Kaiserhof’s classic German cuisine makes it a destination restaurant for La Jolla and San Diego locals
By Marti Gacioch
Wiener Schnitzel and red cabbage, sizzling bratwurst and sauerkraut, beef goulash and hot apple strudel: Few things say comfort foods better than hearty German cuisine. Kaiserhof in Ocean Beach has served only the best in these and other traditional German dishes for more than 34 years. Their winter specials feature wild game such as duck, venison, boar and quail.
Kaiserhof’s owner/founder, Horst Bolter, grew up working in his family’s Stuttgart, Germany restaurant. After he received his culinary training in Germany, he began his career as a chef on cruise ships before moving to New York City. There he married Paula in 1962 and worked in several restaurants until the early 1970s, when he opened his own restaurant, the Black Forest Inn in New Jersey, before moving to San Diego.
Horst and Paula opened the original Kaiserhof restaurant in Mission Valley in 1979. They moved to their current location on the corner of Sunset Cliffs and Lotus 22 years later, where Horst works as executive chef and Paula tends the bar. Their son, Peter, who has worked with his parents for 30 years, serves as chef and restaurant manager.
“We serve a lot of veal dishes here, and our classic favorite is the Wiener Schnitzel (breaded veal cutlet),” Peter Bolter said, “but customers also love the Jager Schnitzel (veal with mushrooms and cream sauce) and our very traditional beef roulade, which is rolled beef stuffed with pickles, onions and chopped meat.”
Kaiserhof also makes its own homemade bratwurst (pork sausage), potato pancakes with bacon and apple sauce, German noodles, bread dumpling, and many other Old World German favorites.
Desserts at Kaiserhof are a feast of homey flavors, including their homemade apple strudel with raisins and almonds, Black Forest cake, and trays of sweet German pastries.
And since no German restaurant is complete without an outdoor biergarten, Kaiserhof’s does not disappoint. Happy Hour is 4-7 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, with discounts on draft beers, house wines and well drinks. All drinks pair perfectly with Kaiserhof’s appetizer selections and large German pretzels. Besides offering 13 German draft beers, there is Kaiserhof Kölsch, which is brewed for them by San Diego’s craft brewery, Ballast Point. Kaiserhof also offers a full selection of both California and imported wines.
• Kaiserhof and Biergarten:
2253 Sunset Cliffs Blvd., San Diego
• Lunch: Friday to Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• Dinner: Tuesday to Saturday 5-10 p.m. and Sunday 4:30-9 p.m.
• Brunch (Served Tableside): — Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
• Happy Hour: Tuesday to Friday 4-7 p.m. (in the bar and biergarten only)
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