Travel Guide: Best Sausages in L.A.

A recent German invasion of L.A.'s irrepressibly trendy restaurant scene has added a worldliness to the wiener—with unusual ingredients and a renewed esteem for handcrafting links.


[1] Wurstküche
Set in L.A.'s downtown Arts District, umlaut-adorned Wurstküche is credited with starting the city's liebe for all things Deutsch. This purveyor of conspicuously atypical sausages draws urban yuppies along with dinner seekers from the burbs, after exotics like the delicate rabbit and veal, faddish rattlesnake and peppery buffalo wurst laced with chipotle peppers. Squeeze in a klein order of double-dipped Belgian fries, white truffle oil glaze optional, and settle down in the post-industrial geometry of the dining room to enjoy one of the 24 Euro-brews on tap. 800 E. 3rd St., 213-687-4444, wurstkuche.com

[2] Steingarten LA
This newly opened spot is a smart California beer garden made possible by a capacious retractable skylight. Restaurateur Abraham Berookhim teamed up with German investors to offer diners 25 impeccably executed sausages, like bold, smoky Hungarian kolbász, plus over-the-top innovations like über-rich duck and bacon, and a surprisingly springy, plump Alaskan salmon sausage. Rub shoulders with execs from nearby Fox Studios while pondering the La Brea baguette vs. chewy pretzel bun, under the buzzy influence of an innovative beer cocktail. 10543 W. Pico Blvd., 310-441-0441, steingartenla.com

[3] Wirtshaus
Kenny Seliger, the dashing German-born chef, crafts all Wirtshaus sausage using locally sourced ingredients. This unpretentious joint, with chalkboard menu, attracts wine buffs after rare German grapes and keeps them with the smooth gefluegel, juicy weiss, gamey boar and paprika-red scharfe wurst. Relish the sun filtering through the trellises on the patio as you people-watch the diverse crowds that mingle on the revitalized La Brea Boulevard. 345 N. La Brea Blvd., 323-931-9291, wirtshausla.com


[4] Berlin Currywurst
Kreuzberg marketing whiz-kids Lena and Hardeep Manak came up with this minimalist gem in Silver Lake that serves an elitist take on the German street food currywurst (sausage sliced and smothered with spiced ketchup). The duo updates Hardeep's family brat recipe with organic, grass-fed meat, and ditches ketchup for five house-made sauces named after Berlin hoods, ranging from citrusy Charlottenburg to garlicky Alexanderplatz. Currywurst comes with hearty farmer's bread, but the fritten are said to be the best in town. You can spot the entire German consulate here during the lunch rush. 3827 W. Sunset Blvd., 323-663-1989, berlincurrywurst.com

[5] Papaya King
The line is always out the door at the king of NYC dogs, which rose to notoriety following one fateful Seinfeld episode. L.A. was thrilled when these all-naturals arrived in Hollywood boasting on billboards that Papaya frankfurters are "plumper than a Real Housewife's lips." Prices start below Pink's, L.A.'s historic hot dog stand, and the King offers hefty all-beef sausages alongside classic and specialty franks, with handy calorie counts. Wash it all down with coconut champagne or tropical papaya juice—origin of the name on the sunny yellow sign. 1645 Wilcox Ave., 323-871-8799, papayaking.com

[6] Let's Be Frank
They're pricier than most street-cart dogs but, frankly, customers don't give a damn. The grass-fed, sustainable, all-beef franks use meat from California ranchers. The result? They give a noticeable snap when bitten, releasing the robust punch of a Kobe burger. If you don't do red meat, try the Bird Dog, a firm, flavourful turkey option, and add the aptly named Devil Sauce. Longing for Let's Be Frank at your next barbecue? Devil Sauce is sold by the jar at the stand; recipes are on the website. Helms Ave. between Venice & Washington blvds., letsbefrankdogs.com wl

 

 

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