This past Sunday, after hearing numerous recommendations and enduring countless retellings of unmatchable vibe, bountiful beer selection, and sausages made of rattlesnake and rabbit, I finally had the occasion to visit Wurstküche in downtown LA. I am happy to say that all the hysterical ravings were indeed founded. And come on, if there’s one thing I know it’s where to find a good wiener. For starters, the neighborhood is unexpectedly awesome for being downtown. Wurstkuche is just one of a handful of trendy bars and fun little eateries that are strewn amongst the brand new apartment complexes and converted warehouse lofts. One that really struck my fancy was Pie Hole. Shockingly, it is a bakery serving only pie, which actually would have been a good place to visit considering Wurstkuche was completely out of dessert by the time we got there. And speaking of getting there, we arrived at 830 on a Sunday night to find a line out the door. Some people would be irritated, but to the starving artist, a waiting line is always a good thing. If people are willing to stand in line for food, then it’s gotta be pretty damn special. Also I kind of enjoy standing in line and getting the vibe of the place and of the people in line. Also reading the menu.
The big draw to this place is their range of house made sausages that range from the classic bratwurst to crazy exotic flavors like rattlesnake, rabbit, and jalapeno peppers. The rattlesnake is the most talked about creation, hailed for its buttery texture and maddening flavor. I went for the duck, bacon, and jalapeno and was totally blown away…. ok, confession: I got two. The duck and the kielbasa. I love me some kielbasa and this was by far one of the best I’ve had. They even have vegetarian sausages so you can easily talk your hipster tree-loving friends to come with you – clearly they know their audience. Their rolls are fresh baked and grilled along with the sausages. Even their mustards and dipping sauces are all house-made. I’m not one to sh*t myself over french fries like many of my friends are, but I have to say the fries at this place are defffinitely worth soiling oneself over. Fresh, thick cut, crispy outside, soft inside. I ate way more than I care to admit. And don’t think you’re just dipping them in ketchup – try curry ketchup, chipotle aioli, zesty bbq, or blue cheese walnut & bacon just to name a few. As if the fries aren’t addictive enough, the sauces make it culinary heroin.
Now you’ve heard me tell you before that I am not a drinker, especially not beer, so I can only speak from the mouths of my friends who were loving all the beer they had to choose from. I mean, come on, what better combo is there than beer and sausages? But, for non-drinkers like me, they also have an exceptional selection of gourmet sodas. I generally don’t purchase or drink soda. Habit I got out of years ago. Gourmet soda, however, had me intrigued, and since I’m at this new place eating duck sausages, I thought what the hell, let’s get a fancy soda. I went for Fentiman’s Ginger Beer. Spicy and delicious.
Now this night I was in the mood to splurge a bit – it was my friend’s birthday so I went for it. I wound up spending $26. Normally I wouldn’t even consider spending $5 for a bottle of soda, nor would I purchase french fries for just myself (I bought an order to share with my friends…. and then ate the majority of them…). I definitely plan to return to eat rattlesnake and when I do, I know I will be just fine with only one sausage and perhaps a small order of fries. But, if you’re looking to splurge, this is definitely the place to get serious bang for your buck. And honestly the atmosphere just puts it over the top. We sat outside, which I loved, but their inside seating with a full bar is gorgeous. Chill and diverse clientele, it’s a great place to hang and have a good time. Definitely the kind of place to bring a group of friends, but if you’re in the mood for good sausage, who cares – go for it. I also love the friendly staff who talk to you while you’re in line and will bring you beer while you wait. Not too shabby.
Bottom line: go to Wurstkuche. Right now. A heavenly sausage experience awaits you.
800 E 3rd St.
Los Angeles 90013