What to Eat: The Venice Beach link ($9). The Hollywood link ($8). The hand-cut fries ($6). The Coolhaus snickerdoodle cookies ($5).
What to Drink: Stay away from the cocktails here—the gin-based Beverly Beauty ($11) was unimaginative and too sweet—and instead focus on the beer list, because what goes better with sausages than beer? The Link Flight ($10) gives you the option to sample four beers, including a lager, an amber and two IPAs. Regardless of what you order, the primary focus is that the alcohol is California-made. Even the cocktails use California-distilled liquor, inspiring a certain kind of state pride as you imbibe. Happy Hour: 4-7pm, 10pm-midnight daily.
Where to Sit: Bar or table, take your pick. Most of the seating in the middle of the room is communal, so if you're here on your own or with a friend or date, choose a spot at a table against the wall.
Conversation Piece: Golden Road Brewing makes a blonde ale just for Link; it's called, simply, Link Ale by Golden Road. It's not the best beer on the menu by any means, but it certainly gives Link a bit of street cred.
"We're good at like, 3 things," boasts Link's website. "Fancy sausage, California booze and good times."
You can definitely have a good time here. On my visit to the sausage-centric eatery that looks out onto the Beverly Connection through large, open windows, a group had gathered for a Top Shot viewing party, ostensibly to watch one of their friends compete on the History Channel show. There's a great selection of California booze here, too, with beers from Ballast Point and Modern Times, and wine from St. Helena and Paso Robles. And the sausage? I don't know about fancy, but it's certainly versatile: as a link, in a taco, on a flatbread, in a melt. It's crumbled or served whole, dressed up with homemade relish or pickled banh mi vegetables. There's a certain Green Eggs and Ham vibe to the joint: Do you like sausage? Yes I do! I like sausage, how 'bout you? I will eat them as a link; I will eat them with my drink! I will eat them on a flat; I will eat them—how 'bout that?
There's a method to the madness when ordering these sausages, which tout being animal feed-free, hormone-free and antibiotic-free. The links, served on a fantastic soft roll, are best. I loved the Hollywood, a snappy pork link with caramelized onions and beer mustard, but surprisingly, I loved the vegan Venice Beach link even more. Covered in a spicy curry aioli and braised red cabbage, the meatless option was the most flavorful dish of the night. When served crumbled, though, the sausage can be hit-or-miss. A Death Valley taco (three to an order) features crumbled chorizo sprinkled with pickled red onions and slivers of jalapeño for some heat. There is a sriracha aioli drizzled on top that makes the dish slightly unique, but in a city that sets the highest bar for tacos, "slightly unique" isn't enough to leave a real impression. In yet another form, crumbled turkey sausage was found on the Central Coast flat, along with mozzarella and those pickled banh mi veggies. Simplicity would have been best here, but a foundation of hoisin BBQ sauce makes the dish far too sweet, and we kept returning to bites of the Hollywood and Venice Beach links, where the toppings were more balanced.
Of course, sausages without fries would be like green eggs without ham, and the fries at Link are excellent. You can choose from a list of close to ten homemade sauces to dunk them in, like a fragrant curry aioli or a fiery habañero lime aioli. And the kicker? Coolhaus ice cream sandwiches are available for dessert here, cut into quarters and served on a tray for quite possibly the most mess-free Coolhaus experience you'll ever have. Thankfully, there are only a few flavors to decide between. I'm all for customization, but sometimes I just want a sausage that looks like a sausage, and an ice cream sandwich that tastes like an ice cream sandwich.