As a long time Fab's fan, I've driven by Vicious dozens of times and never even considered stopping in. The place has generally favorable reviews, so one day I figured why not - it's not like I haven't looked up the place online (numerous times).
The first thing I feel when I step up to the counter is utter confusion. Where's all the menu items online? How the hell is this menu organized? To add to the madness, there's paper specials taped to the counter and the walls. I tell the girl at the counter to give me a few minutes.
Anyway, after a few minutes we decide. The girlfriend is craving something "like" an LA street dog, so she gets a steamed bacon wrapped dog with mayo. I get the "patrick's special" (or something like that) which is basically a sausage topped with peppers and marinated meat, almost like an italian beef sandwich.
So the orders come out. Mine looks pretty good; hers looks...anemic. Small dog, small bun, the whole thing looks like it's straight out of Ralphs. More or less tastes like it too - no snap to the dog at all. Disappointing.
I don't remember all the details of mine, save that it was "good enough" but pretty salty. Think we ordered some onion rings too.
Overall, the best way to describe the Vicious experience is unremarkable. Totally undeserving of their 4* yelp rating.
So next week I find out that we're heading out to the valley. Heading out to the valley in my book means a pit stop at Fab's. Now, this is the first time I've been to the new location, and it's AWESOME. Sure there's still a line out the door, and the line is awkward as hell, but there's 10x as much seating AND there's room to actually move around inside! Much unlike Vicious, the menu here is super easy to navigate, completely logical.
We order a bacon cheddar melt, bacon cheeseburger, garlic tots. They come out, and instantly you could tell the difference. The dog was nice and plump and LOOKED tantalizing.
I'm gonna save you the details and just say that it was as awesome as I had expected. The cheeseburgers here are heavily underrated; they put care into each one and the quality of the bacon is fantastic.
At the end of the day, Fab's vs Vicious can be summed down to this:
You know Fab's is awesome the second you leave the door, and go home to tell all your internet buddies and post pictures online (well at least I do). I can't even remember exactly what I bought at Vicious Dog's - it was that forgettable.
5231 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601