For the first time since 1947 when hot dogs were first rated nationally, a version available in Los Angeles has awarded the prestigious "Top Dog" honors by the Restaurant Critics Association of America, it was announced Wednesday.
The winner, the "Nancy Dog", the creation of Nancy Silverton for Sumo Dog on Western Avenue in Koreatown, will only be available until January 22 and cost $9 with 20% ($1,80) of each sale going to help fund the Nickerson Gardens Recreation Center participation in the Midnight Basketball League in Watts.
The Silverton creation - with contributions from Osteria Mozza chef Elizabeth "Go Go" Hong and chi Spacca chef Ryan DeNicola - consists of a beef hot dog from the renowned Snake River Farms, provolone cheese, Calabrese aioli, pickles, onions, pepperoncini and wild oregano on a Martin's potato roll. One good bite and you'll know why the RCAA voted it best hot dog in the country. The worrisome news is the Nancy Dog will only be available until January 22.
The Midnight Basketball league is a nationwide non-profit founded in 1986 by G Van Standifer, a Army veteran and government worker who died in 1992. Here is a quote from him on the website http://www.amblp.com/. "The Midnight Basketball League is is not just about playing basketball. It’s about providing a vehicle upon which citizens, businesses, and institutions can get involved in the war against crime, violence, and drug abuse”,
In Watts, the league plays not only in Nickerson Gardens, but at the nearby Jordan Downs and Imperial Courts projects as well. The gym at Nickerson Gardens features a mural created by Brian "Loaf" McLucas - an old friend - which reads "Nobody Can Stop This War But Us" That is a purpose of the basketball games.
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Back to the Nancy Dog. Wednesday was the first day the special treat was made available to the pubic, but several restaurant professionals were given an advance taste over the previous weekend. They were stunned by the depth of flavor.
"When I first bite into it, I thought I should get out of the haute cuisine life and try the top the Nancy Dog," said Joel Robuchon. the world's most honored chef. "But, then I thought there was no way I could top a hot dog made by Nancy Silverton."
Sumo Dog is at 516 S. Western Avenue. The website is https://www.eatsumodog.com/ Sumo Dog opens everyday at 11:30 a.m. and closes at midnight on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 10 p.m. other days.