Papaya King is gearing up for its big Hollywood premiere: Eater hears that the opening will come sometime in the middle of 2011 on Hollywood Blvd. We already get the feeling this will be more like our cleaned-up Malibu version of Cafe Habana than the grimy Manhattan Papaya King — the expansion comes under the management of L.A. nightlife honcho Sam Nazarian and his company SBE. In addition to L.A., SBE is hoping to spring future Papaya Kings on Nevada, Arizona, and Miami. And just in case Angelenos don’t already have a taste for the legendary pairing of hot dogs and fruit juice, the company will introduce a Papaya King food truck in April and May to give the things away. But we’re wondering: Is all this NYC hot dog action what’s prompting New York’s Ken Freidman to talk about his own move to La-La Land?
Friedman, the man behind The Spotted Pig, The Breslin, and The John Dory Oyster Bar sees dollar signs hanging over Los Angeles and is currently looking for a location here following his own dashed attempt to bring a Spotted Pig pop-up food truck to Coachella this week.
From the Chateau Marmont pool, he tells Paper Magazine that he’s been looking around L.A., and is seriously considering a new restaurant on the West Coast. Friedman has mostly been sussing out Malibu, Silver Lake, and Hollywood for a venture that he says will not be The Spotted Pig (“It exists only in the West Village where it fits in the neighborhood”), but it will be another gastro-pub or seafood venture. When pressed on why he’s L.A.-bound, the owner says it’s less about business and more about his mama, who lives in San Diego. Stating that he will open the new venture within a year, he says, “I promised my mom we would.” Everybody now: Awwwwww…!