Thursday, March 31, 2011

Eat Out. SteingartenLA [Thirsty Thursdays!].

As far as sausage places go, you really can't beat downtown's Wurstkuche, a hands-down favorite of us BEATs. But as the L.A. Times most recently pointed out, Los Angeles is undergoing a sort of sausage craze right now, and other places are, too, warranting a visit.

Daren and I headed over West L.A.'s SteingartenLA a few weeks ago, and were met by a large, thriving crowd at the dinner hour. To our surprise, the waitress told us that the restaurant hadn't even had its grand opening yet -- that's actually happening tomorrow, April 1st. But the large restaurant and bar was definitely bustling, with a mix of just-out-of-college twentysomethings and older middle-aged groups of friends meeting for drinks.

If anything, the beers are definitely worth the crowds and visit. SteingartenLA's got two happy hours: 4pm-7pm and 10:30pm to close, $5 house beer, $10 for your choice of one of 5 tap beers and any sausage. And the beer selection, as is expected for a sausage place, is pretty fantastic, with all sorts of craft beers on tap.

While the menu offers some more exotic choices like Venison Blueberry and Alligator and Pork, probably to rival Wurstkuche's niche, the restaurant does try to stick to German and Belgian traditionalism, so Daren got the Polish and I tried out the Lamb Spicy Sausage (seen above), with a side of sweet potato fries. The fries were great and came with an amazing side of aioli, and Daren liked his Polish a lot. I thought my sausage was pretty dry, though, as was the bun it came on -- it was too small for the thick sausage, and ended up falling apart by the end. Still, I had some great citrus-flavored beer to wash it down with.

Surely, the restaurant will have its stumbles in its first months, so I'm definitely willing to return. There's also an outdoors patio with an interesting fire pit that would be great to sit at with friends. Time will tell how well SteingartenLA will do in the sausage battle, but if they stick to good beer and perfecting that sausage, it'll become a great neighborhood favorite.

is located at 10542 W. Pico Blvd. in West L.A. The official grand opening is tomorrow.

-- Chau Tu

Photo credit: the BEAT

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