Soon every ex-pat will have a hot dog to call their very own! Coney Dog, the Detroit-influenced chili dog haunt that we first spotted back in March, has officially opened its doors on Sunset Blvd. There's been a lot of build-up for this new hot doggery, especially back in Michigan, where they can actually translate strange alien sounds like "Faygo," "Coneys," "and "Sanders."
On Sunday, Detroit-Free Press got into a lather at the sight of Lions supporters and Red Wings fans lining up at the soft-opening, while reaffirming that investors in this project include Detroiters like director Sam Raimi, comedian Tim Allen, and Red Wings player Chris Draper, along with actor and co-owner Mike Binder, who appears to be the main man behind this project.
Like Hollywood's new Papaya King, the restaurant recreates the look of one of Michigan's famous "Coney" dog diners, with 100 seats mixing booths, communal tables, and bar seating, along with four flat-screens to show Detroit sports events. There's even craft beer! But does all this imported hot-dogging threaten our town's own sense of wiener worthiness right in the prime moment of our swelling sausage party?
Not really. While the constant barrage of New York restaurants (and New York exiles) landing here does appear to be changing the way we eat, we feel we always have room to try another regional hot dog without losing our sense of self.
Pink's is a legend and sees a lot of tourist action, but few locals find it really worth the line on LaBrea. Oki-Dog? Nothing can kill Oki-Dog! Plus, if you like it, you like it, if you don't, you simply stay away. Some of our better hot dog options, like the Skooby's and Slaw Dogs of the world are likely to remain under-the-radar places. As long as visitors to L.A. refuse to leave West Hollywood and its immediate surroundings, neighbors will get these dogs mostly all to themselves. So why not bring us a new hot dog or two? We'll judge whether or not it could ever replace a Dodger Dog, Carney's,, Chronis Famous, or the bacon-wrapped hot dogs that get us home at night.
In fact, all the imported restaurants of the world who hope to make it in L.A. are welcome to come on down as far as we're concerned, though it seems most reasonable to restrict them to the West Hollywood/Hollywood tourist zone in which exiles often come to feed. There are two L.A.'s at work here and as long as we know where to go for our favorite dogs, no need to fret over what's happening in Hollywood.
The day our best taco stands start switching out to become Rosa Mexicanos and Sandias, that's when we might get a little worried. Until then, go ahead and build away on Sunset and Hollywood Boulevards; Surely nothing could be more offensive than homegrown spots like Saddle Ranch and Cabo Cantina, anyway.
See the menu online and find Coney Dog at 8873 Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood. 310-854-1172.
Detroit-themed Coney Dog stars in Hollywood [Detroit Free Press]