Monday, March 30, 2015

Thursdays at Pinks with Dad

Animation veteran Rebecca Rees writes of her weekly lunch outings with her 89 year-old father, Richard Lodolo.

by Rebecca Rees

Our family moved to Hollywood in 1968.  We discovered hippies, unconventional life styles and PINKS.  We ate at PINKS all the time.  It was cheap, really good, and legal.  We would order our hot dogs and eat them in our car, which was a 1949 Ford.

About two years ago,  I was driving my dad around looking for a place to eat lunch.  We were on LaBrea in Hollywood and my dad suggested McDonald's....which sounded horrifying to me.  I just kept driving hoping we didn't pass a McDonald's, and then I saw PINKS up ahead.  Neither of us had been there in years, even though my dad only lives about 6 blocks away.  So I pulled over and parked, extremely happy that he forgot all about McDonald's.

We start out by trying to get the closest parking spot that we can find - not easy, but sometimes we get lucky.  Since my dad is 89 years old, the staff at PINKS treat him like royalty. They even let him order immediately; no waiting in line for Papa.  And believe me, there's ALWAYS a line at PINKS. My dad likes to sit inside because then he can look at all the 8 x 10 celebrity head shots that line the interior walls.  He points out all the VIPs that he's met: Joan Rivers, Dustin Hoffman, Jimmy Durante...and there's always a story behind each encounter.

We go thru the same routine each visit.  I ask him what he wants and he responds, "Surprise me".  So far, he's tried the chili cheese dog, the Guadalajara, Philly Cheesesteak, Lord of the Rings, the Martha Stewart, Bacon Chili Cheese dog,and the Baja Vegan.  His goal is to try every hot dog on the menu. He's about halfway there.  He has to be careful not to eat the super spicy dogs, otherwise we have to make an Alka Seltzer run.  His favorite is "Jaws".  It's a cheeseburger with a giant polish sausage inside.  He needed a doggie bag for that one.
Mr. Lodolo takes on "Jaws".
I go for a Baja Vegan dog topped with guacamole, chopped tomatoes and onions.  It's really good.  We used to split an order of french fries, but both felt like whales afterward more fries.

My dad and I meet lots of people from all over the world at PINKS.  We didn't realize it is popular outside of the USA. We met a couple from Australia.  They were traveling around California and one of their destinations was eating a hot dog at PINKS.  I always offer to take photos of the tourists we meet, using their own iPhones.  They happily pose with their massive bacon wrapped hot dogs, deep fried onion rings and, of course, a diet Pepsi.

The best part about eating at PINKS is that I get to be with my dad.  He likes to talk about his life as a Navy radioman during World War II.  And I like to listen.


  1. What a sweet reminder this is that we can pass a zillion little places each day and not see them as much. But how special they are when shared so happily with someone beloved. Such are the ingrediensts of life's happiest moments.

  2. Time with your Dad is priceless, as you well know. We always think we'll have time for things. It's wonderful that you make the time - and make it special!