I've been wanting to try Wurstküche for some time, so when Pete was in town, I thought it would be the perfect time to go check out this eatery known for its exotic sausage sandwiches, Belgian fries and imported beers. It's located east of Little Tokyo, in the Historic Arts District. The address is 800 E. 3rd, but all we saw was an unmarked door at the corner of 3rd and Traction Ave. We walked inside to see this:
It's a lofty, airy space with exposed wood ceilings, long communal tables and a bar along the side. Pete and I were a bit perplexed. We saw people eating, but where was the waitress or any semblance of where the food was coming from? Thankfully, Jiwon came to the rescue and told us we were on the opposite end. It turns out, we came in through the exit and the actual entrance is around the corner on Traction Ave. Look for the striped doors on Traction Ave.
You order first and take a seat in the area that we saw earlier. The area is connected by a narrow hallway. Here is their refrigerated display case of their sausages. Their sausages fall into three different categories: classics, gourmet and exotics. The most exotic would probably have to the Rattlesnake & Rabbit with Jalapeno Peppers or the Alligator & Pork, Smoked Andouille Sausage. I was intrigued, but I didn't want to be stuck with something I couldn't finish, so we played it safe and went with the classics and gourmet selections, which all sounded really good.
I think we ended up ordering the Bratwurst, Santa Fe Jack Cheese & Jalapeno Peppers and a Louisiana Hot Link sausage. For each sandwich, you get to pick two of the following four toppings: caramelized onions, sauerkraut, sweet peppers and spicy peppers.
Honestly, I can't remember which was which. I think the first bite was the best, when the pork casing crackles and pops in your mouth, releasing the flood of juices from the sausage. They all tasted good ... but they kind of tasted the same especially since we mostly opted for the same toppings and two of the three sausages were on the spicy side.
We also got some Belgian Fries, which are fried twice and came with a choice of sauces. We got curry ketchup, pesto mayo and sweet and sassy BBQ. We also got them with the white truffle glaze, which was quite subtle but for the musky perfume that wafted from the fries. The fries were delicioso.
We came here for lunch on a weekday so didn't have to deal with the long lines. It's a bit on the pricey side for when you strip it down is in essence a hot dog, fries and some beer, but the selection and quality make up for it. It's quite an indulgence, but one I am happy to partake in.
They also have quite a lot of imported beers on tap. Jung has been lamenting the loss of his usual beer joints in SF, so he should check this place out. I couldn't recognize more than half of the beers on their menu, which probably means Jung probably has tasted them all. Who knows, maybe he can befriend the bartender and get some suggestions on good bars in LA. Clearly I am not in the know. Jung, if you want to go check it out, let me know!