BierBeisl Imbiss (CLOSED)
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Stellar sausages and schnitzel can be found at this Austrian eatery, along with a 15% service charge that is not entirely warranted.
Imbiss means “snack” in German, and if you consider cheese-filled sausages a reasonable afternoon pick-me-up, you’re going to do just fine at BierBeisl Imbiss. The Austrian eatery from chef Bernhard Mairinger, who previously ran the now-shuttered BierBeisl in Beverly Hills, is nestled into the Spring Arcade Building, a location that has yet to garner a healthy amount of foot traffic. The best way to tackle the menu here might be with a sampler of three sausages. Avoid the turkey bratwurst, which elicits little more than a shrug, and instead opt for the Kaesekrainer and Hungarian andouille. The Kaesekrainer, a swiss cheese-infused Polish sausage made with pork and beef, is delightfully decadent, satisfying both a craving for savory and sweet. I was equally impressed by the Hungarian andouille, another pork and beef combo speckled with Hungarian paprika and chili for a healthy amount of heat that doesn’t overpower the meat. Want to take it up a notch? A spicy mustard arrives on the side, along with two other mustard variants, homemade ketchup and sauerkraut so pungent it’ll clear your nostrils with a single whiff.
BierBeisl Imbiss is also a bakery: bread arrives along with the sausages and may include pretzel, French or whole grain, though you should certainly ask to sample the BierBeisl house bread, which is like a mix of rye and pumpernickel. A slew of sandwiches utilize the bread, too, with mixed results. Where is the crispy pork belly in the Brat’l, which promises plenty of meat between a pretzel roll? Only a small slice or two of pork can be found; the rest of the sandwich is overwhelmingly slaw and mustard-pickled cucumbers. The schnitzel, on the hand, is a phenomenal sandwich. Lightly fried pork (or turkey, though I recommend the pork) is accompanied by lettuce, tomato and a beautiful lingonberries spread, resulting in a bite that ends up tasting a lot like Thanksgiving. Add a side of curry fries to your order, and it’s more than an imbiss—it’s a solid lunch or dinner.
There has been a steady rise in supplemental service charges at restaurants in LA, from a water charge at Alimento to healthcare surcharges at République, AOC, Jon & Vinny's and more. At BeirBeisl Imbiss, a sign at the front counter reads that employee wages at the restaurant are two to three times the minimum wage, and that “For this reason, we don’t want [our employees] to worry about, or rely on, tips.” To remedy this, a 15% service charge is automatically added to the bill—a charge that might make more sense if there was much service involved. But there isn’t: diners order at the counter, pour water for themselves, find their own table and only interact with servers when food is brought out. I know these added charges are becoming more common, but a supplemental service charge when the service is more akin to a cafeteria line than a sit-down restaurant doesn't jive well.
Still—the sausages are fantastic, the schnitzel is excellent and a thick slice of Esterhazy cake is an ideal way to finish. Let's hope that the 15% charge won't keep people from stopping by, for an imbiss or something more.
What to Eat: The Kaesekrainer sausage ($9). The Hungarian andouille sausage ($8). The curry fries ($5). The schnitzel ($12). The Esterhazy cake ($6.50).
What to Drink: Beer is, of course, front and center at BierBeisl Imbiss, with German and Austrian beers dominating the list and a random Ballast Point IPA thrown in. You’ll do a lot of pointing at long words that are hard to pronounce (the Koestritzer Scharzbier, perhaps), or you might go with the Stiegl ($6 for a 10-ounce pour), a grapefruit radler that non-beer drinkers might consider a gateway brew. A nice selection of wine is also available, as is an odd assortment of non-alcoholic beverages: Red Bull, 90H20 artisan water and apple juice, among others.
Where to Sit: A German beer hall this is not—yes, there are a few communal tables, but for the most part it feels more like a cafeteria than anything else. Seating options are limited to a few small tables and some larger ones inside, or a high top counter outside the restaurant that looks onto the arcade’s hall.
Spring Arcade Building
541 South Spring St
|Opening hours:||Daily 8am-2am|
|Do you own this business?|