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Currywurst is “Better than in Germany”

March 7, 2014

Currywurst brings to the streets of L.A. the very best of authentic traditional German treasure

Currywurst sits just across the street from CBS in Los Angeles. (Currywurst)

Currywurst sits just across the street from CBS in Los Angeles.

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Typically, currywurst is accompanied by Pommes (French Fries) and served with a selection of mayonnaise and ketchup (Rot/Weiss or Schranke).

By The Korea Times Los Angeles staff

A lot of people say Korean food is better here in Los Angeles than in Korea.

Well, it’s the same way with German sausages, says Kai Loebach, the owner of Currywurst in Los Angeles. “Even the Germans who come in here and taste [the currywurst], they say, ‘My God, it’s better than in Germany.’”

That statement is easy to confirm, since the joint sits just across the street from CBS in Los Angeles (109 N. Fairfax Avenue) and attracts quite the crowd, among them celebrities Jimmy Kimmel, David Boreanaz and the legendary Oscar-winning actor Dustin Hoffman.

But sausages, not celebrity sightings, are king here, with three options — bockwurst and Hungarian or chicken thüringer — made all-natural, with no preservatives and no nitrates.

Curry is not in sausages, but in the ketchup. Listening to Loebach, ‘Curry ketchup’ is something like gochujang for Germans. It’s the new rooster sauce, or the new salsa they put on everything from their sausages to eggs in the morning.

Doughnut hotdog is Kai  Loebach’s creation: a wurst wrapped in specially made doughnut bread and topped with sauerkraut. (Currywurst Photo)

The doughnut hotdog is Kai Loebach’s creation: a wurst wrapped in specially made doughnut bread and topped with sauerkraut. (Currywurst Photo)

Obviously, you’ll find it served on authentic German wursts at the Currywurst, where its namesake dish arrives in a paper hot dog tray, fries hearty and the signature red sauce generously slathered onto sliced wurst.

Loebach, who was born and raised in Germany, said the inspiration for the restaurant came from the street food there, where no-frills currywurst is famously had as a take-away snack and as a hangover cure. “You’re already drunk when you eat currywurst,” he said, as he explained why his establishment does not serve alcoholic beverages. “You eat this to sober up. It’s a nice layer of comfort in your stomach.”

In that sense, currywurst is something like Hajanggook for Germans.

The origin of currywurst comes from the 1940s, when a German woman, Herta Heuwer, invented the dish after she procured curry powder from the British.

Another item on the menu, the doughnut hotdog, is Loebach’s creation: a wurst wrapped in specially made doughnut bread and topped with sauerkraut. It was inspired by the popularity of the cronut, he said.

It, too, can be paired with the curry ketchup, as can everything else on the menu. The ketchup can be ordered mild, medium or hot and is made in-house.

The curry ketchup is popular with customers and available for purchase by the jar, he said.

Currywurst opened in 2011, when Loebach, who had been operating a high-end catering company for 26 years, realized that opening the restaurant would fulfill a childhood dream while bringing one of Germany’s favorite street foods to LA’s booming culinary scene. One thing he’d like to make clear is that his place is in no way affiliated with the food truck operation.

The Deutsches Currywurst Museum estimates that 800 million currywursts are eaten every year in Germany. You might want to try one.

 

One Comment

  1. k

    November 23, 2016 at 9:46 AM

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