Miguelito and I had been hearing chatter about Wurstkuche
for weeks. Though we're both on our respective wedding diets (not too much bourbon for him, lots of sit-ups for me), we rounded up our most gastronomically adventurous friends for some sausages last Sunday. Here's Wurstkuche's refrigerator packed with piles of home-made wieners.
Here's the coterie of condiments sitting on every corner of the long communal tables shrouded in brown paper.
If I remember correctly, there used to be a small, cramped, moodily lit restaurant on the same spot where Wurstkuche now stands. Walls were knocked down and the ceiling open for an airy, loft-like atmosphere that is de rigeur for architecture in downtown L.A. I don't think anyone has a ladder tall enough to reach the birthday balloon that floated away in Wurstkuche's dining room.
While our friend Johnny ordered two sausages for himself (he said he was eating on behalf of his absent girlfriend), Anita had the Filipino (a juicy pork sausage with spices) and Carol, a pescatarian, fit in with the confab of carnivores by picking a vegetarian sausage. Miguelito and I decided to split the difference between our foodie friends. We ordered three, that we could share for one and a half apiece. We had the duck bacon with jalapeno (topped with sweet peppers and caramelized onions), rabbit and veal (same topping as the duck bacon) and alligator (paired with hot peppers and caramelized onions). We skipped the sauerkraut, the other option in the quartet of toppings for the sausages, because it wouldn't fit well with the unusual wieners.
The restaurant actually messed up our order for the sauces to dip the Belgian fries. We had requested chipotle ketchup, but we ended up dipping our twice-fried taters in curry ketchup (more sweet than spicy) and bacon bits mixed with blue cheese.
This is a close-up of the duck bacon sausage. The black peppers and jalapeno masked the game flavor, which was unfortunate because I actually love the earthy taste of duck.
The rabbit and veal sausage was the most politically incorrect -- and unsurprisingly the yummiest of the three, in my opinion.
The alligator was perhaps the most exotic offering. It was also the one I liked the least among our triptych of treats. We were told that the casing for this roll was quite thick. That wasn't the problem. The alligator meat just wasn't that juicy. A bit of pork or other fatty meat would have injected some life into the dryness.