When people think of German cuisine, they usually envision plates of bratwurst, sauerkraut and chocolate cake. What most people don’t know is that many traditional American dishes, such as meatloaf and hamburgers, were originally German inspired. Even the hot dog, America’s favorite snack at baseball games, was once better known as a wiener würstchen or a frankfuter. In fact, you might be surprised at how many German-inspired dishes you’ve actually had. But as everyone knows, there’s nothing better than the real thing, and these five LA restaurants serve authentic German cuisine. So grab your brieftaschen and check them out. Genießen!
3827 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90026
The currywurst stands in Berlin are like taco trucks in Los Angeles: street food for bar-hopping hipsters. With rustic flavors and a range for heat, Berlin Currywurst has captured the spirit and the zesty palate of the city with its menu and industrial chic decor. Located in the center of Silver Lake at Sunset Junction, Berlin Currywurst lists flavors of bratwurst that will make your tongue dance (including a vegetarian option) and force you to say words you’ll probably never pronounce correctly like Scharfe Käsewürst and Grünzeug. The heat level ranges from level one (Berlin Calling) for the timid all the way to level four (Break the Wall) for the tougher taste buds. However, if you dare, there’s an off-menu, unnamed level five that will surely melt your lederhosen. *Bonus: Berlin Currywurst has recently applied for a liquor license.
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800 E. 3rd St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Wurstküche, which translates into “sausage kitchen,” is in fact just that. It is home to delicious classic sausages like Bratwurst (pork, coriander & nutmeg) and Bockwurst (veal, pork & spices), gourmet sausages like Austin Blues (hot and spicy, tri-pepper & hardwood-smoked pork) and Mango Jalapeño (chicken & turkey) and exotic sausages such as Rattlesnake & Rabbit (with jalapeño peppers) and Alligator & Pork (Andouille style). Wurstküche’s unique flavors and dipping sauces will turn you into a sausage fan. To not order the Belgian double-dipped fries with white truffle oil glaze is a culinary tragedy. Also, make sure to save room for the toasted apple pie ice cream sandwich.
Swiss Chef Restaurant
13727 Victory Blvd.
Valley Glen, CA 91401
While the German cuisine has quite a few highlights, as listed earlier, it still ranks pretty low on the “dining out” list. For those who would like to try German food but are hesitant to commit to an entire menu dedicated to this cuisine, Swiss Chef Restaurant is perfect for you. Offering delectables from Italy, Germany, Switzerland, France and Hungary, you are certain to find an appealing array of international foods to choose from. You can start with French escargot and Italian scampi, then ease into Germany with rahmschnitzel or eisbein, finishing it all off with a chocolate soufflé made from Swiss chocolate. Mix and match your continental cuisine to suit your mood and comfort level. The epicurean chef Ueli likes to make table visits and offer suggestions.
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Kristine G. Bottone is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.