Kielbasa (Polish sausage), weisswurst (Bavarian veal and pork sausage), chorizo (Spanish, Mexican or Portuguese sausage), Linguica (smoked-cured Portuguese pork sausage), morcilla (Brazilian blood sausage) … the list of traditional sausages goes on and on, spanning hundreds of cultures and originating back a few thousand years. Today, in a city such as Los Angeles, a convergence of a diverse set of communities and influences builds a case for a whole new world of links.
We've been seeing some unusual ingredients in sausages — curry paste and leek ash to name a few — that take us beyond what's available at our neighborhood deli. Read on for a sampling of unique sausages to be found around town:
Chicken Parm sausage at the Cannibal
Chicken sausage isn't exactly new, but we can't say we've seen a breaded-and-fried variety before, as can be found at the Cannibal, the new Culver City restaurant that, like the name suggests, has a menu designed for meat-lovers. The sausage is topped with a slow-roasted tomato paste, or conserva, as well as burrata and basil for a hearty but fragrant rendition of chicken Parmesan. 8850 Washington Blvd., Culver City, (310) 838-2783, www.thecanniballa.com.
Mini Hokkaido Dog at Connie & Ted's
The fact that you can get the mini Hokkaido dog at Connie & Ted's, Michael Cimarusti's seafood-centric restaurant in West Hollywood, only during happy hour is as much a drawback as it is a plus. On Monday through Friday, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., it's available for a mere $5. Succulent scallops are the centerpiece of this juicy dog, and it's topped with caramelized onion, house-smoked mustard and chives, nestled inside a buttery, classic hot dog bun. 8171 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, (323) 848-2722, www.connieandteds.com.
Another Night in Bangkok at Dog Haus
This franchise favorite with locations through Southern California and the U.S. is serving up imaginative dogs, including a hot dog aptly named Another Night in Bangkok. At the center of the sweet Kings Hawaiian bun is a fiery, snappy Thai Currywurst sausage made of pork, curry paste, lemongrass, garlic, fish sauce, Thai chiles and turmeric. Finished off with Thai peanut sauce and slaw, this dog is decidedly more Bangkok than Berlin. Multiple locations at www.doghaus.com.
Leek ash and porcini salami at Gwen
The new Hollywood restaurant and butcher shop by Curtis Stone and his brother, Luke, has an ambitious charcuterie program. Stone and his team of butchers, which includes Alex Jermasek and Daniel Roderfeld, are working on quite a few varieties at the moment, but the sausage currently on offer as part of the restaurant's charcuterie "first bites" on the tasting menu is a leek ash and porcini salami. The leek ash lends a fantastic sweet char flavor to the cured pork. 6600 Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 946-7500, www.gwenla.com.
Kalbi sausage at Seoul Sausage
Having first risen to fame as a food truck concept on Food Network, Seoul Sausage has long been a proponent of the fusion sausage concept in L.A. You can still count on its trademark beef Kalbi dog, made with beef, soy, sesame oil, sugar, garlic and onions (all of the flavors found in traditional Korean BBQ beef short ribs). The sausage is topped with fried shallots for crunch and a red garlic aioli with a sweet heat that may remind you of gojuchang (spicy fermented chile paste). 236 S. Los Angeles St., Los Angeles, (213) 935-8677, www.seoulsausage.com.