I had been hearing about a glorious and semi-new restaurant in downtown LA for months and finally I gathered up the strength to make the trek down the 10 and check it out. This new restaurant is called Wurstkuche and although there are multiple fun and interesting pronunciations for such a place, the one thing that is certain is that it means “sausage kitchen” in some Germanic language.
Arriving on a Sunday night, I expected the place to be packed, but was happy to find a relatively short line at the counter that gave me just enough time to decide what I wanted. The menu is limited to a wide variety of sausages and french fries. Although this seems kind of limiting, there is a sausage in their extensive list for everyone (even those dastardly vegetarians and vegans). The most intriguing part for me was the exotic sausages. Animals found in these ranged from rattlesnake to alligator to rabbit. I decided to order two sausages from this list. The first was the Rattlesnake and Rabbit with Jalapeno Peppers. The second was the Buffalo, Beef and Pork with Chipotle Peppers. The four toppings available were carmelized onions, sauerkraut, sweet peppers and spicy peppers. The only one that fit into my unvegan eating habits was the spicy peppers, so I ordered that on top of the buffalo sausage, but opted to keep that rattlesnake sausage naked.
Along with these, I ordered a small order of fries, called “Klein.” These fries are done in the Belgian style, which I believe means they are double-dipped and come with some crazy dipping sauces. I ordered mine with the Bleu Cheese Walnut and Bacon sauce, then paid up and headed out of the grilling area and into the seating area.
I filled up a glass of water at one of the spouts and was disgusted to find that it had cucumber flavor to it. I spit it out and found another spout that had regular water. I joined my friends in the seating area and was a little disappointed by the lack of lighting. I know they were trying to set some sort of a mood, but it’s not that often that you eat rattlesnake, and when you do, you kind of want good light to see it in.
The food was ready in about 10 minutes, and I was presented with two sausages, labeled “snake” and “buff.” I decided to test out the snake first and bit in while crossing my fingers that all the venom had been removed. I was surprised that it tasted pretty good. The jalapeno wasn’t overwhelming and left me able to taste the sweet meat of rattlesnake and rabbit. I hate using the cliche, but in all honesty the combination didn’t taste terribly different than chicken, but this was a good thing. I offered it around the table and as my roommate, Vicki, tasted it, she described it as having a bite. She was under the impression that it was just a regular sausage called the “snake” sausage and was quite surprised when she realized it was actually composed of real rattlesnake.
Next, I tested out the buffalo. This one was smaller, and closer in size to a hot dog than a sausage. Upon tasting, the texture was also smooth and along the lines of hot dog as well. The taste, however was pretty different. It was kind of like a beef sausage, but stronger in a better way.
While eating these sausages, I also dug into the fries, which were pretty amazing. They were perfectly crispy on the outside, while chewy on the inside. When I went to try out the dipping sauce, though, I realized it was nothing at all like what I had ordered. Instead, it was Chipotle Aioli. This didn’t taste bad, but it wasn’t what I wanted. I returned to the counter to ask about it and they said they were out of the bleu cheese.
Then they handed me a few other sauces to take instead. These were the Curry Ketchup, Chipotle Ketchup and Buttermilk Ranch. The best of these was definitely the Curry Ketchup. It was a nice twist on ketchup, which is my usual sauce for fry-dipping.
Overall, I had a pretty awesome experience. It was great to eat some new animals in sausage form and although there was cucumber in the water and no bleu cheese sauce, it was easily forgotten about.
It should also be noted that the place has a huge variety of beers from around the world. I didn’t order any for myself since I was already packing in two sausages and fries, but I’m sure next time will require some liquid sustenance, especially if I am worried about cucumber water.