HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >


German Restaurants in Los Angeles?

Hey, everyone. I'm fairly new to the Los Angeles area and will be having my first set of visitors in a little over a month... consisting of my mother, her husband, and an exchange student from Germany.

As you can guess, I'd like to take the German student to some place that may remind her of home. My mom lives in a very small town in Michigan and I know for a fact this poor girl probably hasn't had a dang thing that reminds her of home except for the Niederegger chocolates I managed to track down out here and send to Michigan for her.

It doesn't matter where it's at in the Los Angeles area, but if possible make it somewhere close to Koreatown (funny... I know) and I'd like it to be as authentic as we can manage. Other areas that I would also prefer over others would be Santa Monica, Universal City/Valley Village/Studio City, LAX area, or even downtown.

Budget considerations should be modest, I'm not looking for some fine-dining experience here... and I think that should keep it more authentic too. Ideally I'm probably looking at something less than $20 per person (and if that makes me cheap... then so be it). Again though... I'm open to options if I don't have many.

Any suggestions are welcome, however. I know y'all can help me out here, I've been lurking for a few days and am confident that someone on this board knows SOMETHING. I look forward to posting more with all of you and exploring the dining experiences our lovely city has.


And why did I just end that like a letter? I have no idea...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I can only start with the thought that the student wants nothing to do with home and wants to experience the ultimate LA scene. In that regard the student wants to see Hollywood etc. That aside, I can only suggest Alpine Village- not for its ambiance, but for the market where he or she can be the guide and point out items they use at home and feel a bit of bonding with you. They do have good sausages and decent breads (and Kinder eggs..) so it may be fun.

    1. Go to the Red Lion Inn in Silverlake on Glendale blvd. It will be hard to stay under $20 though.Good food, great beer and the bar crowd can be fun too.

      7 Replies
      1. re: rednyellow

        Second the recommendation for the Red Lion in Silverlake. It's the closest you will get to a German Biergarten in Los Angeles, with only a little bit of kitsch. Food is good, beer is good, it's owned by Germans (so she might get to speak a little), and it's got a bit of Los Angeles scene-ster ambiance to go along with it.

        Edited to add: I took a professor there who was from Eastern Europe. He was teaching at UCLA and was very homesick. He LOVED the Red Lion.

        1. re: DanaB

          Your professor from Eastern Europe might also really appreciate Warsawa, a Polish restaurant on Lincoln Blvd on Santa Monica. IT's been around for a long time, and while I've never been to Poland, the interior of the place reminded me of restaurants in (the former) Yugoslavia and (the former) Czechoslovakia that I visited many years ago. Food is also very good.

          1. re: NAspy


            Warszawa Restaurant
            1414 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

            1. re: NAspy

              This is really a joint. Food is adequate @ best.

            2. re: DanaB

              Speaking of kitsch, too bad Lowenbrau Keller is gone. I haven't been to the Lion in 10 years...-at the time, the sausage was the only reliable thing on the menu and you got the feeling that food quality was secondary (to what was a mystery.) Has it changed that much for the better?

              1. re: Hungry4Good

                Re. the Red Lion, I only said I thought the food was "good" not great. Personally, I like the sausage platter and the goulash. Roast chicken, when they have it, is decent as well.

                Apparantly the Lowenbrau Keller has been reopened under another name, with the same decor. There was a thread about it recently.

                1. re: DanaB

                  Alpine Village is a kick, they have dancing on the weekends. It is like a little Gerrman Village. It's just off the freeway, so it's easy to get too.

                  Alpine Village Market
                  833 Torrance Blvd Ste 1A, Torrance, CA 90502

          2. You might want to read other topics from the locations on the LA area German place map, which includes a grand total of seven :-( establishments: http://www.chow.com/places/regions/2?...

            Besides the Red Lion, Old World and Jagerhaus are well thought of but involve Serious driving.

            Another place I haven't yet tried is a local bar/restaurant named Zina's in Torrance. It was reported as Czech but the menu looks pretty German/Austrian to me: http://www.netbuys.com/zinas/

            Good hunting!

            1. Again, not in LA proper, and also not a restaurant, but if the German exchange student is hankering for things from home you should go to Schreiner's in Glendale.

              I live near Jagerhaus. The food is very good but they desperately need to update the restaurant.

              1. If this student is from Bavaria, she might appreciate the weisswurst platter with pretzel roll at 3 Square Cafe in Venice. The owner, Hans, is Austrian, so the dish is not exactly the same as you'd fine in Munich, but it's pretty close.

                I'm big into German food and I have to say that LA does not have many great options -- other cities like Chicago and NYC have much more to offer.

                7 Replies
                1. re: glutton

                  Just a note: Hans is German, 3 Square's chef de cuisine Wolfgang, is Austrian. And yes, the weisswurst is good and so is the leberkas :)

                  1. re: sharkgirl88

                    That was a serious faux pas on my part. Oops.

                  2. re: glutton

                    After browsing the 3 Square website, I'm SO disappointed that they don't have kaiserschmarrn on the menu. I've always wanted to try this mystery dish (a.k.a. schmorn) from my fathers youth: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaisersc...
                    Anyone see this elsewhere around here? TIA!

                    3 Square Cafe
                    1121 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

                    1. re: DiveFan

                      A dive it ain't, but at Spago Beverly Hills, kaiserschmarren has been on the menu since it day one. Extremely good kaiserschmarren.

                      1. re: DiveFan

                        I'll bet if you talk to the chef and give him enough notice, he'd make it for you.

                        Just a thought...

                        1. re: DiveFan

                          try contacting Csardas on Melrose and see if they can make csaszarmorzsa (chassar-mor-zha) - same dish different language.. They might make it to order.
                          Csardas Restaurant.
                          5820 Melrose Ave
                          Los Angeles, CA 90038-3709.
                          Phone: 323-962- 6434

                        2. re: glutton

                          You are close to right. There are only a few German restaurants in NY, none of thgem will replace Luchow's.
                          The onlu upscale German we had was The Black Forest in Santa Monica. Nothing here now. I pine for a GOOD Holsteiner schnitzel like I used to get in Bamberg in my youth.

                        3. Another possibility is Csardas in Hollywood, on Melrose near Vine. It's Hungarian, but you can get a schnitzel there.

                          1. Welcome to the L.A. area! You might want to ask what they would like to eat. They've traveled thousands of miles, so they may actually want to try something different that's hard to find in Germany: authentic Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, or Mexican (if they are truly adventurous). We have especially good Chinese food in the San Gabriel Valley. I'd personally recommend Cantonese dim sum. Vietnamese pho is also pretty good. Here are some of my restaurant reviews:

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: raytamsgv

                              Not to worry, my friend. We are going to be trying plenty of other authentic ethnic cuisine while she's here... I just know she hasn't had a lick of German food since she's been here and I thought it'd be a nice surprise for her. She'll be here for over a week, so we'll get a lot of dining in.

                              Living in Koreatown, I have a good selection of places to take her for some authentic Asian dining experiences and I plan to do that. I'm also pretty close to a pretty Hispanic part of town (like that's difficult!) so we'll be venturing into those waters as well.

                              I just wanted to give her a little surprise and allow her to share some of her background with myself in an environment that is hopefully more comfortable and familiar to her.

                            2. nice of you to want to remind the student of home.....but, put yourself in the her shoes, if you went to germany to study, would you want to be eating cheeseburgers, bbq and apple pie?

                              maybe if you take the her to eat at places that are not available in the mother land, then the she might have something to talk about other than school and california's attempt to replicate what the she has been eating all of her life

                              if there is something that socal has to offer, it's a plethora of places to eat

                              no need to look any place else but here.....there has to be something that she has been wanting to eat from the moment of knowing that the u.s. was going to be home for a short while....ask her, and let us know so we can give you our opinions of where to go...and let us not forget about mama, and her husband either

                              1. I'm a German student myself, been living in the US for a few years and the last thing I wanted the first months was German food. I also had many visitors from Germany and just the suggestion to have German food made them laugh telling me they wanna experience food they haven't tried before.

                                But after being here for a while it's nice to eat something reminding you of home. Unfortunately it's hard finding a restaurant that does it right. The Red Lion is definitely a fun place to hang out and have some beers, but the food is just alright. I found the Alpine Village decent as well.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: maxx11

                                  You might try Jagerhaus. I like it better than Red Lion and much, much better than Alpine Village. Pay attention to the specials board.

                                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                                    I have been to most places in this posting. Discounting the Polish places around the area, I will say that Jagerhaus has the best food but the least appeal for those looking for that fun place to hang out, that is what it is all about, it is almost a highbrow diner at best. Aside from the regular menu, the long list of specials is unpredictable. But it a place I am proud to frequent.
                                    I have taken German people there several times. (My husand has 4 German grandparents all born in the Hill Country of Texas.)

                                2. Alpine Village in Torrance. They have a full restaurant, deli, and grocery store. Most meals are under $20 and they have a buffet on the weekends.

                                  1. Totally unhelpful but . . . this thread clearly shows the great hole that The Black Forest Inn on Wilshire left in the LA dining scene.

                                    That place was wondrous and while I enjoy Wilshire's (the restaurant) very pretty patio and excellent bartender, it's a crime that the Black Forest Inn was allowed to pass quietly as we ushered in yet another unfocused restaurant.