Young chefs around LA are reinventing one of the world’s great comfort cuisines—Jewish deli food.
Not your grandpa’s schmear: At Plan Check Fairfax, smoked salmon “pastrami” is nestled beneath squid-ink cream cheese and an everything bagel chip.
He might be from Buenos Aires , but chef Ernesto Uchimura has a soft spot for deli dishes, as evidenced by the signature item at his second Plan Check location (351 N. Fairfax Ave., LA, 310-288- 6500), just a stone’s throw from Canter’s Deli. The chemistry-crazed cuisine artist smokes up hot salmon “pastrami” and serves it as a filet with squid-“inky” cream cheese, borage, and an everything bagel chip. “Eating classic deli food is great because it’s approachable and familiar and usually is served up with a lot of personality,” says Uchimura.
Former Top Chef contender Alex Reznik recently opened Ditmas Kitchen & Cocktails in the Orthodox-dense Pico-Robertson neighborhood (8731 W. Pico Blvd., LA, 310-271-9300). Here, the sable fish comes with Russian banana potato, fennel, and a dose of citrus in the form of pomelo; and as you bite into the Shalom Burger with tomato marmalade, spicy mustard, pickled veggies, and wild arugula, you might just think it could be the answer to peace in the Middle East.
The new El Ñosh truck takes a south-of- the-border spin with a menu of hybrid Latin-Jewish classics created by chef Eric Greenspan and restaurateur Robert Treviño. Think yucca latkes with mango crema and a mole brisket burrito with carrot tzimmes and crushed peanuts. Oy vey… olé!