So you know that little button in your brain that sends up that, “Oh you probably shouldn’t” message, yeah….mine is either damaged or takes long ass vacations, because as I was trying to do my eyeliner this morning…..with hangover hands, (seriously, my eyelids looked like the reading on a heart monitor) I had to wonder, “What the hell were you thinking?!”
I woke yesterday morning to see my lovely son still sleeping in his bed, (so funny when he is tucked in there he still looks like my little man) but unlike the other 14 days he had been there, this time his suitcase was packed….sinking, my heart was sinking. I allowed myself to cry a little before he woke up but slapped on the “I’m way too cool to be heartbroken” face when he arose. Walked around the rest of the afternoon wearing a serious pouty face, and in a foul ass mood, everything and everyone was just pissing me off. Amy came by the store to see how I was holding up….and to give me a hug, a much needed one.
“Hey we’re going to Wurstkuche tonight, it’s that gourmet sausage place I was telling you about, why don’t you come with us?” she said, wearing her big smiley face. “No, you guys go, I’m gonna just go home” I replied….see my freaking “don’t do it” button was working for a second there. “Come on Sam, come out with us, you love downtown LA, and it will take your mind off Jeremy” Merritt cheered. I looked at their beautiful, beaming smiles, felt the warmth radiating from them and said, “Sure, I’m in!”
Got off work around two, (split a shift with a coworker, so grumpy I was…not the best time to be serving the public) went home, poured myself a little glass of Manciat-Poncet Macon Charnay, ($15.99) and let the lovely, baked apple and citrus wash some of the “ick” off my palate, such a lovely little white Burgundy. I leaned back on the couch and thought, “I’ll just close my eyes for a second”….um, yeah woke up just in time to spray some crap on my hair and head over to Amy’s for a glass of wine before dinner. Next thing I know we are looking at the LA skyline with the sun setting behind it, just that made me loosen my jaw a bit….they were right, I do loves me some LA.
We drove past Wurstkuche while looking for a place to park, and I could tell right away that we were in for a treat, that and we were going to be the oldest cats in the joint…place was crawling with people, all of them looking to be about 25 years old and hip as hell, felt old but excited that we had stumbled upon a happening spot, we so still got it. Found a spot to park, a bit away from the restaurant and might I just say…that sidewalk needs an updating, damn near fell twice, and that was before having much to drink!
The second we swung open the giant wood door we were damn near assaulted with the roar from the boisterous crowd, the room was very dimly lit but even with old fart eyes we could make out the communal tables and that the people without food were heading to the back of the restaurant. We followed the herd and found ourselves standing before a tiny counter and a kitchen that looked to be no bigger than 6 feet long, we grabbed a menu while standing in line and settled on 5 kinds of sausage to try, two large orders of Belgian fries and 4 dipping sauces. Placed the order, were given a number and found a spot, thankfully a small table of our own…would have needed more than the beer I ordered to feel comfortable noshing on knockwurst with perfect strangers…..delicate flower that I am.
For the dogs we went with 2 from the classics list, (quick veto on the fact that they had a vegetarian option on the classic list…not a classic, specialty yes, but there is nothing classic about a vegetarian sausage) the Hot Italian and the Knockwurst, 1 from the more “special’ list, a Kielbasa and 2 from the gourmet list, a duck & bacon with jalapeno, and a rabbit, veal and pork with white wine…all topped with various combinations of caramelized onions, sauerkraut, sweet peppers and hot peppers.
Favorite without a doubt was the rabbit dog, so beautiful…delicate, very refined, the spicing was gentle and it was juicy as hell. Next was the Kielbasa with the sauerkraut, that pickled cabbage against the fatty, rich sausage was just perfect….now that, that’s a classic. The duck sausage ended up being our least favorite, something about the spicing seemed too aggressive, not the jalapenos, but whatever spices they used just made the damn thing to assertive, not really pleasant to eat at all.
The fries….oh my Gawd, the fries were sick! Thick cut, nice and salty, crispy and densely potato tasting, they were perfect on their own but why not slather goo on em’ in between handfuls the plain ones?! Our sauces were; Buttermilk Ranch, just plain boring, Chipotle Ketchup, pretty mild and not as smoky as I had hoped it would be, Curry Ketchup, could not keep myself out of this one, wicked delicious and addicting, and finally the Blue Cheese, Walnut & Bacon the one I really expected to love….I didn’t not at all, so bland…where the hell does one find bland blue cheese anyway?!
We picked away at the food, had a glass of Gruner Veltliner and were nowhere NEAR being done for the night, the horns were out and the three of us were in the mood to howl…or least hoot a little. Feeling like a slightly stiffer beverage we headed over to Church & State, a restaurant that both Merritt and Amy had been to before and one I was dying to check out. I had read some pretty great things about the bistro style eatery and once the girls came back raving about it, I knew I had to go…awesome, it was awesome.
We bellied up to the bar and I instantly felt like I was in France, the smudged mirror on the wall, the unfinished ceiling, the lights, the warm coppery feel of it….I was sold on the décor but let’s see about those drinks shall we? We started with a bottle of NV Francois Chidaine Montlouis Brut, ($19.99) an old friend, so luscious and full of brilliant fresh pears and just the tiniest kisses of toast, a great palate prep for the things to come. Not quite full from the dogs and fries we ordered…yup, MORE oysters, have to say….nowhere near as good as the ones we had a Craft, these were fine, not shucked well, which damn near caused me to hurl right there on the bar! I have texture “issues” with food, oysters were a huge obstacle for me, (now I cannot get enough) me and slime, well, not so much, but I can do oysters…that is unless someone leaves a shit load of shell in there which hits my tongue which causes me to try and fish them out, which then causes the oyster to slam against the back of my throat….started gagging, at the bar and had to hork the little bastard onto my plate, (blushing) so embarrassing….thankfully “Dealers Choice” fixed me right up.
Dealers Choice is where you tell the bartender what kind of booze you want and she makes you whatever her little heart desires, and while we are talking about the “tender”, damn…that chick is smokin’ hot. Sweet angelic, beautiful without makeup face, short hair, curvy, thick body, ink on her arms and wrists, full of playful sass and she made me some of the best drinks I have ever had….ever, she rules and I think I may just love her. She is working some kind of voodoo, sass, mason jars full of interesting ingredients….little of this, little pluck of that, work that magic lovely girl, sure as shit put a spell on me!
After we plowed through the oysters, (for which my new girlfriend made me the most delicious herby, lemon kissed cocktail…rawr) we ordered the crispy fried pig ears, crunchy….salty, gelatinous, chewy, fantastic. From there we moved on to the shots my girlfriend bought us, and the Berkshire potted pork, smeared that savory, soft pork on garlicky little toast points….heaven. Had to get the cheese plate and we picked at it while the bartender and I swapped steamy stories about past lovers….both of us picking at the cheese platter, telling every….single….detail, made Merritt and Amy squirm, but my buzzy musings won me the “Super Sexy Storyteller Award”…take that voodoo girl, take that.
So a day that started with almost unbearable sadness, ended with me sitting at the bar at Church & State, drinking the best cocktails I have ever had, making a new friend…um, and questioning just how straight I am, (seriously she was that beguiling) picking at room softened cheese, laughing with two of my best friends that wanted nothing more than to make me smile…worth every ounce of mind splitting hangover. I love you guys, thank you so much, my liver may curse you…but I never will!