Now You Can Relish the Hollywood Favorite Pink’s Hot Dogs at Sea Life Park
Tasty but pricey dogs come with star-studded history.
The Pink family from left to right: Beverly Pink, Gloria Pink, Richard Pink.
Photos: Gus Downes
Swanky Hollywood hot dogs arrived in Hawai‘i this month at Sea Life Park, via Pink’s, a Los Angeles institution that just celebrated 75 years in business.
Founded by Betty and Paul Pink in 1939, the pair took a $50 loan from their grandma to buy a hot dog cart. Hot dogs were 10 cents. Since then, Pink’s has grown into a company that serves Hollywood royalty. Pictures adorn the wall (That’s Carl Weathers!), and the owners are happy to name-drop Stevie Wonder, Betty White, Katy Perry. Yes, they’ve even served the singer Pink.
The second-generation owners work with Palace Entertainment to license restaurants at theme parks around the country.
Clockwise from top right: Bacon chili cheese dog, Hawaiian dog, Jalapeño sausage, Spicy Polish sausage.
The hot dogs are more expensive than they were 75 years ago. For those familiar with the high school ritual of getting $1.50 Costco hot dogs after a day at Sandy’s, it’s going to be hard getting past the price tag. But the mark-up seems on par with normal theme-park food-court rates. The dogs start at $5.99 for a plain dog, and can go up to $14.99 for one with all the fixin’s.
These hot dogs are good. There are three types of dogs, all specially made for Pink’s. There’s a 9-inch standard, along with a Polish that’s even spicier than the third option, a jalapeño sausage. All have the characteristic snap the owners are proud of. The signature dogs are all well balanced. Even on a 9-inch dog smothered in bacon, chili, cheese, tomatoes and onions, it’s still possible to taste every component, all of them good. The chili is rich and well spiced, but not greasy, and the recipe is kept under wraps.
There’s a new Hawaiian dog, made with coleslaw, pineapple and teriyaki sauce that’s overwhelmingly sweet on the first bite, then mellows, which can be pleasant if you’re into that sort of thing. Owner Richard Pink likes it, and is planning on bringing it to the original L.A. location. At the media preview opening, he said he’s unsure if wants to name it the “Honolulululu” or the “Maui Wowie.”
Fries and beer are also available, as are souvenirs. If you’re going to Sea Life Park just for the hot dogs, parking is free for one hour. You don’t need to buy a ticket to Sea Life Park to get in, but don’t get any ideas. Without a wristband, you’re not getting out of the food court.
Pink’s Hot Dogs at Sea Life Park, open 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., 41-202 Kalaniana‘ole Highway, Waimānalo, 259-2500, pinkshollywood.com