web analytics

Pink’s Hot Dogs @ Sea Life Park

Before going there, I wasn’t at all aware there was a Pink’s Hot Dogs located within Sea Life Park’s food court, aptly named Beachboy Lanai.

Pink’s is famous in California, known to attract celebrities, having a sort of Hollywood glam and pop culture appeal about it. In fact, they have hot dogs named after celebrities, including the Emeril Lagasse Bam Dog, Martha Stewart Dog and the Brando Dog. Hey, they need a Snoop Doggy Dogg!

Pink’s also have locations in Nevada, Florida, New York and the Philippines. But we’re at Pink’s in ‘Nalo, a.k.a. “God’s Country”!

Above is the view facing the ocean off Waimanalo from Sea Life Park’s open air food court dining area. That pool is the Sea Lion pen, which you can hear them barking faintly in the background, a pretty cool thing!

Above is the shared open air dining area for Pink’s, known as the Beachboy Lanai. It overlooks the park and gorgeous ocean off Waimanalo.


Dining area, looking from where we were seated.

Photo of Pink’s owners with Giada De Laurentiis of Food Network fame.

Pink’s Hot Dogs owners with Kyary Pamyu Pamyu, a Nihongin fashion model and singer.

Pink’s “Hollywood-ized” kitsch surf decor.

I would’ve stuck my head in there, but I’ll spare you the pain. lol

Pink’s Hot Dogs condiment station thankfully uses fresh-dispensed top shelf Heinz Ketchup and Mustard. However they drop the ball by otherwise offering lowly squeeze packets of relish and mayonnaise, while also not offering any complimentary fresh-chopped onions (you have to ask for it at the counter) and sauerkraut there. What? Come on!

Pink’s Hot Dogs shares the same kitchen and dining area at Sea Life Park as Kau Kau Kitchen, Tiki Treats (an ice cream station) and Longboard Lounge (a bar).

Without further ado, Pink’s menu.

And you thought hot dogs were overpriced at the movie theater! Dang, $10 for a hot dog? $12? Even $6 is crazy after being spoiled with the $1.50 Jumbo Hot Dog & Drink deal at Costco and Sam’s. However I do have some sympathy for that, being like the other vendors at Beachboy Lanai, Pink’s is operated by Sea Life Park staff, and Sea Life Park REALLY NEEDS THE MONEY for maintenance with all their hungry ocean-born residents they care for.

I mean, Sea Life Park really looks like they could use all the money they can raise to do improvements, as it currently comes across as semi-dilapidated, with aged, blurry, scratched up acrylic glass tank windows and seemingly abandoned display areas here and there. The main shark tank was especially sad, in comparison to how I remember it in the past. It almost looks “dead”, sorry to say.

In fact, I hereby call on the likes of part-time Hawaii residents Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Ellison to set-up a trust fund for making dramatic improvements to Sea Lea Park. Sea Life Park really could and should be WORLD CLASS!

I will say though, the staff that were on duty the day of our visit to Sea Life Park were all very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful, all things considered.

Anyway,  back to Pink’s Hot Dogs, that was another story! Speaking of staff, they were sorely understaffed where get this: it took FORTY MINUTES for our order of two hot dogs, fries and drinks to arrive at our table. 40 minutes! I mean what? did they have to go hunt for the animal, butcher and grind the meat, case the hot dogs and bake the buns from scratch first? Sheesh! Costco’s Food Court cranks out like a gazillion hot dogs per minute, and we can’t even get two in less than 5? Again, I’m not blaming the staff. They just needed more people to keep up with lunch hour rush. Ah yes, the fun of operational logistics.

They tried to make up for the delay by throwing in a SPAM Musubi, but what am I going to do with Musubi and a Hot Dog? I mean I know what I could do, but do I want to? lol Still, that was nice a gesture. Unfortunately, by the time our hot dogs arrived, they were already luke-warm at best. Still edible, but I would’ve preferred it be steaming hot, as I always get it at Costco.

I also still have gripes about their condiment station. I mean, squeeze packet relish and mayonnaise at a joint known for Hot Dogs? Sigh.

They didn’t even have an onion station, which is a standard for a hot dog stand! I had to ask for the onions at the counter. Man! And even then they didn’t give enough! Come on now, you’re talking to an onion FREAK! But it was so busy I didn’t want to bother any further than the long wait we dealt with to begin with. Just eat the dang thing already before it gets cold!

So anyway, we got two of Pink’s Original “Naked” All Beef Hot Dogs, which were $5.99 each. Fries and drink for an additional charge. SPAM Musubi on the house as courtesy for the delay.

I was actually shocked how LONG Pink’s Hot Dogs are. Above you can see it to scale with my arm and hand holding it, where according to their menu, it’s a “stretch” dog, measuring 9″ in length. Girth-wise, it’s about as thick as your standard hot dog, being around an inch. The long length giving it about an inch overhang outside the bun. Wait, what are we talking about now? LOL!

Diner K likes hers with just Ketchup and Mustard.

I like my hot dog with “the works”, also including relish (from a packet in this case.. sigh) and chopped onions. I really would have wanted more onions on there. Like really.

And? The case has a nice snap! Awesome! The flavor of the elongated all-beef hot dog itself is well, “beefy”! It was very faintly smokey, but more of a “regular hot dog” taste in that regard. The grind of the beef within the casing is pretty fine and “tight”. Overall, delicious! If it had arrived hotter (temperature-wise), it would have been even better! Again, that snappy casing is really what makes Pink’s hot dog special, not to mention once again, it’s impressive “conversation piece” length.

Actually, what was nice about the all beef hot dog’s long length yet skinny girth, was it was easy to bite and make your way through the entire thing, while notably having a nice hot dot-to-bun ratio. Because you know, that’s very important! It is!

The bun was your basic jumbo-sized white bread type, very supple and fresh.

We also ordered a side of fries, which were also delicious. Thankfully we got the fries pipin’ hot, straight outta’ the fryer. They have a nice ‘n thick cut and were seasoned perfectly with salt, nice ‘n steamy tender inside and delicately crispy outside. As good as fries can get. We enjoyed the fries dipped in mustard mixed with mayonnaise, an old school local-style favorite way to eat fries!

Summing it up, Pink’s Original All Beef “Naked” Hot Dog is a winnah! Excellent! The slow service was another story, but that’s just the way it was, and thankfully they did their best by trying to make up for it with extras, including 2 SPAM Musubis and an extra drink. They were friendly and accommodating, again given the circumstances.

While surprisingly discounting the major cons in this review, the ultimate point is Pink’s Original “Naked” All Beef Hot Dog was ONOLICIOUS! Loved it! Add to that the beauty of Sea Life Park and Sea Lions barking in the background (a fun novelty!), along with the gorgeous turquoise ocean off Waimanalo in the backdrop, plus pleasant and clean open-air dining area, Pink’s Hot Dogs rocked this ‘Nalo lunch!

Pink’s Hot Dogs
41-202 Kalanianaole Highway
Waimanalo, Hawaii 96795

Tel. (808) 259-7933
www.PinksHollywood.com

The Tasty Island Rating:
4 SPAM Musubi for Pink’s Original “Naked” All Beef Hot Dog and Fries; I’d give it a 5 if it arrived steamin’ hot, and if the condiment station were improved with fresh onions and relish — no packet stuff! — for customers
-4 SPAM Musubi for the incredibly slow service (however staff was very accommodating and friendly, given the circumstance)

Related links:
Pinks Hot Dogs @ Sea Life Park – Yelp user reviews

8 thoughts on “Pink’s Hot Dogs @ Sea Life Park

  • February 26, 2017 at 1:22 pm
    Permalink

    Pomai,

    You will not find me in Pinks not at those prices. Same with Five Guy’s Burgers and Fries as their prices for hot dogs are way too expensive.

    Hank’s Haute Dogs is about the highest I’ll go.

    Puka or Hula Dog is a rebranded European hot dog that bread to dog ratio is way off plus being expensive.

    Costco dogs and VJ”s North Shore Dogs and Burgers, Haleiwa, Woody’s Chicago Style Hot Dogs are best Isles deal along with 7-eleven, ABC Stores, Summer’s Lava Dogs, Dairy Queen, Orange Julius and the Hot Dog Shack outside of Home Depot, Pearl Highlands.

    Reply
    • February 26, 2017 at 4:57 pm
      Permalink

      Ken,

      I paid $10.50 for Hank’s Lobster Haute Dog, and that was back in 2010. It’s probably over $12 now.


      Hank’s now “Triple D Famous” Lobster Haute Dog

      The Puka Dog (Hula Dog) is kinda’ pricey too. Yet it also was delicious! I thought the dog-to-bun ratio was fine on the Puka Dog.

      Funny you mention 7-Eleven and ABC store’s hot dogs. Dig ’em! Especially when the bun gets a little toasty after sitting in the warmer bin for a while. IIRC, ABC has both Oscar Meyer and Nathan’s  hot dogs.

      The Aloha Gas Station mini mart also has a great hot dog for less than $2. I forget which brand, but it’s one of the famous ones. They have one that has cheese mixed into hot dog.

      What I like about the convenience store hot dogs is that they cook and keep them warm on those hot dog roller cookers, with the heat element in each roller. They turn out snappy and juicy on those!

      Reply
      • February 26, 2017 at 8:13 pm
        Permalink

        Pomai,

        $10.50 for Hank’s Lobster Haute Dog is cheap because he makes his own lobster sausages which I have the recipe for. Don’t forget, Hank has elevated the lowly tub steak to gourmet level and is ranked one of top 10 hot dog restaurants in U.S.A. Back in New England that would go for about the same price as a 3 oz. lobster roll at $22 in a fine restaurant.

        There are a lot of other food trucks and restaurants that serve hot dogs in Honolulu like Johnny Rockets, Pearl Highlands at reasonable prices.

        Reply
        • February 26, 2017 at 9:04 pm
          Permalink

          Ken,

          Hank’s Lobster Haute Dog sausage has Shrimp, Bay Scallops, Lobster and Surimi (fish) Paste, which is the stuff they use to make imitation crab. He cooks the lobster sausage by first grilling it, then dunking it in clarified butter. Nice! I see on his menu he now has a “Fat Boy” Lobster Haute Dog, which is the same thing, with the addition of Bacon wrapped around it. I really don’t get the whole bacon thing. To me, bacon overpowers the flavor of the beef in a burger, or in this case, Lobster in the Hot Dog sausage.

          Man, now that you mention Lobster Roll, I’m craving one now! Connecticut style in the buttah!

          Reply
          • February 27, 2017 at 9:06 pm
            Permalink

             
            Pomai,
             
            As I mentioned earlier, I have the recipes for Lobster sausage in two of my cookbooks. The very critical cooking move is to poach the sausage first before grilling them or else the casings will burst open.
             
            Esteemed nationally known Chef Jasper White (winner of James Beard Award) the New England culinary  go to man for cooking all things lobster has two lobster sausage recipes in his cookbook “Lobster At Home”.
             
            His ingredients for lobster force meat #1 are:
             
            4-live 1lb. lobsters or 4 lbs. other lobsters or 1 lb. cooked lobster meat.
             
            8oz. peeled and deveined fresh shrimp fresh scallops or frozen peeled shrimp.
             
            The rest of ingredients are vegetables bread crumbs, egg and butter seasonings. Makes 2 pounds total.
             
            His ingredients for lobster force meat #2 are:
             
            2lb. 1-lb live chicken lobsters or 2 lbs. culls, or 8 oz. cooked lobster meat.
             
            4oz. peeled and deveined fresh shrimp; fresh scallops or frozen peeled shrimp.
             
            The rest of ingredients are vegetables bread crumbs, egg and butter seasonings. Makes 1 pounds total.
             
            If you want to make seafood sausage I have the cookbook recipe for that which is closer to what you say Hank’s Haute Dog makes. I tried Hank’s lobster dog and I told him face to face it did not taste anywhere near like New England lobster; more like scallops.
             
            The bacon wrapped dog or sausage is a play on the Mexican Sonora hot dog. Tacos and More likes to make them for beach parties. I like the fat boy but would not eat a fat boy lobster dog the way you say Hank is making it as you are not paying for lobster meat but fillers.
             

  • February 28, 2017 at 1:51 pm
    Permalink

    Ken,

    Chef Jasper’s lobster sausage recipe sounds a lot more concentrated full of lobster meat. Yet obviously he does have an advantage of being right there in New England where the lobster is much cheaper and fresher. If Hank were to do that, he’d have to charge over $20 for his Lobster Haute Dog made here in Hawaii.

    That might be a great idea for Lobster purveyors in New England to use up otherwise “unsellable” lobster meat (the leftover bits and pieces stuff), is to make Lobster sausages out of them (with very little filler!), freeze and mass-produce them for nationwide distribution, especially to restaurants who want to feature a lobster dog, while being able to offer it at a reasonable price.

    I did note in my review of Hank’s Lobster Dog that I could taste lobster, while I could also taste an equal amount of the shrimp and scallops. It wasn’t totally totally screaming Lobster though, as you sort of told Hank. I think because he adds too much surimi paste to the mixture as filler (2 big tubs, in comparison to what looked like maybe 1 or 2 large lobster tails worth of meat), so it drowns out the lobster. That’s what I noticed in the video after watching it again.

    Looking back at that Triple D video segment featuring Hank’s Lobster Dog, along with the Lobster, Bay Scallops, Shrimp and Surimi paste, he also adds into the sausage mixture sauteed onions, carrots, green onion, mayonnaise, half and half and Lobster “base”, chili powder, thyme and white pepper. After casing it, he poaches it until cooked through. Then for service, he sautes them in a pan with clarified butter, then dunks it in a bath of clarified butter before putting it in the bun. Hank dresses his lobster dog with garlic aioli, bright green relish and takuan (pickled daikon).

    I still gotta’ try that Tempura Lobster Roll from the Surf Lanai at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. It’s described as a battered lobster tail with tarragon remoulade on a brioche bun, served with sea salt french fries for $24.

    [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="700"] Tempura Lobster Roll from the Surf Lanai at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel[/caption]

    Reply
    • February 28, 2017 at 4:18 pm
      Permalink

       
      Pomai,
       
      Lobster back in New England is not cheap as it is going for $8-$12/lb. retail. You can get culls (1-claw) cheaper and that is what you’d use to make the sausage (about 7-ea. culls). It takes about 6-ea. 1.25lb. lobsters ($48-$72) to make 1 pound of shucked lobster meat. You can purchase commercial vacuumed packed cooked shucked lobster meat wholesale for a really good price just like I showed you purchasing Costco lobster meat.
       
      Don’t forget, you really only end up eating the lobster meat from claws, knuckles and tails as most people outside of New England don’t eat the body meat and I’ve seen people just eat tail meat in restaurants and throw rest away!
       
      Costco packaged cooked lobster claws and knuckles 2 pounds about 1 pound shucked meat $17 and 4-ea. uncooked tails about 20oz. shucked meat $20 gives you about 2 pounds 4oz. of shucked lobster meat for $37 cheaper than you can purchase retail in New England.
       
      Chef Jasper White uses 1 part lobster meat to ½ part filler (shrimp or scallops) and other ½ part binder ingredients. Each lobster sausage is about 4 oz. in weight. So if you use Chef Jasper White’s recipe and Costco lobster you would end up with 33 Lobster sausages and sell them for Hank’s Haute Dog price of $10.50 ea. totaling $346.50 for your investment of $37 plus other ingredients. I’d say Hank would be making his money back and then some.
       
      Deep fried breaded lobster nuggets or deep fried lobster tails are big sellers in Massachusetts and Connecticut especially dipping them in clarified butter. They are very sweet and I can just imagine them coated in light fried tempura batter.

      Reply
      • February 28, 2017 at 4:45 pm
        Permalink

        Ken,

        All your figures using Chef Jasper’s recipe and ingredients from the local Costco look to add up for an economically feasible, better tasting (more Lobster flavored) Lobster Dog Sausage Hank could produce here.

        Perhaps I’ll email Hank Adaniya a copy of this discussion and see what his feedback is on it. He’s very responsive and enthusiastic about constructive criticism and ideas about all things “Haute Dogs”, as I’ve suggested to him in the past. He even personally tried my take on the “Tonkrazy Dog”!

        Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *