SteingartenLA brings a California rendition of a German-beer-hall, complete with brews and brats, to the Westside. Steingarten opened in a wave of German-themed establishments that popped up around town in the past few years—Wurstkuche, Biergarten, Bru Haus… Just stumbling distance from me, I could not be more thrilled this establishment is in my neighborhood [at the old Kay & Dave's location on Pico]. The decor features a fully stocked dark wood bar, rustic chalkboard menu, colorful dining room with high ceilings & open-air retractable roof, some communal tables, and a beautiful outdoor patio: Califorinia-style beer garden with a custom-built fire pit and tables/benches. The menu offers unique items such as exotic sausages with regular or pretzel bun, deer salami, chicken schnitzel sandwich and sides such as parmesan fries or red cabbage slaw; it’s divided into: small bites, salads, sandwiches, sausages and burgers. Even the dipping sauces are one of a kind—Steingarten mustard sauce (Dijon with a bit of horseradish) and curry ketchup. Also keep in mind, no meal here is complete without a BEER!
The specialty here is beer. Steingarten offers an incredible selection including an extensive CRAFT beer collection (both draft and bottled), 120 to choose from. There are Pint Nights with reps available; some notables were with Deschutes, Lagunitas, Firestone Walker, Stone Brewing Co., and Ballast Point Brewing Co. The beers are rotated every 3 to 4 weeks. I’ve tried a wide variety of the craft beers, here are some good ones:
Firestone Walker Solace (wheat ale crisp with citrus finish)
Stone IPA (fruity, hoppy India Pale Ale featuring Magnum and Centennial hops)
Bruery Mischief (strong pale ale)
Bruery Autumn Maple (American strong with big finish)
NC Old Rasputin (imperial stout- rich with cocao & malt finish)
Stone Imperial Russian Stout
Deschutes Black Butte (extremely dark, chocolate stout)
The bar staff is helpful and very knowledgeable; take the opportunity to try something new, perhaps with a fruity, floral, sour or chocolatey finish. Dave Watrous, “beer evangelist,” is your go-to man to make a selection or pairing off the extensive menu. They also offer fabulous beer cocktails—fantastic for sipping on, while sitting on the patio, basking in the sun & breeze, with a delicious sausage.
Which brings me to the menu….
Soft Pretzel ($5) The pretzels are not in traditional form and are glazed with a salty egg wash instead of just crusted with salt; I really like this version. Served with house mustard, the bit of horseradish definitely adds a kick to it!
Korean BBQ Nachos ($12) is a NEW 2012 item. A colorfully creative German take on “nachos,” consisting of golden brown thinly sliced Red Bliss potatoes, short ribs, scallions, Monterey Jack, and chipotle cream, the dish is an excellent addition to the menu. You can’t go wrong with meat & potatoes, and I love the spice from the chipotle cream as well as the scallions.
Trio of sliders ($9) includes beef, BBQ pulled pork, and turkey burger sliders. The three sliders are all unique in flavor and texture and have nicely toasted mini buns. The pulled pork is the most flavorful, a bit spicy and topped with pickled carrots and jalapeno. The turkey slider is the lightest of the three, extremely flavorful with herbs and topped with caramelized onions and roasted garlic. The beef slider balances the other two, juicy and savory with hormone free ground sirloin. Combined here with Cuvee de Jacobins (flander red, sweet with tart fruit finish) a tasty sour beer.
Roasted Beet Salad ($10) is a great dish for beet lovers or anyone looking for lighter fare. The salad consists of crispy lettuce, herbs, orange slices, shaved Parmesan, champagne dressing and grilled chicken can be added for that additional protein ($3.50). All the ingredients are fresh from New Maggies Farm.
Sausages range from the traditional old country (bratwurst) to exotics from the new country (duck and bacon) to gamey (alligator and pork) to vegetarian (apple and sage) ($6.50-$7.50). In lieu of a traditional sausage with bun, there is also a sausage platter on which you can pick one from each category, along with two toppings ($20). Toppings include sauerkraut, spicy pepper & onions, caramelized onions, grilled bell peppers and chopped onions. Sausages are served with Steingarten mustard sauce, curry tomato sauce, Cornish pickles and a little German potato salad. My favorite topping is the caramelized onions, they add a pleasant sweetness to any sausage and are cooked down well. There is also an option of regular bun or pretzel bun (always toasted). Here are a few combinations I’ve tried and enjoyed:
Alligator and Pork Sausage topped with grilled bell peppers ($7.50). The sausage is delicious, but I find the bell pepper to be a bit of an overpowering flavor.
Duck & Bacon Sausage topped with sauerkraut on pretzel bun ($7). The sausage is tasty and one I would get again, but it’s hard to taste the bacon. The sauerkraut is very fresh and I like that it’s not too sour or overpowering.
There is also a beer & sausage happy hour on weekdays from 5pm-7pm. $5 House Tap Beers, $5 New or Old Country Sausage, $3 sides. I love to take advantage of this special when I can. One great happy hour combo I had was a Lagunitas Lucky 13 Alt (alt bier, refreshing with light sweet finish) with chicken and sun-dried tomato & basil sausage (caramelized onions topping) and a side house salad. The sausage is extremely plump and juicy, great with the caramelized onions on top. The house salad is also fabulous with unique cucumber presentation on top.
The burgers are made from 100% grass-fed, hormone-free ground sirloin. The burger meat arrives pre-ground and is formed into 8-ounce patties each morning. The meat is juicy and tender and cooked to a perfect medium-rare each time. The owner did much research finding the best bun possible, many vendors were tested. The current French burger buns from Melrose Bakery Company are a winner and delivered fresh daily. They are nicely toasted and do not fall apart from the juiciness of the burger. The burgers on the menu are masterpieces in themselves but there is also the option for patrons to build their own ($12) with toppings including feta cheese and applewood bacon ($1 each) along with five sauces. Here are some of the burgers off the menu, each delicious in its own right. I still can’t decide if the chef’s choice or golden prize is better, you’ll just have to try both!
Chef’s Choice burger has bacon, smoked mozzarella, Steingarten mustard sauce ($14)
Golden Prize Burger, a half-pound of grass-fed beef on a big, soft bun, with herb roasted tomatoes, caramelized onion Brie and roasted garlic sauce ((15) with sweet potato fries.
The fries ($5) deserve special attention: The peel-on skinny fries are cut in-house and cooked in canola oil (soy oil upon request). They are seasoned perfectly and delicious with the aged Parmesan and served in a metal cone shaped basket along with garlic aioli sauce and curry ketchup. They also offer delicious sweet potato fries.
From the hostess to the servers to the bartenders, everyone tries to create a great dining experience. However, no one does a better job than Abbey Berookhim, Director Of Operations. He is an extremely kind man who is genuinely appreciative of your business. I always enjoy chatting with him; it’s very nice that he tries to make a personal connection with his customers.
Most recently when I visited he brought over their new “special green sauce” for my friend and me to try. This is a blended combination of fresh garlic, extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar and various herbs. We were discussing how delicious the pretzel bun is, they created their own recipe and have the bakery make it special for them, and how Steingarten should incorporate it into a sandwich. On the spot he came up with a new dish idea and insisted we try it. A few minutes later he came out with a sample chicken sandwich on pretzel bun with a little bit of Steingarten sauce, tomato, onions, sauerkraut and the special green sauce. I am not the biggest fan of chicken sandwiches but I loved this one! I am excited to see it on the menu soon!
Overall, SteingartenLA is beautifully designed, has great service, a fabulous gourmet & craft beer selection, a delicious as well as rare food combination, is great for large groups/occasions, and has a lovely outdoor patio for a sunny LA day or in the evening sitting by the built-in fire-pit with friends or even a date. I’ve been here countless times and plan on coming back many more, especially for the Pint Nights!SteingartenLA
10543 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064