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This Compton Stand Makes the Most Legit Mexican Hot Dogs in LA

A tax preparer by day, hot dog purveyor by afternoon

Sonoran-style hot dogs
Bill Esparza

Alejandro Zamorano starts his day with a suit and tie at his day job, as owner and tax preparer for the Multitax Group in Paramount, which offers a variety of tax services to the Latino community, but as tax season kicks into high gear, Zamorano has an unusual tax tip: Sonoran hot dogs.

For the last 6 months, the Multitax team, including Miguel Castillo, Alexandro’s partner at the tax service, have been rolling out a classic, stylish cart in the afternoons, serving a variety of Sonoran hot dogs in semi-sweet, split wheat buns imported from Hermosillo, Sonora.

Los Dogos Sonora Style is far from being a side hustle — Alejandro has been in the hot dog business for 30 years, using recipes and cooking techniques handed down from his father, Ismael Zamorano.

The Sonoran hot dog is the gold standard in Mexico, and just like the Guatemalan shuco and the Colombian perro caliente, dogos (dogs) have special buns made from Sonoran wheat that are indispensable. Sonorans — just like how New Yorkers carry on about their pizza dough — have multiple theories about why their wheat buns taste different. It’s the water, the desert air, the superior wheat. “Without these buns, we couldn’t call it a Sonoran hot dog,” Alejandro said.

Bill Esparza

Dogos Zambrano (the original Los Dogos Sonora Style) still has a following back in Hermosillo where places like the dozens of vendors at the University of Sonora (dogos de la uni), La Chema in Plaza de la Tutuli, or El Gordo on Eusebio Kino Bl. will fiercely defend their favorite dogo as the best in the city.

The regular hot dogs come bacon-wrapped, then there’s the húngaro (Hungarian dog) in which a bacon-wrapped frank is stuffed inside a roasted Anaheim pepper and momias (mummies), a bacon-wrapped hot dog mummified inside of a flour tortilla. And then come the condiments, where the real fun begins.

In Hermosillo, Sonoran hot dog vendors sometimes carry a dozen or more condiments: cotija cheese, salsas, creamy cucumbers, sautéed or creamed mushrooms, crumbled Ruffles, nacho cheese, and more. This all comes after the diced tomatoes, onions and a spackling seal of mayo painted in sinuous lines of mustard, ketchup, and avocado sauce.

Alejandro has a more modest set of condiments: cucumber and corn in a creamy sauce, cotija cheese, pickles, pickled onions, salsa verde, mushrooms and a bevy of squirt bottles including creamy chipotle, avocado sauce and what Mexicans call nacho cheese: queso líquido.

Every bite is different combination of sweet, savory, creamy, and spicy flavors whether you order the original or double Sonora dog; and the Hass (named after a famous taco with a roasted Anaheim pepper at Hermosillo institution Tacos Jaas), a bacon-wrapped hot dog inside a roasted pepper (húngaro). Here, momias are a bacon-wrapped chile güero stuffed with cheese and the mom Hass is the same dish but with the milder Anaheim pepper, until they can get a source for Sonoran flour tortillas.

It’s only recently that Sonoran hot dogs were accessible to those determined to follow the scent of bacon and chiles to a well-hidden backyard stand in Paramount, Dogos Sonora, where the dogs are delicious, even if they rarely have the artisanal buns made from Sonoran white, wheat flour. However, when it comes to dogos, Alejandro refuses to exploit any loopholes in the Sonoran hot dog code. Regardless if you receive a rebate or have to pay more taxes, the Sonoran hot dog is your own handheld stimulus package, bacon-wrapped and served on a bun.

Los Dogos Sonora Style
2336 E. El Segundo Blvd
Compton, CA