Aesthetics count for a lot. Josef Laszlo knows this, and he's putting looks front and center in his freshman effort, Cabalo (Laszlo's nickname). A bar that functions as a German restaurant with a focus on sausages that also functions as a dance club on the basement level is an odd mix, and because of that strange amalgam alone, it damn well better look pretty. This two-level, sleek, polished space is straight out of the pages of Dwell magazine, and one is assailed with beauty at every turn. Beautiful Eastern European waitresses with sexy accents serve plates of amazing-looking food, pleasingly presented. With the glaring exception of those annoying, stackable wedding hall-type chairs in the dining room, the artistic choices here were flawlessly made.
It takes a certain kind of ego to name your new establishment after yourself, but Laszlo swears he isn't egotistical, just confident. "I know this is good food," he says of his Hungarian-born father's sausage recipes. And he isnít wrong. Cabalo won't break your bank, either: Your selection of sausages and appropriate sides range between $10 to nearly $20, with prices varying depending on how much you're eating - and which sides you're adding, from a delicious, but not too greasy spaetzle to garlic potatoes.
All this heavy comfort food, of course, needs something to wash it down. Majestically sized steins of Spaten, Hacker-Pschorr and the ever tasty Spaten Optimator are on offer, as well as a full-sized bar.
Cabalo sounds like something of a lounge, considering the basement dance area and DJ, but there is currently no cover. Call ahead for DJ schedules.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Bill Burman