Whether you’re Jewish, gentile, Muslim, Martian or just a food-lover in general, LA’s “Kosher Corridor” has something for everyone. Located on Pico Boulevard roughly between Beverly Drive to the west and La Cienega to the east, the Kosher Corridor is a multiethnic, multicultural food paradise. Set in the heart of LA’s Orthodox Jewish community, this neighborhood has come alive with many irresistible eateries. Unfortunately, I do not have the space to list every single delectable dining spot in this area, so I’ve had to limit it to my five favorites. These are in no particular order, as they each tantalize a different taste bud.
Pico Kosher Deli
A traditional New York-style deli, Pico Kosher is the place to go whether you’re craving latkes, matzo ball soup or a thick and juicy pastrami sandwich. With a cozy diner vibe, Pico Kosher is the ultimate place for Jewish deli comfort food.
Located between a rug store and a Walgreens, this gastronomical gem is easy to miss and dismiss—but what a loss that would be. For a meager $5.99 you can fill your belly with generous portions of perfectly marinated and grilled chicken or beef accompanied by heaping helpings of traditional kabab fixings—onions, sprigs of parsley, grilled tomatoes and sangak. For those of you who don’t know, sangak is Iranian sourdough flatbread and at Kabab Mahaleh, they know two things—sangak and meat.
Café Bella Roma
Though this delightfully charming restaurant is not officially kosher, the waiters are extremely knowledgeable regarding dishes and their ingredients. So if you’re willing to forego a kosher kitchen, Café Bella Roma is a must for 5-star Italian fare at a 2-star price. Having eaten my way through the entire menu and my nearly weekly presence in this quaint setting, believe me when I say, you can’t go wrong with any of their delectable dishes.
While there are several Glatt Marts around Los Angeles, I’m referring to the one on Pico about a block east of Robertson. With incredibly fresh produce, a wide variety of fish, a large kosher meat selection, freshly made sushi, an amazingly aromatic bakery and a smorgasbord of Israeli and Middle Eastern imports, this grocery is definitely a step (or several) above the rest. They also have a decent wine selection.
The city’s only kosher Mexican restaurant, Mexikosher is filling a much-needed niche. Serving tacos and burritos, carne asada and carnitas, salsa and guacamole—all under Kehilla kosher supervision—Mexikosher is adding oomph to this neighborhood’s meal options. Their meat is expertly marinated and grilled, their salsas are homemade and their menu is simultaneously traditional, creative and ever-changing. And another bonus, they’re open Saturday nights after sundown!
Bon Appetit and L’Chaim! — Lindy Kirk