Showing posts with label potatoes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label potatoes. Show all posts

Eat Drink Style Wurstkuche, Los Angeles - A Sausage Grill


One of my must-do things up in San Francisco involves two neighboring businesses right on Haight Street in the Lower Haight area. It's an area lined with vintage shops, specialty stores bars and tatted up denizens – quite similar to Melrose Avenue. There's Rosamunde Sausage Grill and Toronado. One obviously deals out sausages, and the other is a wonderful watering hole. The owners know each other and have a symbiotic relationship. You order one of the lovely sausages offered by Rosamunde and have to wait at least 10-15 minutes. How do you kill time? Go get a beer. You order one too many beers at Toronado, your stomach tells you it needs a sponge to sop up all that delicious beer. What do you do before you throw up? Go get a sausage. This sort of transaction happens all day long... drunk people and hungry people walking back and forth. For a while I was like, "Why don't we ever have both in one building down here in Los Angeles???"

That's when Joseph Pitruzzelli of San Francisco stepped in and blessed us with Wurstküche, which is German for "sausage kitchen". A 27-year old designer and entrepreneur who enjoys beer and sausages at the same time and read LA's mind. Located in Downtown Los Angeles's arts district, just east of Little Tokyo, you won't miss this joint with its yellow and red, striped door and sign written in tasteful typography. Did I mention to you that he's a designer?

Wurstkuche Los Angeles

Upon walking in, you immediately see the sausage display case and taps bolted into the wall. The room ends in a sharp corner with counter tops and a few tables and chairs. Walking down the hallway, you'll end up in a larger dining area, where you could also order beer from. The place has a modern design and really gets you out of the Red Lion Tavern (another German bar with sausages) setting, which sometimes can feel a little depressing and low-energy if you're not in the happiest of moods. Warning: here's a shocking example of what kind of sausages Red Lion Tavern does offer. I do not dare click on my own link.

Wurstkuche Los Angeles Sausages

The True Edible Adult Candy Store
Pitruzzelli offers over 21 types of sausages that he's acquired from purveyors all over the U.S. All the sausages are neatly stacked on top of each other, a few them with signage. Just ask the person what they have to offer. Here's what's listed on the menu:

Bratwurst - fine cuts of pork with coriander & nutmeg
Bockwurst - veal & pork with spices
Hot Italian -fine cuts of pork with spices
Vegetarian Italian - soy based, traditional flavor
Vegetarian Beer Bratwurst - soy based, traditional flavor
Vegetarian Kielbasa- soy based, traditional flavor
Mango Jalapeño - chicken & turkey
Jack Cheese & Jalapeño Peppers - smoked turkey
Chicken Apple & Spices
Austin Blues - hardwood smoked pork, hot and spicy, tri-pepper
Sun Dried Tomato & Mozzarella - smoked chicken & turkey
Green Chillies & Cilantro - chicken & turkey
Filipino Marharlika - sweet pork with natural seasonings
Kielbasa - polish style, pork & beef wtih onions and spices
Louisiana Hot Link - beef & pork with onions and hot spices
Roasted Red Pepper & Corn - chicken & turkey
Buffalo, Beef & Pork with Chipotle Peppers - smoky chipotle flavor
Duck & Bacon with Jalapeño Peppers - juicy and packed with flavor
Rabbit, Veal & Pork Seasoned with White Wine - light and delicate
Alligator & Pork, Smoked Andouille Sausage - hickory smoked, thick casing
Rattlesnake & Rabbit with Jalapeño Peppers - buttery but mildly spicy

I've tried the duck & bacon, rabbit & veal, rattlesnake, chicken & apple and sun-dried tomato/mozzarella chicken sausages. And I am always stuck on what to get every time I'm here, as I have not eaten anything disappointing.

Wurstkuche Los Angeles Sausages

Wurstkuche Los Angeles Sausages

Wurstkuche Los Angeles Sausages

The Sausage Beach
It takes about 10 minutes to get your sausage. Make sure you choose from the 35+ types of beer offered at Wurstküche – Belgian, German and American. As well as an assortment of specialty sodas.

Wurstkuche Los Angeles Sauces

Sauce City
For those that enjoy mustard to go on top of their sauteed onions, sauerkraut or sweet peppers.

Wurstkuche Los Angeles Beer Taps

Belgian, German and American Beers
If Pitruzzelli isn't looking, I may do a taste test of all these beers with my mouth as a serving glass.

Wurstkuche Los Angeles Belgian Fries

Belgian-Style Fries
Wurstküche offers some tasty fries that are prepared the night before and blanched the next morning. Before serving them, they are fried once more to achieve one extra layer of deliciousness. You can order a large cone of fries for $5.50 with your choice of two sauces, and a smaller cone of fries for $3.50 with your choice of one sauce. These are some of my favorite fries in Los Angeles, along with Oinkster, Hungry Cat and Father's Office.

Wurstkuche Los Angeles Belgian Fries

Wurstkuche Los Angeles Sundried Tomato & Mozzarella Sausage

Sundried-Tomato & Mozzarella Chicken Sausage
Good. I don't have anything else to say but that's it's good and juicy. The bread is made in-store and really tastes great together.

Wurstkuche Los Angeles Rattlesnake Sausage

Rattlesnake & Rabbit with Jalapeno Peppers
Good good good! I recommend the rattlesnake here as it is not as rich as other places I've had it at, like Hot Doug's in Chicago. But Chicago-style hot dogs are in a league of their own – so good!

Wurstkuche Los Angeles Joseph Pitruzzelli

I don't have anything else more to say than what Jonathan Gold or other blogs haven't already said. Only that I enjoy everything I've tried here and have been here at least 7-8 times. Based on the 20-25 minute wait for my meal everytime, I think Pitruzzelli and Wurstküche are here to stay in Los Angeles. Good sausages, good beer, good location = good times.

Note: Wurstküche will be at Jonathan Gold's Gold Standard/LA Weekly food extravaganza. Thanks for reading.

800 E. 3rd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 687-4444

Eat Drink Style Anti-Valentine's Day Dinner

Anti-Valentine's Day 2009 Cafeteria Tray

The last time Valentine's Day actually mattered to me was in my prepubescent years in elementary school - you know, the days of innocence. For this day, you begged your parents to spend their hard-earned money on cards bearing Warner Bros. & Disney characters, heart-shaped candy that tasted like chalky meth and for that special special someone in your life, a small stuffed animal or something. It was honest, unadulterated fun. But, I had my system of distributing cards. I'd save all the crappy cards like Yosemite Sam or Three Blind Mice for people with cooties or didn't pick me on their kickball teams. These jerks wouldn't get any candy at all – not even the heart-shaped meth. They would get the stock message written on the copy without even a signature. Then there was the middle-tier friends who were cool to me and talked to me, but would never trade their delicious fruit snacks or fruit roll-ups for my asian delicacies like haw flakes or seaweed rice crackers. These racist friends still got a crappy card but some candy that actually had taste, AND a curvy autograph. And the final group to receive cards were for the ladies only. More likely than not, you liked more than one girl and that's why you'll see more than one Pepé Le Pew or Mickey/Minnie cards in that box – for 10-year old players like you. Now these were the cards I spent most of my night working on. I could see my mom smiling as I tried to profess my love in my limited kid vocabulary. I would say deep things like...

"You are sweet, pretty, cute, smart, beautiful, pretty, cute, sweet, fast, funny and cute. Hope you like Pepé Le Pew. Love, Dylan."

Attached to the card that was nicely sealed, I'd give like 5-7 candies. It was a simple yet fun time for many of us. And Jeni I promise, she means nothing to me haha. You are " sweet, pretty, cute, smart, beautiful, pretty, cute, sweet, fast, funny and cute" to the 100th power.

But now, as you get older, this particular 'holiday' requires you to fork out more and more of your hard-earned cash. In a relationship, shouldn't everyday be a test of one's love and devotion for a significant other? I took Jeni to Hometown Buffet a few years back, but this time, we wanted to do an Anti-Valentine's Day thing with some friends. I decided to tie the dinner theme back to elementary school... when looking 'cool' meant bringing your lunch in a brown paper bag, and buying cafeteria food on a tray meant you were a broke loser. Harsh!

Anti-Valentine's Day 2009 Bleu Cheese Burger with Caramelized Onions and Fried Egg

Bleu Cheese Burger with Fried Egg, Watercress & Caramelized Onions
Father's Office, you either hate it or you love it. I think Chef Sang Yoon does a good job on the burger but I think it's too sweet and a bit strong on the bleu cheese. And he's missing one component that, for me, takes food to another level… fried egg! I marinated ground beef with bleu cheese chunks, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, minced onions, cayenne pepper and S&P. Let that sit for an hour or two in the fridge covered with saran wrap and mold your burgers. Caramelize your onions and if you're not using a sweet wine like port, add a little sugar to give your onions a nice sweetness. Serve with arugula tossed lightly in a vinaigrette or try it with watercress, which has a delicate mustard taste that I enjoy.

Anti-Valentine's Day 2009 Crab, Macaroni & Cheese with Scallions & Smoked Paprika

Alaskan King Crab Macaroni & Cheese with Scallions & Smoked Paprika
I love crab, and I love macaroni & cheese – this dish was a perfect mesh of flavors. I made a cheese roux with flour, butter, milk and whatever brand of grated cheddar cheese and mixed the sauce in with the macaroni shells. I then sautéed the crab quickly with some garlic, smoked paprika, shallots and smoked paprika. Just enough to wake the crab up. Add this on top of the macaroni & cheese or mix it in. This was really good.

Anti-Valentine's Day 2009 Garlicky Tater Tots

Garlicky Tater Tots
I don't know anyone that dislikes tater tots, especially kids. Versus eating large fries, tater tots were the perfect finger food. I sautéed some garlic and parsley and lightly mixed them into the freshly baked tater tots. For dipping, I mixed in some curry powder into some ketchup (inspired by Wurstkuche in the Arts District of Downtown Los Angeles - review coming soon!) for a nice kick. For your snobby friends, try mixing the tater tots with grated asiago cheese and a few drops of truffle oil – good stuff.

Anti-Valentine's Day 2009 Chocolate Cookies

Save the Best for Last Cookies
Always the one thing kids are eyeing as they chomp down on soggy chicken nuggets and vegetables. Thanks to Sandra for baking these tasty cookies.

As we ate, we drank great Belgian beer from Cap n' Cork in Los Feliz and enjoyed the sultry sounds of my Valentine's mix, Cheesy & Sleazy, still available for free download.

C&S Full

Anti-Valentine's Day 2009

Thanks for reading.

Eat Drink Style Father's Office II, Culver City - The Sang Yoon Bleu Cheese Burger Legacy Continues

Father's Office II Culver City

Sequels. Usually a thing that's hit or miss. Karate Kid. Police Academy. Die Hard. Van Dumb & Steven Segal movies... you either love them or you hate them. And a big can of worms is opened with various opinions. With all the talk over the last year about Father's Office opening a second location, the question isn't whether or not it'll be better than the Santa Monica location... the question is "when the f*ck is it actually opening?" And finally, after god knows how long, Chef Sang Yoon has opened up chapter 2 in his restaurant career with Father's Office II this week, located in the Helms Bakery Building in Culver City, or to foodies, as CuCi. I myself, call it Construction City, because things never seem to get done here thanks to Cal Trans.

At exactly 5:07 pm, my coworker RM, Jeni and I quickly turned on to Helms Avenue. It was only the 2nd day of the grand opening and we eagerly stuck our heads out the window to see if there were herds of people outside. And.... NO! No ridiculous Best Buy line-around-the-building crap.

We walked up and were given a warm welcome by the door man. Yes, a door man. "Welcome to Father's Office." Once we walked in, it was immediately understood why this establishment had taken so long to open. It's with Chef Yoon's careful planning, immaculate design and pure passion and craft that make Father's Office an experience of its own. In front of us stood the bar, made out of beautifully, lacquered wood. Behind, we saw about 35+ taps on both the left and right side of the back wall, making it a total of 70+ taps ready to imbibe us with goodness. All the bartenders and servers wore black t-shirts with a simple "F.O..." graphic. Why there are thought dots... I don't know. Maybe a breath of relief that it's finally opened?

Father's Office II Shirt

Father's Office II Bar1

Father's Office II Draft

35+ Delicious Choices of Beer
Chef Yoon is definitely a beer connoisseur, or in proper form, a cerevisaphile. I felt like a kid in a candy store as I slowly studied the various taps from left to right. Most I have heard of, yet it's still amazing to see all this godsend in one place.

Father's Office II Bar3

Non-Beer Items
In addition to beer, Chef Yoon has a liking for tequilas, whiskies and gin – further proof that Koreans love to drink. If you look carefully between the shelves, you'll see what looks like a digital indicator. He's got humidifying fans installed above the bottles so that each spirit rests in an optimum level for your enjoyment.

Father's Office II Bar2

Father's Office II Beer1

Delirium Tremens, one solid Belgian beer.

Father's Office II Beer3

Inversion IPA. Never heard of it, but tasted great.

Father's Office II Beer2

Hitachino Classic Ale. A solid Japanese beer made in Hitachi, Japan, the same city as the major electronics brand.

Father's Office II Smoked Eel

Smoked Eel with Poached Egg
Yes, all everyone talks about is the Bleu Cheese burger at FO, but what about the lonely, neglected stepchildren on the menu... like the Smoked Eel with Poached Egg. Man, I love this dish. First off it's smoked and it has my most favorite ingredient in the world, eggs. I poked the poached egg with the tine of my fork and watched the yolk slowly ooze out like a premature volcano. I mixed the thinly sliced red onions, poached egg with the horseradish/creme fraîche and cut a piece of the eel. The eel actually required me to use a knife to cut through it, a sign that the fish had great texture. I love this dish. It's a perfect balance of smokiness, temperature and texture. *high-5* Sang Yoon.

Father's Office II Lamb Skewers

Lamb Skewers with Roasted Eggplant and Radicchio
My vegan coworker RM ordered this. Which doesn't make any sense, but he in general, doesn't make a lot of sense at all. Anyway, loved this dish as well. I could taste cayenne, paprika, cumin and oregano... very Mediterranean. The lamb was so fresh that it didn't have any gameyness to it. If you told me it was beef after about 6 beers, I'd believe you.

Father's Office II Yam Fries

Yam Fries "A La Cart"
Yet another food pun. But what a great dish it is. These taste better than a lot of the yam fries I've eaten in Koreatown cafes. Nicely seasoned with a side of Cabreles Bleu Cheese aioli. *High-5 Sang Yoon*

Father's Office II Burger1

Father's Office Bleu Cheese Burger
One time at the Santa Monica FO, my friend and I argued over how many burgers FO sells in one day. In about one hour starting at 12 pm, we saw nearly 30 orders go out. And it wasn't even busy at all. Any idea how many they sell in a day at the new location? My guess is 400 on an average day. 400 x $12 = $4,800. *High-5 Sang Yoon*

Father's Office Sang Yoon

And how does the FO sequel pan out? I think it's going to be one of the biggest profiters in Culver City. FO2 is larger, offers more beer and is located at the right place at the right time, when Culver City is booming as a culinary pit-stop in Los Angeles. Next question for Chef Sang Yoon, will there be a 3rd sequel in the near future? And also Sang Yoon, can you add wireless to FO2 so that I could tell Jeni that I'm not actually drinking beer and working at The Office? She'll believe me.

If you find yourself waiting in a long line at FO2 on the weekend, try and stop by Sue Moore's tasty lamb-casing, beef and pork sausages. Check out Jeni's posting on FO2, on why her father thinks that good girls shouldn't drink beer.

Father's Office II
3229 Helms Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90034
(310) 815-9820