*A bit of backdating here, but that is thoroughly Proustian and thus allowed on a blog entitled, “What Would Proust Do.”
After a few too many sobering rides on the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) system coming home from bars and the like, I decided that taking the Gold Line to Little Tokyo (which lies east of Downtown LA) on a Friday night was going to be interesting, if nothing else. I had agreed to meet two of my friends, also fellow hot dog aficionados, one being an actual German, at Wurstkuche, the previously mentioned German-esque sausage restaurant. They were delighted that like them I loved hot dogs, had had real sausage in Germany, and was not afraid to use public transit.
LA is not a walking city, for all those who remember, so when I got off the train and headed down Alameda, the pitch black of 7:30pm hit me pretty hard. The street was deserted, besides a few rumbling trucks, and I decided that it was a good thing I had worn flat boots, all the better to run in. Later, at 10:30pm there were more people walking around. Hmm…
Wurstkuche touts itself as being the authentic German experience, complete with an excellent selection of German and Belgian beers on tap, a wide variety of German sausages, and homemade mustard. You eat at long communal wooden tables and can order “Belgian” frites.
They also threw in a little bit of LA flair with their assortment of “exotic meat” hot dogs (I had the rabbit, veal, and pork sausage) and raised the prices to $5.75 for the most basic option. You also only get two toppings, which include sauerkraut and onions, which is not the hot dog way. But the hot dogs were good, as was the crazily authentic glass I got for the Schwartzbier. What wasn’t was authentically German was waiting in line for 25 minutes just to order, trying to talk over the DJs spinning in the hall portion of the place, and spending $20 on hot dogs and beer to still be hungry. This is definitely a lunch place.
This definitely was not a top dog, although as one of my friends pointed out, us “Berkeley people think all your institutions are the best.”