfing-it-all-down days are over, so half of an Oki-Dog is just about right for me - that's no problem, as this veggieless entree heats up perfectly in a microwave for a second go-round.

Oki-Dog is now located on Fairfax Boulevard near Melrose Avenue (since 1983,) down the street from my favorite cinema, the Silent  Movie Theater, and even closer to Fairfax High School (where alums, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, attended back in the day.) Many young and impressionable teens have had their taste buds corrupted here. But that is all part of Oki-Dog's long and checkered history you can read all about here.

Click on any photo to see larger.

Originally in West Hollywood at Vista Street on Santa Monica Boulevard, in the back pocket of Boys Town, Oki-Dog was the place to be and be seen by LA's  punk rockers in the late 1970s (punk rock facebook) Hundreds of mohawk-wearing, dyed, or shaved-headed, studded, safety-pinned, and ripped fishnet stocking-wearing kids would pack the joint at all hours of the night and early morning after punk rock shows. It's rumored to be the last place Darby Crash from the Germs hung out before he died - from the needle, not indigestion. A wild series of flyers of the punk rock scene in LA is here.

But don't let it's history scare you off. The look of the place may be run-down, although I just consider it eccentric. All four walls are covered with enough flotsam and jetsam to fill a flea market, and the hand-lettered menu specials would make graphic designer and typographer Stefan Sagmeister envious. The clientele is all over the place, from high schoolers to too hip tourists, plus neighborhood old-timers playing video games. Oki-Dog could fit as a denizens hangout from a novel by beatnik writer William Burroughs.

So what is The 99 Cent Chef's Cheap$kate Dining rating of 1 to 9, 9 being best for LA's famous Oki-Dog? Well, just check out my video below to find out. And be sure to stick around for the outrageous ending that features a 24-foot-tall "Bad Dog" sculpture by Richard Jackson!
World Famous Oki-Dog  - VIDEO

Play it here, video runs 4 minutes, 19 seconds.

My YouTube video link for viewing or embedding, just click here.

And 99 thanks to Drew Redford for shooting the Chef.

860 N. Fairfax Av.
Los Angeles, Ca. 90046
Phone: 323) 655-4166
Website, click here.
Great Facebook page, click here.
Mon-Thur 8AM - 2AM, Fri-Sat 9AM - 3AM, Sun 9AM - 2AM

also on 5056 W. Pico Blvd.
Facebook link for info and hours, click here.


L. D. Watts said...

I just hit your Oki-Dog review.

20 years ago or so, I moved to Ontario CA. It just happened that down around the corner (kinda)there was a little, old, hole-in-the-wall fast food joint that advertised "Home of the Original Oki-Dog ". I always wondered what an Oki-Dog was. At this time in my life, I was too cowardly to try an Oki-Dog. Now that I am much more brave, the joint is long gone. Maybe their Oki-Dogs were different, who knows?

I enjoyed your description of the Oki-Dog available on Fairfax. It sounds especially delicious, since I am trying to lose another 30 lbs! (Maybe I will make one on a "cheat"day). This sounds like a food destination place for me when next I am in Los Angeles and surrounds. . .Thanks!

99 Cent Chef said...

Yeah L.D., it's still a hole-in-the-wall, but with character and a punk rock pedigree -- and you could make it a "special" treat every once and a while ;-p

Unknown said...

Hey I live in Rancho Cucamonga. Where in Ontario is that?

99 Cent Chef said...

Oki Dog is in Los Angeles, California

99 Cent Chef said...

hi L.D. Watts, yeah, gotta try one at least once, and save half for later as a whole one can be too much to finish, and it will microwave later fine.

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