Red Lion in Slver Lake - still good!
I visit the Red Lion Tavern in Silver Lake every few years for German food, and since I haven't noticed any discussion of the place lately it seems a review is in order.
This was my first visit in about three years, and nothing has changed except that the pianist who used to entertain in the bar is no longer there. This is a mixed blessing - he added character to the place but was often overamped, so we rarely sat in that room. I had decided to avoid the bar since it is often loud, so we sat at a slightly tilted outdoor table. (The back patio is on a considerable slant.) There are new servers among the staff, many of whom don't speak German. This would have been impossible when I first visited the place and more conversations at tables were in German than in English - you couldn't have gotten hired there without at least some German fluency.
Fortunately the food was still good - a spicy, meaty Hungarian goulash to start, followed by schnitzel Holstein style with fried egg and anchovy, kassler rippchen, and rouladen. The red cabbage converted someone who previously detested all members of the brassica family into a fan, and the sauerkraut was very good too.
The crowd was mixed between young and old and almost all were speaking English. The decor has gotten a bit tattered, but that's just how everybody likes it - the place has a kitschy, old-fashioned warmth that is rare in a metropolis that reinvents itself regularly. The only place that I would put on the same level of food quality and authenticity is Jagerhaus in Anaheim - though Jagerhaus is much more upscale in decor and has a few game items that aren't served here. LA doesn't have many German restaurants that offer more than sausage and schnitzel, and we should cherish the ones we have.
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