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Anyone done Wurstkuche?

....downtown. Lots of weird brats like rattlesnake mixed with rabbit.

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    1. re: Servorg

      The one with dog meat under exotics looks particularly unique...

      1. re: Adsvino

        The casing is sure to have some snap and the flavor a terrific bite....

    2. I wish sausage shops could make a go of it in our area. Seems like all the ones i've known of have a short life span, regardless of quality. Same goes for Frites shops. Sad. Looks as if this place has a very ambitious menu. I wish them the very best of luck. I am not Chowhound enough to go that far for only sausage.

      12 Replies
      1. re: DWB

        Downtown has a lot more people with more disposable income than in quite sometime and I am sure that this place will be able to live on its lunch business.

        1. re: Servorg

          One major problem with this place -- aside from its rather quixotic and narrow menu -- is its damn name.

          First, it's a tongue-twister to pronounce by just looking at it visually, and given its Germanic spelling, it'll be quite a challenge for people to search on Google or the internet with any ease.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            Agree it will be tough but at least they have a killer beer list to satisfy. The recent Brat Brothers in WeHo will have a tougher go of it as they serve no booze.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              Vurst-cook-huh, roughly. Not so hard. The K sound is soft, which we ain't used to unless we listen to KUSC a lot. Have a couple of beers and take a stab at it. Which brings me to the next point: at least they have some! Really, a brats joint with no beer is just plain wrong, dreadfully dreadfully wrong. Nobody in his right mind should think of opening such a shop if he can't or won't sell beer! That's even worse than PIZZA and no beer.

              1. re: Will Owen

                Pronouncing the name isn't the problem, per se.

                Rather it's associating the phonetic "Wurstkuche" with the visual "Wurstkuche" and making a lasting connection between the two in the diner's mind.

                It's sort of like if you named your restaurant "TOM" but told everyone it was pronounced "BOB". Well, when a diner says, "hey, that new place Bob was really great!" No one will be able to find it because no one in their right mind will think "BOB" is actually spelled "TOM".

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  I fail to understand the problem, but then I'm used to pronouncing furrin words in my head when I read them. To me, "Wurstkuche" reads the way it sounds, as do "Bob" and "Tom". I would urge anyone interested in food to cultivate such an ability - it comes in real handy when you're ordering off a menu and you don't actually speak the language, but you know what Linguine con Vongole or Tripes Niçoise is, and want to eat some.

                  Quibbling aside, I really want to go there...

                  1. re: Will Owen

                    That's why I say that German is a language halfway between English and Spanish, or English and Japanese--they pronounce a lot of their vowels thoroughly unlike in English, but they have many root English words(or vice versa). It would have been a real problem if they went all out for example Volkswagen or worse yet Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän(yikes)., at least they didn't do a combo. V, W, F, and eszett. Wurstkuche sounds just right, sausage kitchen or cooking is just right though a tad bit generic especially because it's a foreign language and sounds exotic. Wish Oktoberfest came by more than one month a year--more wurst, brat, etc. year round in abundance at many places.

                    1. re: b0ardkn0t

                      Even just a few years ago there were still quite a few German restaurants in the LA area, pretty much all closed up now. Those of us who know where to get the groceries and how to cook that stuff haven't suffered unduly, but going out for sauerbräten or Königsberger Klopps is no longer an easy option. Too bad.

                      1. re: Will Owen

                        Will, have you been to the Red Lion Tavern lately?


                        1. re: Servorg

                          I do not know the Red Lion Tavern. I assume you're suggesting that I need to...aha! Looks promising, and I'm in that vicinity a lot. Thanks! Not exactly right next door, but certainly close enough.

                  2. re: ipsedixit

                    Simply because some of us are less familiar with Germanic pronunciation than for example, French or Spanish, does not make for a poorly named restaurant. Comme Ça - for instance or Guelaguetza.

                    1. re: bigsleep

                      Especially since what we're commonly speaking is basically a Germanic language!

          2. I found this from Mattatouille. Sounds like the rattle-rabbit ain't that bad.


            1. I had lunch there the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and it was the perfect way to start the holiday-weekend, eating binge. The menu is simple: sausage, Belgium-style fries and beer, plus copious amounts of dipping sauces. There are over ten different types of sausages from the exotic (rattlesnake) to the standards (Italian, chicken/apple). Your sausage comes on a lightly, crunchy roll and you have a choice of caramelized onions, sweet peppers, spicy peppers or sauerkraut (pick two of the four). There are also about ten different types of mustard from which to choose. Although I consider myself an adventurous eater, I was more interested in tasting the spicy peppers, sauerkraut and spicy mustard, so I ordered the Kielbasa. I also ordered a small fry with sweet and spicy BBQ sauce (the sundried tomato mayo and blue cheese-bacon sauces were also tasty). Delicious!

              Everyone in our group of nine was incredibly pleased with their meal, down to the dipping sauces. We dubbed our co-worked who suggest the restaurant the hero of the day.

              On top of having simple but delicious food, the owners are extraordinarily gracious. Because we were a big group, there was not an available table big enough to fit us all. So the owners let us stand at the bar in the back of the restaurant, which is still a work in progress. There was a beautiful wood bar, though, and that was enough to keep everyone happy. The owner gave us testers of some of their beers, including two Noel brews. I do not pretend to be a beer connoisseur but the beers I tried were fantastic.

              I think Wurstkuche will be a hit with the downtown crowd especially when the back bar opens. It may be far for people who do not live, work or go out downtown but if you like sausage, fries and beer (and who doesn't?), I suggest you make the trek. Although, please don't go at lunchtime because I don't want to stand in line too long. Thanks :)

              1. I think they'll do well -- The place was full when we visited last week. Looks like they're expanding into the neighboring space.

                They have some tamer sausages on the menu: traditional brats, duck/bacon, chicken apple, etc. Sausages are grilled over flame -- Tasty, maybe a little too salty. Not quite as refined as Sausage Kitchen. I'd forgo the fancy sauces and toppings.

                Frites were serviceable.

                Beer list is fantastic. Haven't seen Tripel Karmeliet on tap anywhere else in L.A.

                1. Checked this place out on saturday, and am thoroughly impressed. Great sausages, delicious fries, and great beer selection.

                  Menu was a bit slim, as it seems some of the items aren't in yet. Also, some of the sauces and beers were out -- minor gripes for the first few weeks. I'm sure things will pick up once they get a steady stream of clientele, and the rest of the space is finished (it's pretty cramped now).

                  I will be going back frequently. I only hope that this neighborhood stays off the radar long enough for me to get sick of the establishments located there before everyone, their mother and brother find out about it and start braving the drive through skid row.

                  1. Been there twice already. I've had the duck/bacon/jalapeno and the buffalo. I prefer the duck although both were quite good. There are three things I love about this spot right now; Delirium Noel on tap (seasonal), the bacon/cheese/mayo dipping sauce, and vegetarian options so you can take your veg friends. Only problem is lack of seating and a slow line (supposedly a back bar/ smokeable patio area will open soon)
                    This is my first post on the board, glad to be here!

                    1. The restaurant is pronounced Vurst-kuch-e. I guess that's how it's spelled, but it's certainly not said like Vurst-cook-huh. The kuch part has that back of the throat "ch" sound from German or Hebrew. The "e" is pronounced like the end of "hey." It means sausage kitchen which is a good name, I think.

                      I went the other week (November 22nd) and thought the food was average at best.

                      I had the rattlesnake and rabbit and thought the meat part was really tasty. However, my bun got really soggy with the onions and peppers and totally fell apart which was a pain.

                      Also, I hate to say it, but the fries were kinda shitty. Definitely not the crispy, fluffy Belgium fries I had in mind. They were more like soggy bar fries.

                      My beer was expensive ($2.50 more than I pay for the same beer at El Prado in Echo Park) and the pour was...poor. 25% head is too much.

                      Lastly, I think that $40 for a shared fries, two dogs and two beers is really steep.

                      Hate to crush the place like this, but I'm just telling how it is. Hopefully everyone else has a better experience because I'd like to see the place thrive.

                      1. I just read the LA Times food section article on Wurstkuche and it sounds like LA's version of Chicago's "Hot Doug's". Usually my go-to on the OC-Santa Clarita trips I make find me stopping at Phillipe the Original, but it soulnds like Wurstkuche is worth a try.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: RSMBob

                          altough the times piece seemed like a puff piece, an advertisement of sorts for the list of restaurants included in their new nightlife/restaurant blog/website, the guide.

                          also, it didn't really seem to be a review since the writer didn't mention anything about the acxtually food there, just the fact that it has a bunch of weird dogs, belgian beers and fries, and just opened in downtown.

                          1. re: kevin

                            I'm skeptical they'll be good for very long, if at all. The menu has too many options for them to keep everything both in-stock and fresh.

                        2. I was there yesterday afternoon, had the traditional bratwrust, with grilled onions and saurkraut. It was very good, the bratwurst tasted very authentic to me and was nice and juicy, and was served on a good, soft roll. I thought the fries were great ! The beer list was well-chosen, but they were out of a few of my choices. Still, I ended up with a really good Franziskanner Hefe, poured correctly (in other words, allowed to settle and then topped-off.) I really liked it, but be aware that the space is really small and tables are at a premium - even at 2 in the afternoon ! When their additional space opens up, II'm sure everyone will be happy !

                          As for the pronunciation, it's tricky for those who haven't had some german lessons - it's that pesky umlaut over the second u (Wurstküche ). You kind of have to pucker up your lips and lengthen out that u, so it's kind of an "er" sound. Phonetically, I'd pronounce it "Vurstkershe" - although even that's not quite right :-) Oh well, I don't think they care as long as you have cash or credit !

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: mikester

                            As I was taught by my German-loving grandma to do the "ch" sound entirely in my throat - she could not abide hearing it as "sh" - I rendered "küche" as "cook-uh", ignoring the problem of "ü" entirely, and suggesting a softening of the "k". Whatever. The important part is brats and fries... I get downtown so seldom these days, but I've got their site bookmarked, menus and all.

                            1. re: mikester

                              Forgot to add, I really appreciate that the Hefe-Weizen was served in a 0.5-liter, tall and narrow Hefe glass ! This really enhances the enjoyment, to drink it from the correct glass. Even at most brew-pubs around, they pour their Hef into 16-oz. pub glasses.

                            2. Be intrested in any direct comparisons between Wurstkuche and Jodi Maroni's.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: RSMBob

                                And the Brat Brothers on 3rd (not great)

                              2. Just went there Sat. night. Front uninviting and cold. Cashier chick couldn't pour beer, took her three tries. But the sausages are good, toppings are good, fries are okay, but not Belgian. We had the hot Italian, the bratwurst and the Austin spicy. The grill guy says no one orders the exotic stuff.

                                Back bar is still rather bleak, fraternal table paper filthy, and they need something==pencils, juke box, projected German movies--as it's got all the charm of an interrogation room.

                                Some sort of pickle plate, appetizers, would be welcome, as it take a while to get the sausages. Beer comes in correct glasses, and is great. Espresso and dessert would be good too.

                                I live within walking distance, so I'll come again, but it's still got some work to do.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Ideefixed

                                  but besides the decor are the sausages and beer selection any good?

                                  and also how are the prices considering that they still have much work to do.

                                  1. re: kevin

                                    The sausages and beer are good, prices high, over $10 for a sausage and fries. Maybe $25 per person with a few beers.

                                    Agree totally with Ideefixed above....

                                2. I went about a week ago with a friend and we both loved it. We had 3 of the exotics - Rabbit, Duck and Gator, plus a Hot Italian. The rabbit was the favorite and the hot italian won points for juciest. All four were delish. We tried various toppings like grilled onions, peppers etc as well as a few of their mustards, which were quite good. The fries were great, as was the curry catsup. We also tried a blue cheese/bacon dip that was fine, but now my choice for fries. Great selection of beers as well as "gourmet" sodas. If I was in that neighborhood, I'd be there all the time, as it is I'm def. going back.

                                  1. I find it rather amusing that upon the opening of this restaurant everyone was predicting its early demise. Still going strong nearly a year and a half later... plus it's picked up some hipster cred and a (rather dirty) nickname that subverts the pronunciation issues of the original German. Plus, as long as you avoid the too-exotic, these wursts are delicious. I'm a big fan of the cilantro/lime/turkey and the duck/bacon. Be warned... this crowd skews pretty young/trendy, and it can get crowded and loud on weekend nights, often hard to find a seat. But for those of you who haven't been in a while... it's worth revisiting.

                                    800 E 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90013

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: cooktease

                                      I've never seen this restaurant not doing great business, and for good reason.

                                      1. re: cooktease

                                        Looks like the dog meat sausage is off the list.

                                        Mr Taster