We encounter a dilemma. When one eats a meal at a restaurant, should one review the meal, or the restaurant itself? I’m not really qualified to do either, so how about I just review my experience at Wirtshaus in LA’s Fairfax neighborhood.
I arrived at Wirtshaus for a friend-dinner. There wasn’t really anyone else in the restaurant outside of our party of five (it was me, Matthew Fox, Neve Campbell, Scott Wolf, and Lacey Chabert – luckily they left their annoying little brother at home). Luckily this was not indicative of the quality.
First thing I did was order a big ole’ hefeweizen (suck it beer snobs). And it was a good one. That one liter mug did me pretty well for the duration of the meal. For my entree: the Wirtshaus schnitzel – “sautéed pork breaded and topped with garlic cream sauce and a fried egg.” Here’s what she looks like:
That’s fries and arugula salad on the side. You read that right. Arugula. Salad. Big Steve takes the good with the bad these days.
Everything was pretty good. I’m a soggy-fry guy so it irks me when a French fry is too crispy. Wirtshaus finds a nice medium though; there’s some crisp on the outside, but the inside is nice and soft. And the arugula salad? To die for (has anyone ever declared arugula “to die for?” I’m proud to blaze the trail, even if I don’t really believe it). There was some dressing on it that my palate just isn’t sophisticated enough (yet) to identify, but I found it quite pleasing.
But let’s get to the main event: this gosh-darn schnitzel. I am comfortable admitting to you now that I honestly had no idea what a schnitzel was going into this experience. Basically it’s chicken-fried meat. I’m American, I can get behind that. Perhaps the pork was not the best option as I am not a huge fan of swine, but the real attraction here was the fried egg. I’ll eat an egg on anything. A hamburger, a brisket, another egg. I used to eat hard-boiled eggs on the bus on my way to work (cause I’m a weirdo). Eggs are just a good time, and I won’t hear otherwise. They elevate other foods, and that’s exactly what happened here. The best bites of my schnitzel were the ones that included that underutilized chicken protein.
On a side note (that’s a pun, and you’ll see why), I tried the brussel sprouts one of my friends (I think it was Lacey) ordered. They’re pretty good. I don’t know why those little veggie balls have gotten such a bad rap over the years, but I’m glad they’ve come back in a big way (these ones weren’t even involved in a bacon situation – they were just that good).
Good food, good drink, and good people. That’s going to make for an enjoyable evening no matter where you go. Add in good service and a nice ambiance and you’re really cooking with gas. I don’t know why there’s such a German restaurant in the middle of the Jewish-est neighborhood in LA, but I’m glad it’s there and I look forward to returning some day.