Despite Southern California’s continent-hopping selection of cuisines, the food that fueled the Von Trapp family in The Sound of Music – the elegant cooking of Vienna and Salzburg and even Oberammergau - is little known in the area. Enter Bernhard Mairinger (one of our 30 Under 30 honorees), who’s hoisting the Austrian flag over Beverly Hills with his lively BierBeisl – a casual cafe built around beer on tap, sausages, schnitzel and, of course, rich chocolate dessert heavy mit der schlag.
It brings a new international edge to the increasingly casual restaurants of Beverly Hills – and it’s bringing in diners who are shocked to discover the schnitzel they used to eat in their high school cafeteria is a sad shadow of the real thing.
The Food: This is modern Austrian cuisine with a Californian spin, which gives it a lightness and a clean flavor that isn’t entirely expected. A sharply flavored home-cured char is chopped with heirloom beets, freshly grated horseradish and a delicate herb salad. Then there are the three flavors of Wiener schnitzel - veal, pork and turkey – accompanied by irresistible potato salad. There’s also veal goulash, seared venison loin, a duo of pork cheeks and pork belly, white fish fillet and slow poached char fillet. A charcuterie board comes layered with blood sausage, head cheese, a liver mousse, speck and slices of cabanossi sausage – made like all the house forcemeats by Continental Sausage. Speaking of sausage, there are six of them on the menu, including a kasekrainer in which the meat is mixed with Swiss cheese, making a remarkably creamy Wiener. Can’t decide? Opt for a tasting plate – three sausages with three beers for $32 or five sausages with five beers for $42.