Over the weekend, friends and family poured into 625 Lincoln Boulevard and got the first taste of the gourmet sausages, the 24 beers on tap, and the stellar Belgian fries, at Venice's newest restaurant, Wurstküche.
Wurstküche (which translates to "sausage "kitchen" – click to hear the pronunciations of "Wurst" and "küche") will open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday from 5 p.m. to midnight. On Monday, the restaurant will open daily for lunch and dinner, from 11 a.m. to midnight.
Owners and cousins Joseph Pitruzzelli and Tyler Wilson opened the first location downtown in November 2008, and the new location maintains the same industrial look, with long communal tables, exposed brick, cement floors, metal accents and a long, light wood bar.
Wurstküche's menu and aesthetic is the brainchild of the half-German, half-Italian Pitruzzelli, an industrial designer who previously worked on Element and Etiquette lounges in San Francisco before returning to Southern California.
Anyone who has been to the downtown location will also be familiar with the layout. Entering from Lincoln Boulevard, patrons are faced with a glass case featuring sausages from the basic –bratwurt, Italian – to the exotic – rattlesnake and rabbit, duck and bacon. This being Los Angeles there are also, of course, vegetarian options. Diners pick out toppings for their sausages, opt for fries, and select beers before being sent to find seats in the large back dining area, where servers track down customers' numbers and bring out the food.
There is a second bar in the dining room, with too many beers to mention. Check out the menu, attached. In addition to the 24 beers on tap, there is a large range of (mostly German and Belgian) bottled beers, and Pitruzzelli said they will also be serving eaux de vie, light fruit brandies. Tucked in the southeast corner is an indoor/outdoor section, and there is space behind the building for outdoor dining.
Although the owners originally intended to open the second location out of state, once they started looking locally, Venice was always on the top of his list, Petruzzelli said. "Venice, to me, was the diametrically opposite of downtown in terms of location, but the closest in terms of culture," he said.
"As soon as I saw it, I knew this was the right space, just the angles of the building," Petruzzelli said.
Wurstküche is located in the old Air Conditioned Supperclub spot, just south of Rose Avenue and across the street from Baby Blue's BBQ and next to another 2011 opening, Benny's Tacos, (which is in the process of applying for a beer and wine license).
"Rose Avenue is really starting a growth phase," Petruzzelli said. "There is a lot of potential for this area."