2011 may be remembered (or hopefully, forgotten) as the year of the great sausage glut in LA. It felt like a new sausage and beer place was opening every week this summer. Don’t get me wrong: there are few simple pleasures like a huge pretzel, a fresh sausage, and a few beers to wash it all down. But how many places do we really need grilling up the same pre-made sausages from the same purveyors?
Needless to say, when Wirtshaus opened in July, my sausage fatigue prevented me from getting too excited. But then I heard the sausages were made in-house. And then I started hearing some pretty positive reviews. It was time to find out for myself.
If there is a fresh pretzel on a menu, chances are that I’ll order it. I decided to add a weisswurst (Bavarian white sausage) to the pretzel and it was a great choice: classic and tasty, bringing me back to my days in Munich’s beer gardens. Unfortunately, the pretzel was a bit of a disappointment, failing to live up to the pretzel at Bru Haus (but the sausage was superior).
My disappointment was soon forgotten when my beer flight hit the table. Wirtshaus offers fifteen German beer on tap, plus at least a dozen more in bottles. I’ve been especially fond of beer flights lately – it’s a great way of comparing different beer styles without too much damage to your wallet or liver.
There are plenty of places to get a cold beer in LA, but few that are German-owned and offer quality house-made sausages. I tried two sausage plates: Scharfe Wurst (spicy sausage) and the day’s special: duck sausage. Both had a wonderful texture that featured a satisfying snap of the casing. The scharfe wurst was the favorite, with just the right amount of spice. The fried potatoes with bacon, mild sauerkraut, and red cabbage were all respectable sides, if not terribly memorable.
Lunch plates comes with one sausage, and dinner provide two sausages: probably enough for two people to split with an appetizer. Schnitzel is also available if you’ve also reached sausage fatigue.
Wirtshaus is a solid addition to the neighborhood and with their Oktoberfest celebrations, there’s no better time to check it out.
345 N La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036