BierBeisl Imbiss (CLOSED)

Restaurants, Austrian Downtown Historic Core
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Trio sausage sampler with kaesekrainer, turkey bratwurst, and Hungarian andouille at BierBeisl Imbiss
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Brat'l sandwich at BierBeisl Imbiss
 (Photograph: Jakob N. Layman)
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Schnitzel sandwich at BierBeisl Imbiss
 (Photograph: Jakob N. Layman)
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Curry fries at BierBeisl Imbiss
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
Pastries at BierBeisl Imbiss
 (Photograph: Jakob N. Layman)
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
BierBeisl Imbiss
 (Photograph: Jakob N. Layman)
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
BierBeisl Imbiss
 (Photograph: Jakob N. Layman)
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Photograph: Jakob N. Layman
BierBeisl Imbiss

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. 

Vitals

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.  

By: Erin Kuschner

Posted:

Venue name: BierBeisl Imbiss (CLOSED)
Contact:
Address: Spring Arcade Building
541 South Spring St
Los Angeles
90013
Opening hours: Daily 8am-2am
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LiveReviews|2
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tastemaker

Earlier this year, there was word that this charming beer and sausage shop by Austrian Chef & Owner Bernhard Mairinger, was closing down. I somehow double booked myself and missed my group of friends dining at the snack shop for the final night. Recently I heard through Instagram that they are back. And still in the Downtown L.A. Spring Arcade location.


No complaints here. The sausage sampler meal including 3 sausages is a great way to sample their offerings. I shared 2 samplers with a friend so we got to try 6 sausages along with bread baskets and house made condiments.


The bread basket includes a soft pretzel bread, wheat bread and their house bread, which is a dense rye and pumpernickel mix. I tend to really enjoy the dense, European breads and they usually have a higher protein content, so it's a win win.


For the sausage choices we had the:


Cheesy Kaskrainer - pork and  beef sausage stuffed with Swiss cheese. This is the house special and with good reason.


Debreziner - mild, smoked sausage


Nurnberger - pork and beef, a classic bratwurst


Weisswurst - traditional Bavarian veal sausage


Grillwurst 


Hungarian Andouille - pork and beef


The spicy mustard and house made ketchup are great condiments for these meaty snacks. In addition to the sausages, their sauerkraut side, the house salad, complimentary cucumber water and a case of traditional Austrian pastries provide many interesting accompaniments for the sausages.



moderator

Though some of the menu here is a little hit and miss, the Kaesekrainer—that's a Swiss cheese-infused Polish sausage—is one of the most delicious things I've had all year. On the whole, I think BierBeisl Imbiss serves up some real tasty Austrian street food and beer. It manages to tap into that beer hall feel without feeling hokey; instead, its interior feels polished and refined. I want to love its exterior, which opens up into the Spring Arcade Building, but I can't. Even putting aside the unsettling lack of foot traffic, there's something very still and plain about the setting. That said, I hope that BierBeisl Imbiss can lead the charge in making this is an exciting location.