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Deutschland über Alles! Red Lion Tavern

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It's hard to imagine a more un-L.A. cuisine than German food -- it's heavy, it's meaty, it's about as vegetarian-unfriendly as you can get. So how does the Red Lion Tavern in Silver Lake stay so busy? A few reasons, actually: beer. Beer! Also, beer (bier!). The Red Lion has a number of great brews -- pilsners, bocks, weizens, and so much more. These Germans value their beer so much that the interior of the tavern is lined with steins -- buy your own and bring it back for refills if you're really serious.

So, beer. But location counts too: the upstairs patio is also a great spot for hanging out on a warm summer evening, and it's a good place to stop in on your way to or from a show at Spaceland. The menu is, of course, heavy on the wurst and light on the health -- some dishes come topped off with a fried egg, and all are accompanied by a generous scoop of potato salad. But the bratwurst is divine, juicy and aggressively spiced, and the potato pancakes are crispy and delicious. If you're a fan of cabbage, you'll get your fill at the Red Lion, since almost every dish comes with a heap of sweet sauerkraut or red cabbage. If sausage ain't your style, you can choose from the schnitzel, the goulash, or the spatzle -- as well as lots of other dishes that twist the tongue.

The atmosphere is, of course, Bavarian kitsch -- the barmaids even wear dirndls. Service is curt, and you might be waiting for your food or check a little bit longer than is necessary. But if you're on your way to a show, or just out to enjoy a warm night with a cold brew, then Red Lion Tavern will willkommen you right in.

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