After saddening lovers of schnitzel and sausage by closing in late 2013, L.A.'s only Austrian restaurant is back. BierBeisl Imbiss began serving meaty sandwiches, house-baked pastries and steins of imported beer last Thursday from its new home inside the Spring Arcade downtown.
OK, so this isn't exactly the triumphant reopening of BierBeisl that chef Bernhard Mairinger initially said would happen. Those plans called for a new location near his original Beverly Hills site, which received rave reviews for being a down-to-earth and authentic Austrian spot in the heart of one of America's swankiest shopping districts. The new BierBeisl Imbiss is in an entirely different part of town, and its new concept suits its more urban location.
Combining the highlights of Austrian street food with the drinking options and late-night hours of a European pub, Mairinger has created a casual, counter-service version of the original BierBeisl.
Imbiss means "snack" in German, and while BierBeisl is way more of an actual restaurant than any street-stall imbiss you'd find in Vienna, the intent remains the same. Inside a breathtaking arcade that resembles Europe's historic glass-ceilinged gallerias, the 55-seat BierBeisl Imbiss is a shopfront that offers breakfast, lunch, happy hour, dinner and a late-night menu.
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Würstelstandens, or sausage stands, are the most common street food in Austria, and BierBeisl Imbiss channels them with nine sausages — from Käsekrainer (Swiss-cheese-infused Polish sausage) to Debreziner (Hungarian-spiced with cayenne and paprika). Sandwiches include the hand-held bosna — a pork and veal sausage with onions, ketchup, mustard and curry mix on a white-bread roll — and the return of BierBeisl's pork and turkey schnitzel (a traditional veal offering would have been out of line with the price point, Mairinger says).
All the sausage and sandwich breads (as well as the sweet rolls, tarts, pretzels and strudels) are made in-house by two Austrian master bakers who preside over a room of hulking machines flown in from Austria.
To drink, there are more than 40 imported wines and nine draft beers. The dreamy Austrian and German wine list we fell in love with at the original BierBeisl resurfaces at Imbiss, and the beers include an expanded list of imports from Augustiner, Erdinger and Rieder. House wines include a red zweigelt and a white grüner veltliner, and — new to Mairinger's arsenal — a roasty and refreshing dark lager house beer, custom-made by Rieder during a recent visit home.
BierBeisl, 541 S. Spring St., downtown; (213) 935-8035, bierbeisl-imbiss.com.