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Dirt Dog LA: Hot Dogs & Community

Dirt Dog LA is serving up unique bacon-wrapped hot dogs and giving back to the community at the same time! ATVN's Stassy Olmos reports.

The bacon-wrapped hot dog is an iconic LA street food, and Dirt Dog CEO, Tim Cam, says he's been eating them since he was a little 

He and his team opened up Dirt Dog LA inbetween Downtown and USC in August of 2014. Cam coined the term Dirt Dog after his childhood love. "My brother always called it Dirt Dog ‘cause my mom always said stop eating dirt," said Cam.

Some of the hot dogs they sell include a "Brown" teriyaki dog and a "Red" siracha dog.

Dirt Dog's head chef, Phil Ozaki, struggled focusing in high school and says that creating food like these fancy street dogs never gets old and he hopes to one day have the best dogs in LA. 

"At the end of the day we’re still selling a hot dog so if we don’t give people a hot dog that’s, that’s above every other hot dog, it’s just another hot dog," said Ozaki.

But hot dogs with guacamole spread and chimichurri sauce are not the only thing that seperates this restaurant from the average.

"Food is a representation of culture and so by representing LA culture, you know, we have to have you know an investment in the LA community," said Dirt Dog's CBO Richard Larios.

Larios dropped out of school at the age of 14 and worked hard to get to where he is now-- Dirt Dog's Chief Brand Officer and Community Organizer. He says it's most important that the customers have a say in where their money goes.

"We ask is your ideas— for programs, projects, events, charities, nonprofits... you know. What do you think makes a stronger LA?" 

On any given day of the week, you can walk into Dirt Dog, pick up a ticket, and choose from a list of organizations they sponsor to donate 10% of your purchase to.

"Wanna do a book drive for the school, things like that we’ll have those coupons… every time you make a purchase you pick one up we’ll staple it to your receipt, end of the month, we’ll tally it up and make a check."

And on certain days, they host fundraising events, where Larios says 10% of what they make that day or arranged amount of time, going to the project or group.

Los Angeles resident, Sandy Navarro said, "As a long time resident, it’s really good to have a business that’s conscious and helping the community."

And Larios wants this social business model to catch. "I want it to where customers expect this from the businesses they do business with, where they're like 'Hey what are you doing for my community? If not then I'd rather go somewhere else that is doing for my community,'" says Larios.

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