Wurstkuche was a veritable zoo of encased meats, further evidence that humans occupy the top of the food chain. Last week, Joseph Pitruzzelli and cousin Tyler Wilson became L.A.’s go-to “Purveyor of Exotic Grilled Sausages” when they opened Wurstkuche on a formerly desolate stretch of the Downtown Arts District.
Enter the triangular brick-and-wood restaurant with high ceilings and concrete floors and there’s no doubt where your focus should turn.
Sausages arrive in red metal plates shaped like amphibious World War II landing craft. The sausages each come on a fresh roll with a choice of caramelized onions, sweet peppers, spicy peppers or sauerkraut. We got caramelized onions and spicy peppers on the side, to not interfere with the flavor of the exotic animals. The spicy peppers had sweetness up front and a little bite at the back end. Caramelized onions can get too greasy, but not at Wurstkuche.
The cousins have 20 different dipping sauces in their repertoire and offer nine per day. We opted for chunky blue cheese, walnut and bacon dip. The flavor was terrific, but the “dip” was so thick that it didn’t cling to the fries. Still, Pitruzzelli and Wilson displayed their continued commitment to bacon, which is always appreciated.
To drink, Wurstkuche offers 24 beers on draft, primarily Belgian and German. We sampled Aventinus Doppelbock, which was creamy and delicious. For recovering alcoholics and bores, Wurstkuche has a selection of unusual bottled sodas, including Mr Q Cumber, Fentimans Dandelion & Burdock and Sweet Blossom Elderflower. Galco’s Old World Grocery carries most of those sodas, but the Highland Park market doesn’t have alligator sausage.