CLOSED: L.A.'s Iconic Dish: Cart-Grilled Danger Dogs Vs. CPK BBQ Chicken Pizza

Los Angeles is full of people who care passionately about food, and there are plenty of restaurants happy to serve us. We don't all agree on what constitutes "good," but we do know we like our burgers, our froyo, our Korean BBQ, our pizza. (That's right, our pizza. We like it.)

The thing is, we don't have one iconic dish. Nothing that we can point to and say, "This. This is Los Angeles on a plate." So now we're going to find out. KCET Food came up with 16 contenders. You vote on your favorites. Here's the second match up of round two:

VOTING CLOSED.

Photo by Jakob LaymanDanger Dogs from Various Carts: If you've partied east of La Brea, you've eaten one.

The History: Street meat is a huge part of Los Angeles culture. While other North American cities became regulated enough over the last century that food carts largely went away, here they still thrive. (They do get occasionally shut down by over-zealous cops, but that's always met with public outcry.) Bacon-wrapped dogs, also known as danger dogs or Dodger dogs, are everything Los Angeles.

The Scene: The carts set up outside sporting events and clubs, so the crowd is exactly as you'd expect.

The Food: It's a hot dog of dubious origin, wrapped in bacon, topped with all manner of sauce, veggie, and spice. Of course it's delicious. Of course you wouldn't eat one in the light of day, my delicate egret.

Photo by Mia WasilevichBBQ chicken pizza at CPK: The dish that launched a million written food fights.

The History: CPK is so ubiquitous on the west coast now that it seems hard to believe that in 1985 a couple of dudes wanted to put weird stuff on pizza dough, and managed to get some wealthy friends to bankroll it. The BBQ chicken was on the the original offerings, and you can bet east coasters got all furious about it. Now it's on the menu at most pizza joints, of course.

The Scene: The first location, in Beverly Hills, was actually a pretty trendy destination for flashy folks when it first opened. The outposts now are all firmly "family friendly."

The Food: Pizzas, pastas, and salads, all a little sweet, but not too terrible if you're being honest. And that BBQ chicken version ... come on, admit it. It's pretty good.

Cart dogs
BBQ chicken pizza at CPK

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About the Author

Katherine's role as the Living editor at KCET.org keeps her running from farms to markets to restaurants to pop-up swaps all over SoCal. She's been living in and writing about this area for over a decade.
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