I know there are two Carney's in LA, one in Studio City (which is part of LA) on Ventura Blvd (in the heart of the San Fernando Valley) and one on Sunset Blvd (the "Sunset Strip") in West Hollywood not that far from the Comedy Store and the Laugh Factory.
I'll give the guy the benefit of the doubt, and assumed he meant that the dogs are made for them specifically by a third-party using their recipe. The two stores are shaped like train cars, so it doesn't look like there's a lotta room to be making franks. But, it's always possible he was full of it. My Jersey BS Meter is always running!
Pink's success is the illusion of celebrity and the fact that it's been around 70 years. Yeah, they got pics all over the wall, and the chili isn't too bad. But, yep, it's a Hoffy dog (which can be found at the 99 Cents stores out here.) Not the worst dog you'll ever eat, but certainly not the best.
Tail o' the Pup lives off its Hollywood landmark status, too. Good dog, but not earth-shattering.
You'll have to tell me where Top Dog is, because I'm not familiar with it, and I couldn't find a single bit of info about it on the web. I know HotDogSpot.com used to do an annual "Top Dog" award to the best hot dogs in LA. Their website's out of date, but there's no mention of Top Dog anywhere. Maybe it's in a different part of California?
Interesting on their site they give the usual misleading stat about more hot dogs being eaten in LA than anywhere else. Of course they conveniently forget to mention that this includes store-bought stuff. I still say Jersey is tops for good hot dog places.
There's a place called Taste Chicago in Burbank (just a few blocks from my house) that serves a pretty good Chicago-style dog including the requisite neon green chili, if your son is interested. It's on Hollywood Way and Verdugo, just up the street from Warner Bros. The place is owned by Joe Montegna (the voice of Fat Tony on the Simpsons!), who is from Chicago. They use Vienna Beef all-beef dogs.
BTW, In 'n' Out burgers are great. He should get the double double with grilled onions. If he's interested in something slightly more upscale, he should try a chain called "The Counter." Big juicy burgers with every possible topping. It's basically Design Your Own Burger. You actually fill out a checklist of what you want on your burger when you place your order upfront -- then they bring it out to you.
He can check out the menu and locations at: http://www.thecounterburger.com
And if your son's looking for something resembling a Jersey diner, his best bets are Bob's Big Boy in Toluca Lake/Burbank (just down the street from Warner Bros. on Riverside), or Du-Par's in Studio City on Ventura Blvd. Both open 24 hrs.
I'll be in Jersey next week on vacation, so I'm looking forward to a Double Dog from Jimmy Buff's or even a Sausage from Tommy's.