Tuesday, May 26, 2009

wurstküche in downtown l.a.

Andi and I really really wanted to try this fairly new sausage place in downtown L.A. I had heard about it while browsing on-line looking for an adequate sausage place to satisfy my love of Berlin sausages. Although Andi wasn't able to join me in this Awkward Eats adventure, my friend Kyle came along.

The sausages weren't what I ate while I was in Berlin. These were bigger, heartier, and more Americanized. Still good, but different.

The menu of sausages is divided into three categories, each pricier than the next: "Classics" (a few vegetarian options, and of course the bratwurst), "Gourmet" (three different meats: chicken, turkey, and pork in different combinations and flavors), and "Exotic" (duck+bacon, rabbit+veal+pork, alligator+pork, and rattlesnake+rabbit anyone?). Sausage prices range from $6 to $7.75 and are served on fresh rolls with (if you want): caramelized onions, sweet peppers, spicy peppers, or sauerkraut.

And of course, what German sausage place is it without some beer? Wurstküche houses 24 beers on tap, ranging from $8 and above. The cheapest is of course, PBR, which was still $2.

Here, Kyle indulges in some Pabst.
Kyle decided to be adventurous and also tried the Underberg (the tiny bottle on the left), a German digestif bitter made with herbs. Although this bottle is super small, it is 44% abv. Appearances can be deceiving, no?

Even more adventurous was Kyle's choice of sausage. I believe that a sausage place can only be as good as their bratwursts and so for my first time, I decided to eat the OG of sausages. Kyle, on the other hand, got the rattlesnake and rabbit with jalapeno sausage. Although it sounds way crazy, Kyle said that it didn't taste like anything too out of the ordinary. Delicious and filling, but not "weird."

We also tried the Belgian fries with sun dried tomato mayo. There were a lot of different dipping sauces to choose from, but this one sounded tasty at that moment. The mayo was not heavy or too thick and the sun dried tomatoes weren't too salty either. It was the perfect, light complement to the fries.
Obviously, the food is the main focus here.
Kyle's sausage and the Belgian fries with dipping sauce.
And my bratwurst. The roll was very soft and moist. I choose to adorn the sausage with sweet peppers, which added some crunch to the meal. I could taste the spices and herbs of the sausage, but it wasn't overbearing, which was also good.
What's funny about a place like Wurstküche is that it's just so...hip. Not only did we wait in line for a good half hour with a lot of hipper-than-thou Angelenos in their 20s and 30s, but there was a...wait for it. A DJ, spinning tunes from The Bird and the Bee to Radiohead to Hot Chip to M.I.A. It was strange but also entertaining. Hipster sausage place...and only half a mile from The Smell.

Although it is a really delicious place to eat (and filling!), it is sort of pricey for a sausage. I would go there again, just maybe not as often as I would like.
800 E 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Phone: (213) 687-4444

Sunday 12pm -midnight
Monday-Wednesday 11 am-midnight
Thursday-Saturday 11 am-midnight (soon to be expanded to 2 am)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

bostonian restaurant (langham place)

The Bostonian Restaurant in Langham Place - Hong Kong is a really fancy schmancy restaurant serving American fare. This restaurant has been in "The Hong Kong Best Restaurant Guide" since 2000, serving up seafood (like Boston lobster) and an extensive list of very good wine.

If you want a set lunch, you get an appetizer buffet (baked oysters and clams, various pâtés, salad, etc.), an entrée, a dessert, and coffee or tea. They also have different entrées to choose from if you opt out of the set lunch--although it is the better choice, price-wise.

We start off with some home-made fresh bread. Basically they give you a small loaf with marmalade and butter. The crust is crunchy and flakey without being too hard while the actual bread is very soft and moist.
Next, the entrée. I didn't want too heavy of a meal (like the roast of the day or braised lamb shank, or the sage and apricot filled pork fillet), so I chose the baked salmon with Gruyere herb crust.
Although the salmon was baked, it was still very juicy and when you cut it, the salmon just falls into slices. The spinach underneath was also really delicious. A hint of butter without being too salty, and a springy crunch to it too. MY DESCRIPTIONS: SO FULL OF WIN. The spinach underneath, along with the ginger butter sauce, really complemented the salmon.

To end, dessert!
I choose the toffee vanilla timbale with caramelized pineapple. Timbale is usually not a dessert item, but this time, I suppose because of the mold-shaped, it is. The toffee was not as strong as I had expected, so with the vanilla (which wasn't very strong either), it made for a very mild dessert. The caramelized pineapples were too sweet, but the juices of the pineapple, coupled with the dessert itself, was perfect.

My grandmother ordered (well my uncle ordered for her) the baked pear and almond tart with Grand Marnier cream.
She didn't finish it, so I ate half of hers (lulz). I think I liked mine more, but that is because I wasn't in the mood for tarts. It was still pretty delicious, without being too sweet.

And to end, a cappuccino.

Total for my meal: HK$268.00 (which is about $35 USD)
Basically, for a "fancy" meal, it's not too bad.

The Bostonian Restaurant in Langham Place
8 Peking Road, Tsimshatsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Opening hours
Monday to Sunday: 12:00 noon -- 3:00pm & 6:30pm -- 11:00pm
Public Holiday: 6:30pm -- 11:00pm

Reservations: (852) 2375 1133 ext. 2070