Labels Tables: An Authentic Jewish Deli
Casual lunches are the backbone of Los Angeles culture. When you need to catch up with a friend, you go out for lunch; when you need to get to know a co-worker, you go out for lunch; when you simply want a relaxing afternoon, you go out for lunch. Your noon repast should never be stressful, it should be convenient; but just because you want a casual lunch, does not mean you should settle for one that is less than extraordinary. In a city like ours, there are a myriad of options before us, but there’s nothing worse than going out for lunch and facing a stifling, high-brow eating environment. Eating out is the last time people want to worry about what they’re wearing or not wearing, how they use their cutlery, or whether they’re wearing make-up. Ditch the uptight eating environment and opt instead for the relaxing ambiance of a local deli.
German for “something good to eat,” delicatessens were traditionally stores that trafficked only in epicurean delicacies. With the rise of Jewish and European immigrants in the early 1900s, the delicatessen-style restaurant became a popular location, starting in New York, but eventually branching out over the United States.
The best thing about deli-style restaurants is the comfort in everything from the ambiance to the familiarity of the food. You can order at the counter, sit down, bring a book and read, or you can bring a friend and have a casual chat over sandwiches and salads and soups and meats. When you’re craving something savory, the deli-style restaurant is the easiest bet to sate your appetite to your satisfaction. In a deli you’ll find the smokiest meats, the tastiest sandwiches, the freshest salads and the most full-bodied soups.
The greatest delis are local, family owned establishments. At a local deli you have the opportunity to establish a rapport with the workers, key in to the goings-on of your locale and enjoy food made by people you trust. For you Los Angeles readers on the Westside, one deli that fits every qualification above is Label’s Table Delicatessen, owned and operated by the genial Bruce and Marie Krakoff. Besides the satisfaction found in the fresh and appetizing food, you’ll enjoy that on any given day you’ll find either of the Krakoffs working behind the counter offering a smile and conversation.