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TAIL ‘O THE PUP, LOS ANGELES, 1962

Tail-O-the-pup

Strung pennants blowing in the breeze, an Arden Ice Cream truck passing by and a Ford convertible parked at the curb provide a perfect backdrop for Los Angeles’s most playful architectural icon. The famous fast food stand is world class. There is no better place in the known universe to enjoy a hot dog.

There are many architectural treasures in this ‘ol world of ours. But few make my spirit soar to the moon and back again like this Land-of-the-Giants scale hot dog! Chipped and peeling paint has never been so charming; dripping mustard so appetizing and a pop-up candy-striped awning so eye-catching. The petit neon sign is the perfect crowing touch.

The Tail ‘o the Pup opened in 1946. It was built in the tradition of the legendary Brown Derby Restaurant and many other buildings in Southern California shaped like things. In the mid-80s when the property the hot dog sat on, at 311 N. La Cienega, was slated for redevelopment we almost lost the little gem. But thankfully a new site was found, 329 San Vincente, just above Beverly where it remains open for business to this day. Nearly sixty years later little has changed.

Speaking of hot dogs, they are an interesting food item. Pulverized animal parts injected into a casing. What are they really made out of anyway? And how closely are they related to the other food matter made form pulverized animal parts, Jell-O? They have so many names, more names than any other food item. Call them weenies, frankfurters, franks, dogs, links or as they are called here “pups.” And they come in so many sizes too – foot-long to cocktail weenies. And some even plump when you cook ’em! Let’s have a big weenie roast party