Ray Byrne's The Slaw Dogs Gourmet Hot Dog Stand Takes Westfield Topanga's The Village By Sausage Storm! The Slaw Dogs Newest Location is a Hot Dog Destination.
A work of wiener art—The Slaw Dogs' Fuh-Get-A-Bout-It dog!
Ray Byrne, owner and top dog of the gourmet wienerie The Slaw Dogs, recently christened his latest sausage spot in Woodland Hills at Westfield Topanga's The Village outdoor shopping complex. It's a sparkling, sleek, modern hot dog shack situated in The Village's prime gathering area near a remote branch of local public radio station KCSN and a Larsen's Steakhouse.
The newest Slaw Dogs location is truly a modern hot dog shack
Byrne's restaurant roots can be traced to the corporate dining world with years of experience from serving to managing at Il Fornaio. He also did some heavy lifting at local fine-dining establishments. Much like Roy Choi (Kogi) and Wes Avila (Guerrilla Tacos), Byrne felt the demands at the high end of the hospitality industry were relentless, and the work lacked soul; so back in 2009 he spontaneously decided to start up a restaurant specializing in gourmet hot dogs. He would eventually call it The Slaw Dogs—named after a creative hot dog he served at his house-warming party that was topped with Thai-influenced cole slaw. His guests loved his creation which ended up being a signature item on the menu to this day.
The Willy Wonka of wieners, Ray Byrne
I first met Byrne at The Slaw Dog's Pasadena location for a fellow food writer Elise Thompson's birthday party back in 2010. This was near the time when his hot dog concept initially opened. It was a fun, casual place, but, most importantly, there was delicious passion behind the hot dogs.
I also ran into Byrne at Jonathan Gold's prestigious Essentials food festival when he was hand-picked by the Pulitzer Prize winning food critic to be part of the event. Byrne served his limited edition spicy Spring Fling Holy Roller, and his hot dogs were still amazing.
Last night, The Slaw Dogs at Westfield Topanga's The Village threw a proper grand-opening party, complete with DJ and hip hop dance troupe. Hundreds of Byrne's closest friends and family came by to grab samples of The O.G. Thai Slaw Dog, garlic parmesan fries, and, one of my faves, the Flatbush, a snappy all-beef Vienna dog with sauerkraut, spicy onions, and deli mustard—simple and tasty.
Get your hot dogs here!
Yes, the hot dogs were going like hot cakes. Although there are also rib-eye blend patty burgers on the menu as well as breakfast items, it was all about the hot dog that night.
You better recognize!
Byrne was officially recognized by the Assemblyman's office for being top dog or something like that. I wasn't really paying attention. Too busy wiping mustard off my face.
So you think you can dance and devour a hot dog?
The Zulu Maniacs showcased their hip hop moves to a face-stuffing crowd. While the dancers reenacted Electric Boogaloo, I impersonated Joey Chestnut at a hot dog eating competition on Coney Island.
The Slaw Dogs' TNT Super Dog
The TNT Super Dog is Byrne's ode to the legendary Oki Dog. He shared a story with me about his debaucherous party days back in his twenties when he'd drink apple martinis all night long at Lola's and conclude the binge by cruising a block down on Fairfax then further punishing his body with an Oki Dog fix. Coincidentally, that was my routine too back in my twenties. (I thought he looked familiar.)
Bursting at the tortilla seams with two hot dogs, pastrami, fries, cheese, chili, grilled onions, and, of course, a fried egg, the TNT Super Dog is far superior to an Oki Dog. It's one of my favorite gut-busters on The Slaw Dog's menu. Droolz!
SD Burger can also stand for so delicious!
The restaurant's SD Burger features hormone-free, rib-eye blend patties. The flavor is clean and beefy. Pile on add-ons like kimchi, pork belly, pastrami, chili, or fried egg and your mouth is guaranteed to explode with flavor IEDs.
The Reuben Dog at The Slaw Dogs
The Reuben Dog is definitely one of my all-time favorites here. What's not to love about what's basically a Reuben sandwich but stuffed with a butterflied hot dog, in this case, a turkey dog. The marbled rye bread is real pretty too.
Kimchi fries are a must!
When sweet potato fries are piled on with kimchi, fried egg, and pork belly, resistance is frickin' futile. That is all.
More amazing fries!
As I mentioned before, one of my fave dogs at The Slaw Dogs is the Flatbush because of its simplicity. For the same reason, the garlic parmesan fries is an item I can't say no to because of the basic, pure goodness of the ingredients—garlic, pungent cheese, and fresh hot fries. Simply good.
The other notable thing about The Slaw Dogs at The Village is the beer and wine selection. I'm not a beer guy, but I did notice the upper crust wine options like Far Niente and Stags' Leap. Cristal is also available at this location if you should want to add some serious booze bling to your hot dog. I'd definitely pair it with a spicy wiener like the incendiary C4 Super Dog. But a more sane choice is the O.G. Thai Slaw Dog. Can't go wrong with a classic.
The Slaw Dogs at Westfield Topanga The Village is now open for all your hot dog needs.
THE SLAW DOGS AT THE VILLAGE
6220 Topanga Canyon Blvd.
Woodland Hills, CA