Friday, March 12, 2010

A night out in Downtown: Art, and Beers & Sausage @ Wurstkuche

I was meeting up with a friend who had decided to try out a vegan diet for a month. BLAH, great timing. This is the same friend who could, at some point in time, eat a block of stinky cheese. Where can we go that could accommodate a Vegan but can satisfy a carnivore? A quick search online surprisingly had downtown sausage kitchen Wurstkuche as a fine option.

As it turned out, Thursday was also the Downtown Artwalk which is held the 2nd Thursday of every month where numerous art galleries open their doors all night until 9pm. I decided to get there a bit early prior to dinner so that I could check out the exhibition "Tribute to the King of Pop", which was essentially a walled mosaic with different colored soda cans that displayed an image of MJ.

Performance art at one of the galleries.

On my walk, I passed by Nickel Diner and saw an array of desserts for sale outside. I couldn't resist. I'd already walked over a mile at this point.

Peanut butter potato chip cupcake. Tasty. Even the frosting on the top was light and delicious. I liked the chocolate dipped potato chip as it added a saltiness to the sweet dessert. After my little sweet snack, I made my way back to Wurstkuche where I had parked. FYI, parking is supposed to be scarce. Even though I was lucky enough to get rockstar parking up front, there appeared to be parking a couple blocks away so yes, parking is available if you are willing to walk a little. Note to self.. not a good idea for a lady to be walking the streets of downtown alone in the evening. There were some unsavory characters on my solo walk back.

There was a half-hour line forming outside the restaurant. You have to enter through the red and gold (BOOOOO Trojans) doors to order, but you can also enter the dining area via another door down the street. So the obvious strategy is to have one friend scope out seating while another waits in the food line.

Lucky me, I was the one assigned to find seating. The restaurant has brick walls and wooden beams ceilings. There's a cool, hip vibe in the room, it was loud and they had a DJ, yet the place seemed casual and relaxed. There were two diners playing cards at the table after their meals. Seating options were communal tables, table seating and a bar. Naturally, I grabbed seats at the bar.

I ordered the Gouden Carolus, a Belgian tripel.

The food menu is all sausage. They are served on freshly baked bread which is key. You get two toppings from a choice of caramelized onions, sauerkraut, sweet peppers and spicy peppers. The menu is divided into Classics for $6 (your regular brats, bockwurst, three vegetarian options), Gourmet at $6.75 and Exotic for $7.75. I was automatically drawn to the exotic sausages. Rabbit, veal and pork? Yum. Alligator and pork? Interesting but I've done alligator before. Rattlesnake and rabbit? Heck yeah!

Our food arrive about a half hour later, so essentially we were fed an hour after we got there. They have a selection of mustard scattered around the room so you'll have to go in search of the specific one you wanted.

Rattlesnake and rabbit sausage. I really liked this sausage. It was lean and juicy. As expected, it tasted like chicken or some lean meat vs. snake. Phew. The sausage also had jalapeno in it so it had a little heat to it, although not too spicy. Surprisingly the portion was sufficient. I was contemplating ordering two dogs but thankfully did not.

Vegetarian smoked apple sage sausage with apple, yukon gold potatoes and rubbed sage. A nice combination of sweet and salty. My friend enjoyed this sausage but it did look just a tad bit drier than mine. Too bad for the vegetarians.

More beers including another Belgian beer, La Chouffe, which the server said would pair well with our sausage selections, and a German Reissdorf Kolsch.

We shared a large order of Belgian fries. I do love a good fry. We ordered the fries with white truffle glaze for an additional $1.50. It was aromatic and worth it. You got two sauces with the large order, which included curry ketchup, pesto mayo, blue cheese walnut & bacon - barf on the blue cheese, Thai peanut amongst others. We opted for the curry ketchup and Thai peanut. The fries were thick but thankfully, not dense and starchy. I like.

I enjoyed my dinner at Wurstkuche. I thought the food hit the spot, the prices were reasonable given how full I was after dinner, and I really liked the feel of the place. I'm glad it catered to my veggie friend yet I wasn't limited to tempeh. Wurstkuche is that fun place for an upscale sausage fix.

Hits: juicy sausages, fries, ambiance
Misses: parking could be an issue esp. on weekends, far
Rating: ****

Wurstkuche Restaurant
800 East 3rd St.,
Los Angeles CA 90013
(213) 687-4444

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