Is It Any Good?

A Sports Bar posing as a German restaurant at the Farmer’s Market.

Ludwig Biergarten on Urbanspoon
Ludwig's Biergarten on Foodio54

Have I mentioned (lately) that one of my favorite places to in L.A…is German?

Wurstküche and I have a deep, deep relationship. Perfectly prepared sausages, great beers, awesome fries.

Once you hit these emotional highs, once you find a place like Wurstküche, you want to find another. It’s kinda like Jim Rome’s joke about having Hot Dogs at Home Depot. The first one is awesome. The second one??

So what does that mean in regards to Ludwig’s Biergarten? How does this new place compare to my “heaven on earth” Wurstküche?

Well, this is going to be kind of tough to compare, since I didn’t get the Sausages.

I…didn’t see them on the menu. (He hides his head in shame).

Ugh.

We’ll get to the menu in a second.

It was while strolling through the Container Store side of L.A.’s Farmer’s Market, I see the grand orange awning that marks the arrival of Ludwig’s Biergarten. Since it was new, and…frankly I’m always working on this blog whether I seem to be or not, I just had to go in.

The orange glow from the awning is attractive. In fact, the place looks great. Service was friendly and duly attentive. Still, my initial impulse was to describe this place as a little Sports-bar-y for my tastes. It had that kind of vibe. But as I sit outside, and think on the Biergartens of Berlin, I’m starting to see the connection more.

Still, that doesn’t stop there being a Laker Game showing on the TV inside.

I have to say, anyone coming to Ludwig’s Biergarten for an authentic German experience, or menu, might be a little disappointed. They’ve got the beer, sure, but…the menu seems to err on the side of local Laker and Clipper fan. There is German stuff on the menu, but it seems pushed down in priority. The presence of the Burgers at the top of the menu don’t help.

Of course, it’d help if your friendly neighborhood Food Blogger, ordered the right damn thing.

In the end, it’s only okay…as of this writing. I will have to go back, now that I see where the Sausages are on the menu, and give them a second try. But overall, nothing has shaken Wurstküche from the top of the mountain.

The Kale Salad at Ludwig Biergarten.

The Kale Salad at Ludwig Biergarten.

WHAT SHOULD I GET?: I’d say glasses, but these are a new pair.

Seriously, this is how badly I screwed up. I didn’t see the “Wurst selection” on the menu, and skipped right down to the Schnitzel. Schnitzel is, of course, a breaded Veal cutlet, fried up and served with roasted potatoes and a wedge of lemon. It was my first time having it, and was bland enough to make me touchy on the subject of ever ordering it again. I tasted the breading more than anything.

Potatoes were good though.

To compound my error, I looked at the menu outside the restaurant and clearly saw the Caramelized Brussel Spouts, which comes with cured Black Forest Ham and shaved Hirtenkase Cheese.

But when I sat down, in the middle of conversation, and not with my game face on, I got the Grilled Artichoke. Not bad, but not the taste my tongue was expecting. It was (according to my dining companion) a bit overcooked, and not something I’d order again.

Oh, those Brussel Sprouts.

Yeah, I owe them another visit before I savage them.

Beer was good, though.

A second visit to the restaurant was…believe it or not, even more of a disappointment. I finally ordered the Wurst Sampler, expecting a platter of German Sausages, and instead…got…this.

Ludwig's Biergarten in the Farmer's Market.

Ludwig’s Biergarten in the Farmer’s Market.

This fairly greasy sautéed Sausage Salad. I can’t believe I hit this restaurant twice, read the menu four times, and still got Jedi mind-tricked into getting something not quite what I want…again.

I think I tasted more of the cooking oil than I did of he assembled sausages.

Why they couldn’t serve the Wurst Selections at Lunchtime, I’ll never know. I’ll never know because I won’t be back. Ever.

 

IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: Usually with places in the Farmer’s Market, I have to warn you about where it is. Ludwig’s Biergarten is pretty easy to find. As you’re coming up the main drag of The Grove, cross the street by Mixology 101, stick to the edge of the Farmer’s Market, until you see the orange awnings, and you’re there. Decently easy to find. They’ve got a great spot.

 

PARKING: When you hang out at the Grove, remember you are shopping one of two distinct shopping areas: The Grove and the Farmer’s Market. The two do not always get along, and can make parking validation for customers confusing.

Ludwig’s Biergarten is part of the Farmer’s Market. The Farmer’s Market has its own lot, and seems to be 98% filled most hours of the day.

My recommendation is to park in the Grove’s structure, and get validation at the movies, or at the Barnes and Noble. You’ll have to buy something, but just get a validation from any of the stores in the Gove. The Farmer’s Market is a separate entity, containing places like, Ludwig’s Biergarten, The Gumbo Pot, Mousier Marcel, Whisper Lounge, Mixology 101 and Ulysses Voyage. You can’t get validation from any of those places for the Grove Parking Structure.

 

MAP DIRECTIONS:
Ludwig’s Biergarten
Los Angeles Farmer’s Market
6333 W. 3rd St. #312
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Tel: (323) 556-6679

Hours:
Monday-Wednesday: 11:00am – 11:00pm
Thursday-Saturday: 11:00am – 2:00am
Sunday: 10:00am – 12:00am

Kitchen Closes
10:00pm Sunday – Thursday
10:30pm Friday – Saturday

Bar Closes
11:00pm Sunday – Thursday
11:30pm Friday – Saturday