Located on Helms Ave. in Culver City, between Venice Blvd. and Washington Blvd., is the Let’s Be Frank food truck. As a side note, this is also where Father’s Office is located, and if you haven’t already, you must try the Father’s Office burger.
On one of my visits to Father’s Office, I noticed the above sign at the corner of Helms Ave. and Venice Blvd., and I was immediately intrigued. I thought the sign was cute; the name is cute and so is the cartoon wiener dog . This was a while back, but somehow the topic of this food truck resurfaced, and thus Allan and I deemed this Thursday as “Let’s Be Frank day.” With that, Ji, Allan, and I went on over to find this food truck for lunch.
The food truck was hidden from view, parked in the small lot in the middle of Helms Ave., right across from Father’s Office. Nothing too fancy, Let’s Be Frank is your average food truck. The main difference is that they serve gourmet hot dogs – free of hormones, antibiotics, nitrates, and nitrites. They have five main items on their menu: frank dog (100% local grass-fed beef), brat dog (family-farmed pork bratwurst), “hot” dog (spicy family-farmed pork sausage), bird dog (family-farmed, pasture-raised turkey dog), and “not” dog (vegetarian Italian-style sausage). Each of these items cost $5.01, tax inclusive. I opted for the frank dog and asked for their spicy Devil Sauce on the side. The Devil Sauce is their own name-brand sauce, which is basically a version of Indian chutney. This truck also had a variety of unique types of root beer. I chose Captain Eli’s Root Beer, simply because the bottle looked awesome.
The frank dog (and all their other “dogs,” really) is longer than you’d expect from your average hot dog. I chose to have mine topped with grilled onions, then I added condiments – mustard and relish. I put a little bit of the Devil Sauce on my first bite just to try it, but it didn’t quite hit the spot. I guess I’m not a huge fan of “Indian chutney” anyhow. That aside, the frank dog was pretty good. You could definitely tell it was fresher and more gourmet than your average hot dog. It did, however, still leave me hungry afterward. I finished that hot dog pretty quickly, given I was pretty hungry at the time (we didn’t eat until 2:00PM). I think the three of us agreed that they were indeed delicious hot dogs, but totally not worth five dollars. It’s an interesting thought, too, considering Let’s Be Frank is apparently ranked #3 on the list of restaurants featured in Zagat’s Los Angeles “Best Buys: Bang for the Buck.” We all thought it was definitely worth a try, at least once.
After we had gobbled down our hot dogs, I had a sudden craving for a Taco Bell Mexican pizza. I used my trusty Android phone to find the closest Taco Bell to us, where Ji bought a baja chalupa and I purchased a Mexican pizza. Ji had said, and I quote, “I have never seen someone so excited to find a Taco Bell before.” I guess I was just excited to find a Taco Bell in order to finally satisfy my Mexican pizza craving, which I’ve actually had for a while. We headed back to the office and indulged in our pseudo-Mexican eats.
For dinner, I had Ajisen Ramen in Irvine. I hadn’t eaten at Ajisen in a while, so I didn’t mind giving this restaurant another go. Taking a gander at the menu immediately reminded me of one of the reasons why I rarely eat here – their items are pretty overpriced compared to those at other Japanese ramen restaurants, like Shinsengumi (see the Yelp entry for the Gardena and Rosemead locations) or Santouka. This time, I ordered the beef enoki rolls and the kimchi ramen with a side of spicy pork, thinking that the kimchi ramen probably wouldn’t be spicy enough for my taste buds. The beef enoki rolls were absolutely delicious. I could definitely go for those again. The kimchi ramen with the side of spicy pork ended up being spicier than I had expected; I wish I hadn’t added that side of spicy pork. It still tasted pretty good though. This kimchi ramen had a stronger kimchi flavor than that at Santouka. Their portions at Ajisen are also more plentiful than the portions you’d get at other Japanese ramen establishments. I suppose it’s a good thing they give you more food to compensate for the relatively high price, although I would prefer to pay less money for a smaller portion. My bowl of ramen was way too much for me, and I ended up taking nearly half of it home. I don’t think their food is bad, I just think I could go elsewhere for better, more authentic ramen at a better price. Needless to say, I doubt I’ll be coming to Ajisen more often than I have been. Although I must admit that I do love the statue of their mascot that they have at the front of their store! Very cute.