Over the past few months, I've heard from countless people, "You have to go to Wurstkuche." So, I finally got tired of feeling like the only person in LA who hadn't eaten at Wurstkuche and had dinner there this weekend.
Located in the Arts District of downtown LA, Wurstkuche is a "purveyor of exotic grilled sausages," ranging from "classics" ($6.00, ex: bratwurst, hot Italian) to "gourmet" ($6.75, ex: apricot and ginger, Louisiana hot link) to "exotics" ($7.75, ex: alligator and pork, rattlesnake and rabbit with jalapeno peppers). The restaurant also has an extensive list of beers both bottled and on tap.
That is a lot of sausage.
Here's the (in)famous rattlesnake and rabbit with jalapeno peppers sausage.
At Wurstkuche, your sausage comes with a choice of two out of four toppings: caramelized onions, sauerkraut, sweet peppers and spicy peppers.
Wurstkuche's design features exposed brick walls, industrial lighting, concrete floors and tables made of either unfinished wood or stainless steel, which I loved. My fondness for Wurstkuche's interior design is apparently shared by cooler-than-thou hipsters, which, unfortunately, didn't make for the most inviting atmosphere. Also, the sight of male nipples through a loose, cut-up tank top doesn't exactly work up my appetite.
First up was the Sundried Tomato and Mozzarella Sausage with caramelized onions and sweet peppers ($6.75). The tomato flavor was discernible, but the mozzarella flavor was not. This was good but definitely not mindblowing.
Wurstkuche's menu claims that their sausages are served on "freshly baked rolls," but this doughy mess tasted like it was straight out of a plastic bag of hot dog buns from Ralph's.
I ordered the Rabbit, Veal and Pork with White Wine Sausage with caramelized onions and sweet peppers ($7.75). The veal flavor dominated, which I didn't mind, but the meat had a strangely lumpy, ball-like texture that I didn't enjoy. I wish that I had ordered something else.
Wurstkuche's fries come in two sizes--klein (small, $3.50) and groot (large, $5.50). The fries were thickly cut, hot and crunchy and were my favorite part of the meal (although, that's not saying much). There are ten different dipping sauces from which to choose, and I opted to try the sundried tomato mayo. The sauce was tasty but incredibly rich, and I started to feel sick after a handful of fries.
And so, after hearing all of the hype, all I have to say is...really? All the fuss over that? Their buns tasted store-bought, their sausages were ok, and the atmosphere was less than inviting. If I came back, I'd stick to something like bratwurst and then I'd be, in essence, buying a $6.00 hot dog. In short, I'm not rushing back here any time soon.
800 E. 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013