"We're young; let's have fun with encased meat," says Joseph Pitruzzelli, the 27-year-old co-owner of Wurstkuche, downtown L.A.'s new sausage-and-beer kitchen. Such is the love between a boy and his brats.
Stuffed neatly into a small slice of real estate on Traction Avenue and 3rd Street, Wurstkuche is no ordinary sausage hang. It features more than 20 tubular varieties of meat, including the obscure (buffalo, beef and pork with chipotle), the classic (bratwurst) and the bizarre but surprisingly tasty (alligator and hickory-smoked pork, rattlesnake and rabbit).
"It's a little bit of prey and predator," says Pitruzzelli of the latter, explaining that his cousin and fellow owner, 22-year-old Tyler Wilson, "hunted forever" to find the snake meat. "It's on the buttery side, but it's actually very lean. The jalapeno adds an appropriate heat, and the rabbit rounds it out."
Pitruzzelli thinks a lot about sausage. He and Wilson tasted hundreds before settling on the final list. "They're an epicurean delight, man!" he says. Most twentysomethings might agree, but Pitruzzelli and Wilson devised a menu and beer list (24 mainly German and Belgian beers on draft) to draw notice from foodies of all ages.