Who doesn’t love a good pun? Or even better, who doesn’t love an awesome compound word. Combining giant and enormous gave us ginormous. Combining lion and tiger gave us liger. And combining terrible and institution gave us Ohio State University (yes, I know that is technically three words, but I stand by it). Now joining the ever-growing list of compound words is a restaurant named MexiKosher in (surprisingly) Pico-Robertson. I love a good compound word as much as the next guy, but could this new Kosher Mexican restaurant make a happy unvegan? I intended to find out.
On my way home from the bar one night, I was unsurprisingly jonesing for some grub. The trouble was that I was driving through the area of Pico and Robertson, which isn’t exactly known to be a late-night food hub. But just when I thought my snack options were going to be limited to whatever leftovers I could find in my fridge, I saw a shiny beacon of hope that seemed to be a food truck. When I pulled over to explore, I found that although not exactly a truck, I had stumbled upon some sort of mobile food purveyor. It was called Kosher Grill on Wheels and a schwarma sounded like heaven to me (and with any luck, eating Kosher would bring me one step closer to that heaven).
As a Jew who clearly doesn’t keep Kosher (see any entry on bacon, cheeseburgers or shellfish), I sometimes find it fun to eat a meal the way my Kosher brethren do. In LA this means a trip to Pico and Robertson, which my girlfriend affectionately calls “Little Israel,” although actual Israel can hardly be called “big.” Kosher restaurants either serve meat or dairy, so to take care of my unvegan needs, this Kosher pilgrimage took me to the meat-based Haifa Restaurant.
First off, yes I know that Christmas was weeks ago, but sometimes it takes a while to get these meaty blog posts written, so back up off of me! As usual, my Jew Christmas led me to Chinese food. Only this time I was down in Dana Point, Orange County, which isn’t exactly known for a high Jewish population. With luck and a little help from Jesus err umm the internet, I found a Chinese restaurant within walking distance of our beautiful hotel. The place was called Peking Dragon and was surprisingly full. We had to wait a while for our table, but when we were eventually seated, we had spent enough time looking at the menu to figure out exactly what we wanted.
All-too-often restaurants claim to have “the best” blah blah blah in the world, but sometimes there is a restaurant that makes no claim to have the best of anything and lets the customers tell the good news. Langer’s Deli is one of the latter. Located in the not-so-posh neighborhood of MacArthur Park, Langer’s has become known for their pastrami. Many who have tried it have claimed it is the best ever, so to do the unvegan world a favor, I had to try it out myself.
The Stage Deli of West Bloomfield seems a bit out of place. Sandwiches are named after Broadway shows and aside from the one picture of Eminem, everything reeks of New York. Nonetheless, The Stage Deli is a staple Jewish deli in West Bloomfield Township. Rather than limiting themselves to sandwiches named for classic shows and actors, The Stage has modernized itself by throwing in such shows as Mama Mia and even movies like Casino Royale.
A few weeks ago I was contacted by Country Bob’s, Inc., a little company looking to get the word out on their sauce, Country Bob’s All-Purpose Sauce. They loved my blog (obviously) and wanted to send me some free sauce to write about. Being a shameless sell-out, I jumped at the offer.
I researched the company a bit (ie. checked the website) and found that Country Bob gave a whole lot of credit for his success to God. Hey, if athletes can do it, why not sauce-makers? I also found on the website that Christ himself had risen through the ranks of Country Bob’s to become CEO. I’m not sure if he usurped the title from Country Bob himself, but Bob seemed to have no problem putting “Christ is our CEO” on the website.
After about a week, my package of sauces came in the mail. I decided a Labor Day BBQ would be the perfect chance to test out the sauce and to get a range of opinions, specifically from my Jewish friends. To complete the holy trinity of monotheistic religions present at the meal, I picked up some Halal ground beef to make burger patties.
When I first heard the name of Jeff’s Kosher Gourmet Sausage Factory, I was quite thrown off. It’s not often you hear the words Kosher and sausage in the same sentence. Usually the closest you get is Best’s Kosher Hot Dogs. Needless to say, it was with great excitement that I approached this Kosher sausage fairyland.
Another LA landmark restaurant that has managed to evade me since I have lived here is Canter’s Deli, located at Fairfax and 3rd Street. Canter’s is a good old-fashioned Jewish-style deli, heavy on meat and character.
Their menu is immense, but the best way I know to judge a Jewish deli is the pastrami. As goes the pastrami, so goes the deli. Canter’s offers a hot pastrami sandwich, which I promptly ordered after the waitress told me it was simply pastrami and rye, without any wasted add-ons.