I belong to the faction of people who believe that golf is the greatest game there is. Anyone can play, young or old, male or female. It’s all offense, the only defense present is the course itself. There’s no finger pointing, a bad shot is because of you and you alone. It’s also one of the most frustrating ways you can spend a Sunday afternoon. When I play, most drives slice, an occasional good one is followed by a duff where the divot flies farther than the ball, and three putts are commonplace. But occasionally you have those moments where everything comes together. If I’m lucky it’s one hole, but I’ll settle for back-to-back good shots, or a putt that’s good enough for SportsCenter. Those are the ones that keep you coming back for more misery. So when my buddy Brian asked if I was free to play, how could I possibly say no?
I picked him up at his place, drove over to Venice to pick up our buddy Pete, and the three of us headed over to Penmar Golf Course about two minutes away, where our stoner friend Cole joined us. Now, walking 9 holes of golf in the middle of August has the potential to be a miserable experience. But Penmar is in Venice, a mile inland from the beach, which makes the conditions utterly exceptional. The temperature is about ten degrees cooler than where Brian and I live, with a nice breeze coming in from off the beach. Plus, the fairways are straight and wide so you can pretty much play your driver on every hole except the par-3’s.
The outing was as expected- Pete killed it off the tee, Brian and I would have a good shot followed by a bad one, and Cole with his circa 1970 clubs and Happy Gilmore technique somehow managed to hit it straight every single time. His philosophy- don’t think, just go up to the ball and hit it. For those of us who know Cole, this approach makes total sense. Afterwards, the four of us enjoyed a cold Sierra Nevada Pale Ale and tried to figure out what to do next. Cole had to split, but Pete, Brian, and I were starving. So Pete suggested a sausage joint on the corner of his street. “Sausage and beer, that’s all they serve,” he explained. Nothing sounded better, but if you had told me earlier that morning what I would be having for lunch, I would have said you’re on drugs. You see, these are no ordinary sausages.
The place Pete took us to was Wurstkuche on Lincoln Blvd, and as soon as we walked through the door I was all in. The set-up is pretty simple: all sausages are served on a fresh roll, you pick two toppings (sauerkraut, carmelized onions, sweet peppers, or spicy peppers), self serve varieties of mustard are at the table, and if you’re in the mood for a side they have double dipped Belgian fries available to order. As I scrolled over the menu there were so many sausages to choose from I had no idea which one to get. Bratwurst, hot Italian, kielbasa, they all looked so good. Then at the bottom, one caught my eye and I immediately knew there was no way in good conscience I could order anything else- rattlesnake & rabbit with jalapeno peppers. For the first time in my life, I was about to consume snake.
Wurstkuche is counter service, so you order your food and drink up front, then take a number and find a seat in the back. The seating is comprised of long community tables covered with brown paper, crayons are available for the kids or if coloring is something you’re into, and there’s also a patio available if you’d like to sit outside. I ordered the rattlesnake & rabbit w/ carmelized onions and sauerkraut and went with a Reissdorf Kolsch as my beverage, both receiving nods of approval from Anderson working the counter. With our food in, the three of us found seats in the back and waited in anticipation. As I sat, I had that slight churning of anxiety going on inside. What the hell did I just order?
Luckily, I had my kolsch to ease my anxiety as I waited. It’s a German beer made of top-fermenting yeast like an ale, but is then cooled at lager temperatures. The result is a beer with the body and smoothness of an ale, but the straw-yellow hue with a touch of crispness you expect from a German lager. Translation- it’s a fantastic beer, especially if you’re not into the whole California IPA craze and want to look cool by ordering something different.
After about ten minutes, the food arrived. Brian had ordered the Belgian fries with for us to share and they were amazing. A thicker cut, they get doubled fried which means they’re double the grease, extra crispy, and extra good. As I stared at my sandwich, any anxiety I had went by the wayside and I was just ready to dig in. I added some spicy whole grain mustard and took that first bite. It was absolutely fantastic, before I knew it the whole thing was devoured and was tempted to order another. Pardon the cliché, but in a lot of ways it tastes just like chicken. If you don’t believe me then I suggest you go and try one. It will not disappoint.
625 Lincoln Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90291
800 E. 3rd St @ Traction
Los Angeles, CA 90013
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