The Grove** is now the de facto destination for accomplished chefs turning to hyper-specific comfort food concepts. Joining Nancy Silverton's burger and shake joint and Gordon Ramsay's children's menu-rocking Fat Cow comes Fritzi Dog, a hot dog stand in the Original Farmers Market with a menu by Neal Fraser. One of L.A.'s best chefs, Fraser's work history glows with prestigious names and impressive feats, from his start on the line at Woflgang Puck's Eureka as a youth to his CIA degree, stints alongside Thomas Keller, Joachim Splichal, Hans Rockenwagner, and David Burke, to chief roles at L.A.'s Rix, Jimmy's, and Strand House, as well as his own heavily laureled projects, Boxer, BLD, and Grace. While the state of Grace, long said to be taking over Saint Vibiana's in Downtown after closing in 2010, is still an enigma, Frizti is now serving high-grade, sustainable hot dogs in Rick Caruso's Mid-City mall complex. What's makes the menu?
Fraser's dogs are made from prime cuts of humanely raised meats raised on vegetarian, organic, and drug-free feed. The dogs are crafted in limited batches, rather than simply spin eternally on a 7-11-style set-up of rollers. The restaurant, helmed by managing partner John Moshay with Fraser as a partner and investor Rebecca Coleman, promises to put the focus on the meat and bread, flipping the usual script of dressing dogs up to the nines to obscure their main attractions.
A full menu is online, revealing several choices of tubular meat choices, including the titular beef and pork-formed, merken chili and Merguez-married "Fritzi," an all beef "deli" dog with mustard spices, plus a mesquite turkey and duck "Birddog," available for $6.25 with choice of buns (like buttery brioche and soft, salty pretzel rolls), sauces, onions, pickles, and relish, and additional toppings like bacon lardon, cheese, and chili for additional ducats.
In addition, there is a line of crispy tater tots in various styles, fries, breakfast dogs, and Italian sodas. Zagat reports that Fraser is also sporting some four-inchers behind the counter, offering these mini-dog combo samplers for a fixed price. And look out Gordo, there's also a children's menu. Fritzi Dog is now open for the acclaimed chef's artistic, craftsman hotdogs, and we for one, can't wait to sink our teeth in.
**As The Original Farmer's Market's PR man clarifies, The Grove and The Original Farmers Market are two distinct entities sharing similar spaces, though we used the term The Grove to refer to the entire general area. The name of the mall is even "The Grove at Farmers Market" and is the mall is merely leased to Rick Caruso, while still owned by the Gilmore Family, creators of the market and owners of the Grove property.