Last week, I went on a morning job interview in Santa Monica. Unfortunately, it didn't quite go the way I would have liked, but that's how it goes sometimes. Feeling in a contemplative mood, I decided to forgo the usual freeway rush home and decided to take a more leisure drive along Pico Boulevard, heading East. Having not had breakfast and lunch time near approaching, I decided that if I saw any interesting hole in the wall restaurant along the way, I'd stop for food.
It seemed like I was driving for a long time and with my stomach grumbling, nothing was catching my eye until I saw the sign simply stating "World Famous Oki-Dog." The neighborhood was a little dilapidated and this fast food joint looked a little run down, but there was something about the words "Oki-Dog" that was pulling me in.
In my head, I was trying to flip through thousands of Chowhound posts I've read and past TV shows that I've seen that focused on unusual hot dogs in the US to try and remember what made up a Oki-Dog, but drew a complete blank. Finally, I decided to park and give it a try. After all, I had no idea of when I'd be back in this part of town again.
Coming from an interview, I'd say I was dressed pretty nicely, so I definitely stuck out and got my share of stares as I walked up to the counter, both from customers and the counter staff. However, undeterred and with confidence, I ordered the Oki's Dog with Cheese and sat down to wait for my order.
Soon, my order was ready and as I picked up the paper plate and brought it to my table, I saw that my Oki-Dog was kind of flat and wrapped in a yellow paper. Looking at it, a memory started forming and it hit me that an Oki Dog was a burrito dog. Of course, taking it out of its wrapper confirmed it, but then I also remembered there was more to this Oki Dog that met the eye.
I took hold of the Oki-Dog and ate my way along the edge of the burrito, sat it down back on the plate and took a look. Ah-ha! Now it all came flooding back. Yes, there were hot dogs, but included were also pastrami, chili and cheese, all wrapped in a fairly good sized tortilla. I think my arteries were scared, very scared! But in this case, a hungry tummy and taste buds that were ready for action prevailed and I ended up finishing my entire Oki-Dog to the last bite.
So did I enjoy my Oki-Dog? You bet I did. The chili was actually a stand-out for me. It had lots of flavor and also had a little bit of heat. If I ever went that way again, I could see myself ordering chili cheese fries and being quite a happy camper indeed. I also liked the slight chewiness of the pastrami and the juiciness of the hot dogs.
In general, I'm glad I made a stop at the World Famous Oki-Dog. While I wouldn't drive all the way from the Eastside just for an Oki-Dog, that doesn't mean I wouldn't consider making a stop if I just happened to be in the neighborhood. If you happen to the blue and white sign, you might want to check it yourself as well. Just don't tell your arteries that I encouraged you.
To see pics, go to:
World-Famous Oki Dog
5056 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90019