Online Exclusive: Taste Tips

By: Dominic Martino

You’re sitting around staring at each another. The clock just continues to click, tick tock, tick tock, tick tock. Finals are in a few weeks and being the great student you are, the library has been your place of residence for the last couple nights and now you are looking for a break. Here’s an overview of some Los Angeles eatery hot spots that are sure to keep you away from the books and your stomach full.

PINKS

Pinks has turned into a celebrity since it opened 71 years ago. This stopping point is for anyone craving a phenomenal hot dog.

“Because we are located near all the Hollywood studios is has become the Hollywood hot dog,” said owner Gloria Pink

The line at Pinks rivals those seen Wednesday night before Kaleo Chapel. You can easily spend 30 to 40 minutes waiting to place your order. The smell of onion rings fills the air, attracting hungry patrons.

It’s not until you reach the front of the line that you realize this is no ordinary hot dog place. This is hot dog heaven. Bacon, chili, nacho cheese, onions, jalapeños and even guacamole can be added to your dog. Locals aren’t the only ones to take notice; celebrities love the dogs too. Pictures of celebrities and their autographs blanket the wall. These include Denzel Washington, Jay Leno and Will Ferrell.

“We have over 250 autographed celebrity photos on our celebrity wall of fame,” said Pink.

The restaurant is also easy on the wallet, with hot dogs starting at $3.30.

“[We have] very friendly prices. I think in this economy it’s one of the reasons we are still doing really well,” Pink said. “People feel like going out and having a good time and they don’t have to spend too much money.”

Trying to avoid that long line of people? Pink suggests coming before the rush hour at 11:30 a.m. or for dinner around 6 p.m.

Pinks only accepts cash.

PHILLIPES

They say things get better with age. If that’s the case, Phillipes is definitely a worthy dining experience. Phillipes has been featured on Food Networks shows such as “Unwrapped,” “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” and “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.”

“We have been around for 102 years. The same business and the same family has been operating the business,” said Julia Tauscher, Philipes manager and member of that family.

Walking through the door, the first thing you notice are the wood flakes scattered across the floor. You look away as the smell of meats sizzling on the grill finds its way into your nostrils, drawing you in towards the register. With five different meats and four different cheeses to choose from, you are sure to find a combination to your liking. Or you could order their prized French dipped sandwiches.

“It’s amazing when you get that sandwich,” Taushcer said. “You know that this is a sandwich you don’t have anywhere else.”

The seating reminds you of being a kid and going to camp. There’s a large dinning area with long tables and plenty of chairs around them. Tauscher said the tables stir up good conversation.

Taking a step back in time, Phillipes serves its sodas in the can and chips still in the individual baggies. Despite the old-school feel, things are changing at Phillipes. Tauscher has noticed that kids who used to come in with their parent are now coming in on their own.

“We just keep renewing the generations,” Tauscher said.

Phillipes is within walking distance of Union Station. Phillipes only accepts cash.

SPRINKLES

Feeling classy? If so, then Sprinkles Cupcakes is for you. Located off Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Sprinkles is the crème de le crème of desserts. They have been featured on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “Martha Stewart,” and “Entourage.”

Sprinkles is so concerned with having fresh cupcakes that they have a sign posted on their door asking customers to keep the door shut to keep their goods as fresh as possible. Additionally, Sprinkles only serves certain cupcakes on specific days. For example, the crowd favorite, Red Velvet is served every day. If you’re looking for a Chai Latte cupcake, then you better make sure you are there on Friday. A single cupcake will cost you $3.25 but it is worth every penny, as you might find yourself saying, “This is the best cupcake I have ever eaten.”

If you’re looking for something more holiday related, Sprinkles also sells seasonal flavors: Pumpkin Patch, Eggnog Spice, Chocolate Peppermint and Maple Spice. This could be a perfect gift for that cute boy or girl in class.

This cupcake won’t come easily though. The store itself is very small with only counter top seating for four inside, and there isn’t a large neon sign signifying you have arrived. It might take a few drives, but the effort is definitely worth it.

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