Sumo Dog Moves to Westside

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

Chef Jeffrey Lunak recently took his talents west, relocating his flagship Sumo Dog from Koreatown to Santa Monica. The Third Street Promenade location opened its doors on Saturday, Sept. 8, and now Lunak is gearing up for two Sumo Dog Cart locations: one outside The Gallery in Santa Monica and a second at Caruso’s Palisades Village.

Sumo Dog, which began as a pop-up, first gained national attention following an appearance at Coachella, serving up dishes that have been referred to as the “most-Instagrammable” in Los Angeles. The restaurant seeks to “redefine the American classic hot dog, using Asian-inspired flavors and ingredients to create unique and colorful combinations,” a press release reported.

“With Caruso’s track record and the proximity to Santa Monica, it was a no-brainer for us,” Lunak told the Palisadian-Post. He explained that he has been talking with Caruso for over six months, planning the Palisades Village cart.

The cart will be a bit larger than a traditional hot dog cart and will be self-contained. Lunak shared that it will be designed to match the Palisades Village Nantucket style.

Lunak, known for appearances on “Iron Chef America” and “United Tastes of America,” has held previous posts as chef de cuisine for Masaharu Morimoto’s first restaurant in Philadelphia and opening executive chef for Morimoto Napa.

The cart version of the shop will serve up menu items like the Sumo Dog, Bacon Banh Mi and Kimchee Dog—with rotating specials.

“We’re working on a dog that will be specific to the Palisades Village,” Lunak explained. Items Sumo Dog may incorporate into a Palisades-specific hot dog include teriyaki and charred onion.

The cart will also cater to kids, with what Lunak described as a hot dog bento box.

If Palisadians are inclined to take a trip to the Santa Monica Sumo Dog, the newly opened flagship location serves a variety of hot dog options, including pork sausage, American Wagyu beef and vegan dogs, topped with ingredients like wasabi relish, teriyaki sauce, Hayashi beef gravy, tempura crunchies and togarashi cheese sauce.