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Bratwurst at Wurstküche
Not since Sue Miller of the Let's Be Frank hot dog cart handed me a grass-fed beef dog have I been so excited about a mere sausage. Wurstküche, way downtown, proposes some 20 classic and exotic sausages along with almost two dozen truly interesting beers on tap, another dozen bottled beers -- and fat Belgian fries. That's pretty much it for the menu. But do you really need more? Drop in any time (they're open all afternoon and evening until 10, but soon, as in when the bar in back opens, they'll be open till 1 a.m). The bratwurst is fast (well, seven minutes) food at its best: a bun with some substance, a plump, handmade pork sausage bursting with juices, a dab of sauerkraut, maybe some sweet roasted peppers, brown mustard and you're home free. Have it with an Erdinger Dunkelweizen or a St. Bernardus ABT or, if you're teetotaling, one of the artisanal sodas. Hang around for awhile to bask in the arty downtown vibe. It kind of restores your faith in the viability of downtown.
Wurstküche, 800 E. 3rd St., L.A., (213) 687-4444, www.wurstkucherestaurant.com.
Photo: A mango jalapeno chicken sausage with onions at Wurstküche.