A DOWNTOWN SAUSAGE FEST
SERVING THE BEST EXOTIC GRILLED DOGS IN TOWN
OK, I’m sure by now the sausage fest reference is getting old but the description aptly works when talking about Wurstküche (German for “sausage kitchen”), an L.A. must-visit for the best exotic, grilled sausages in town.
Opened last November by cousins Tyler Wilson and Joseph Pitruzzelli, Wurstküche serves beer and sausages, along with Belgian Fries and a Toasted Apple Pie Ice Cream Sandwich for dessert. Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, just wait until you gander at their menu.
Their exotic sausages include Rattlesnake & Rabbit with Jalapeño Peppers, Alligator & Pork Smoked Andouille Sausage, Rabbit, Veal & Pork Seasoned with White Wine, Duck & Bacon with Jalapeño Peppers, and Buffalo, Beef & Pork with Chipotle Peppers.
Sounds daring, right? Well, make sure to throw in ‘delicious’ when describing their hearty eats. They also offer three Vegetarian sausages as well. And all orders are served on a freshly baked roll.
Located in a converted Downtown warehouse, the place has a German Bier hall vibe as patrons can very well eat family style at an extended table where you’ll eat and drink with random eaters. As American as sausages, beers and fries sounds, you won’t get your standard French fries here, no, the Belgian Fries are crisp, oversize and come alongside your choice of wonderful dipping sauces, including: Curry Ketchup, Bleu Cheese Walnut and Bacon, Sundried Tomato Mayo, Chipotle Aioli, Pesto Mayo, Sweet & Sassy BBQ, Buttermilk Ranch, Thai Peanut, Tzatziki (Greek yogurt sauce), and Chipotle Ketchup.
Serving 24 beers on tap, as well as another 20 bottled, in addition to a few select wines, Wurstküche offers only three North American beers: Pabst Blue Ribbon (at $2.50 a bottle it’s their cheapest brew, as well as the beer with the lowest alcohol content), in addition to Allagash White, and Old Rasputin. The majority of their ales are award-winning European biers and according to co-owner Joseph Pitruzzelli, “In all honesty, most of these beers are among the best beers you’ll find.”
Pitruzzelli points out that the Bratwurst (fine cuts of pork, coriander and nutmeg) is their most popular sausage, quickly followed by the Rattlesnake & Rabbit, and the Duck & Bacon sausage.
During our recent visit we sampled the Rattlesnake & Rabbit with Jalapeño Peppers, the Duck & Bacon with Jalapeño Peppers, as well as the Buffalo, Beef & Pork with Chipotle Peppers, and Pitruzzelli’s personal favorite, the Mango Jalapeño (chicken & turkey) sausage.
All sausages come with two of the following toppings: Caramelized Onions, Sauerkraut, Sweet Peppers, and/or Spicy Peppers. If you’re unsure of which two to select, your best bet is to let whomever is taking your order choose as they really know what goes best with each order. And the same can be said for your beer selection. With just two simple questions they can pair the best beer to go with your sausage. It doesn’t get better than that. You’ll swear you’ve died and gone to beer hall heaven.
The Duck & Bacon with Jalapeño Peppers is a favorite, as you’ll find it juicy and packed with flavor. And kudos to Pitruzzelli for recommending the Mango Jalapeño sausage as it proved to be incredibly tasty. From past visits I can also wholeheartedly recommend the Austin Blues (hot and spicy, tri-pepper and hardwood smoked pork) as well as the Filipino Marharlika (sweet pork, natural seasonings)…believe me, they don’t disappoint.
I paired my sausages with the tasty and refreshing St. Bernardus ABT 12 German beer (served in an 8oz glass, it’s tied for the highest alcohol content on the Bier menu). Another old standby is the Aventinus Eisbock that is made from the top layer, scrapped off a frozen beer. You’ll find this one to be rich, fruity and strong.
Quite the scene in the evening, I’ve seen people lined down the street to place their orders. Weekends are particularly packed as a DJ spins Thursdays through Saturday nights while weekday lunch offers a more relaxed atmosphere.
With plans to open a second restaurant soon, possibly on the Westside, in addition to possibly opening other sausage kitchens in other cities like Austin or New York, Wurstküche has quickly become one of the city’s hottest and favorite dining destinations. A bona fide local staple, do yourself a favor, go, grub, drink and repeat.
Wurstküche is located at 800 E. 3rd Street, Los Angeles, 90013. Call 213-687-4444. Hours: Mon – Sat 11AM – Midnight; Sunday 12pm – Midnight. Plenty of street metered parking.
Photography above and one below By: Dylan Ho
— JOSE MARTINEZ
This one photo above — Photography By: Paul Sun
Two Photos Above Photography By: Tony Gallegos