Friday, November 6, 2009

Wurst What?

Wurstküche. When a close friend told us of the restaurant, I immediately thought of a bunch of heavy old men having traditional German beers and a bunch weisswursts & schnitzels waiting for their hearts to give out...I certainly didn't picture this. The Wurstküche, located in the arts district of downtown, is a hip sausage parlor that goes well beyond traditional brats. In addition to a unique list of menu choices (more on this in a minute) & killer fries, the restaurant is filled with a phenomenal list of Belgium & German beers. This watering hole directly caters to that crowd that loves great food but wont settle for a shitty beer.

When you enter this hole-in-the-wall, grab a menu and stand in what's usually a crammed line to order at the counter. In the glass case in front of you lies 20 different sausages ranging from your traditional brats to healthy options like turkey with sun-dried tomato and even some exotics such as rattlesnake & rabbit with jalapeno peppers. After you figure out what magical meat you intend to consume, you get to personalize it with toppings such as caramelized onions, sauerkraut, sweet or spicy peppers. Since this was my first time, we ordered 4 different sausages (much more than the two of us needed, but really wanted to get a flavor for the offerings):

- Bratwurst made with coriander and nutmeg
- Duck & Bacon with jalapeno peppers
- Filipino Marharlika, a sweet pork with natural seasonings
- Chicken & Turkey with green chiles and cilantro

(Note all sausages come in buns)

Of course we had to order the fries which you can get with a truffle glaze (awesome) and come with some killer dipping sauces. We went with the Blue Cheese Walnut & Bacon, Sun-dried Tomato Mayo, and the Chipotle Aioli. After you order, you get a number and proceed down the long narrow hall on the right which opens up into a full blown bar. This has a bit of a Father's Office feel, but in my view, goes well beyond in terms of the beer selection. It's truly an awesome selection and if you're undecided, they will allow you to taste pretty much everything on tap. We went with the Houblan Chouffe (Indian Pale Ale) and a Kwak (rich amber Belgium ale), which came with its own bizarre holder (see pic). Both turned out to be the perfect poison to wash down this guilty pleasure.

On the table they have 5 different types of Mustard: Whole Grain, Dijon, Spicy Brown, Honey Mustard & Yellow. Once our order came, I realized how much food we got but still had to try it all! I immediately dove into the crispy fries which were excellent. I loved trying them in the different sauces though the sun-dried Tomato Mayo was my fave. The sausages on the other hand I wasn't overly impressed with. Don't get me wrong, they were very good but I expected them to WOW me. Instead, they were solid, perfectly hit the spot, but fell short of something you rave about. I think it would be beneficial to the customers if the menu gave suggestions for which toppings would go best with each sausage. While you can guess what "sounds" good, it was hard to tell exactly how to put it together... may not be the right pairing and can throw off the flavor.

That said, I loved the entire experience. It wasn't the sausages, fries, or the beer that made this meal, but rather everything put together. Would definitely go back!

800 E 3rd St
Los Angeles 90013

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