What to Expect from Kenji López-Alt’s New S.F. Beer Hall
Kenji López-Alt, best known for his role as Serious Eats culinary director and author of the James Beard Award-winning cookbook, The Food Lab, has officially made the leap to power restaurateur. Wursthall, his first brick-and-mortar concept, opened on Monday, March 12 in the San Mateo neighborhood near San Francisco, and the hype is real. Serving German and Austrian dishes with a strong emphasis on sausage, the beerhall is bright and large, spanning two floors. The chef has partnered with San Mateo natives Adam Simpson and Tyson Mao on the project.
The menu is divided into five main categories: Appetizers (like roasted bone marrow and mustardy deviled eggs), Pretzels (served with black pepper honey butter), Bratkartoffeln (crispy fried potatoes), Sandwiches (including an Impossible Doner Kebap) and Wursts (like cajun and al pastor.) For dessert, there is but one enticing option: a pumpkin seed sundae with vanilla ice cream, pumpkin seed brittle, pumpkin seed oil and smoked sea salt. (See the full menu here.)
As coud be expected from a food a drink nerd like Kenji López-Alt, the beer and wine list is incredibly thoughtful, too, and features exclusively California wines as well as a split between eleven local beers and fourteen European ones.
Unlike most beerhalls, hip or otherwise, the restaurant is very kid-friendly, with a kids menu featuring mini frankfurters and chicken schnitzel sandwiches and many more items we would definitely still want to eat as adults. While the beer hall isn't yet open for lunch, Eater reports that it might be eventually.
We’re not surprised that a cooking guru who built his name on the Internet is serving food that is very Instagram friendly, though refreshingly unpretentious.
Wursthall is open daily from 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.