The Oldest Bakery In Los Angeles

DSC_0113

The famous Beverlywood Bakery, established in 1946, claims to be the oldest bakery in Los Angeles. They have been servicing the Los Angeles community and surrounding areas for 68 years.

DSC_0071

Beverlywood offers a variety of fresh baked gourmet breads, pastries and desserts, as well as a wide selection of Jewish bakery items (Challah, Rugelah, Hamentashen), specialty Jewish Holiday items, custom Birthday/celebration cakes and catering style platters for parties and events.

DSC_0100

They are a non-kosher Jewish bakery offering a variety of traditional Jewish baked goods as well as bakery items from a variety of cultures, while also catering to a range of diets, including gluten free and sugar free. The bakeries longevity can be attributed to decades of steadfast commitment to their patrons.

DSC_0088

The scope of Beverlywood’s offerings span from elaborate custom party cakes, to giant challah breads for Bar/Bat mitzvah, to party platters and catering services.

DSC_0080

Some famous favorites include twice baked rye bread, bread pudding and florentine chocolate dipped cookies.

DSC_0099

A selection of Beverlywood Bakery breads and sweets can also be found in the gourmet bread sections in many Pavillions and Vons supermarkets around Los Angeles.

DSC_0094

Original recipes and unwavering commitment to quality make them a favorite with generations of patrons.

DSC_0084

Beverlywood’s recipes are as hallowed as they are secret, and they are proud to have served customers the same scrumptious cakes, breads, cookies etc. as the founders of the shop did 68 years ago.

DSC_0102

The buttery, flakey, sweet and savory rugelah should not be missed.  Our favorite is the cinnamon nut.

DSC_0105

For a welcoming and inspired old-fashioned bakery experience embracing decades of commitment and high quality ingredients, Beverlywood Bakery is a Los Angeles institution that should be high on everyone’s party list.

DSC_0076

Beverlywood Bakery, 9128 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone – 310-278-0122           web site – beverlywoodbakery.net

Pastrami Paradise

DSC_0036

We’ve been hearing so much good buzz about Wexler’s deli we finally decided to pop over and give it a shot.  It’s been a while since we visited Grand Central Market and we were surprised to find the one hour free parking replaced with $2.00 for 90 minute parking.  Guess it was bound to happen.

DSC_0061

The menu at Weller’s Deli is straight up Jewish delicatessen, with all our favorites lined up and calling to us.  The talk has been about the smoked fish and pastrami so that’s where we went.

DSC_0031

There is counter seating or the option of taking orders to go and we did both.  Our favorite indulgence is bagels, lox and cream cheese and knowing that Wexler’s smokes their fish on the premises, we had to try their smoked salmon.

DSC_0050

We normally order an onion bagel, but that wasn’t an option, so we chose a toasted everything bagel which tuned out to be a more than respectable substitute.  They can prepare it fully loaded , which means with capers hiding under the lox and a smattering of paper-thin slices of red onion on top.  The loaded option turns out to be just the ticket.

DSC_0045

The fish is fresh, light and melts away in your mouth like cotton candy. The pink lox is sliced thin, with blemishes and imperfections removed, so all we get is the clean, lightly applewood smoked flavor of high quality salmon. Fresh cracked pepper is the finishing touch that accents the perfect balance of ingredients.  They also sell half pound packages of house smoked salmon and sturgeon if a more comfortable environment is preferred.

DSC_0059

After devouring the fish, we ordered pastrami to go and found each component packed individually, keeping everything pristine until we’re ready to assemble the masterpiece.  We were warned not to ever reheat the meat in a microwave and we took that suggestion very seriously.

DSC_0021

We baked the thick, hand-cut, well-marbled pastrami in our toaster oven and watched it turn bright red under 350 degree burners for about 10 minutes.  The kitchen smelled of smokey meat for the rest of the day.

DSC_0016

The fresh brown rye bread has a soft chew and with a slather of deli mustard, is the perfect container for any of the sandwiches Wexer’s puts out.  But it’s the hit of smoke, spices and a desirable fat to lean ratio that makes Wexler’s pastrami so monumental.  We love pastrami and have had our share, but we have never experienced anything that tastes like this one.  We don’t know if its the dedication to tradition, new spins on smoking and spicing or simply huge love that goes into this beautiful meat, but whatever it is we want more.

DSC_0030

At a time when Jewish Delis seem to be disappearing before our eyes, we are thrilled to find Wexler’s bringing back a commitment to tradition, craftsmanship, and quality that shows up in every bite of the finished product.  Thank you for continuing this tradition and setting the bar higher than we knew it could be set.

DSC_0008

Wexler’s Deli, 317 South Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Phone – 213-624-2378       web site – wexlersdeli.com

Middle Eastern Market Experience

DSC_0233

Elat Market is a Middle Eastern, kosher supermarket that draws customers in with great prices, specialty products and a central location near Pico and Robertson.

DSC_0226

The busy aisles require some finesse to navigate and we have learned the hard way not to get in the way of elderly patrons hellbent on finding affordable flawless produce.

DSC_0212

Once we got used to the assertive nature of the clientele, we found the shop to be a wonderful resource.  Elat is mid sized and easy to navigate, while also stocking everything we need.

DSC_0215

Prices far below those at conventional markets are the norm, as are nontraditional items such as Persian cucumber which are referred to simply as cucumber.

DSC_0209

Hard to find seasonal fruit, such as fresh dates are readily available.

DSC_0214

The market is divided into sections that overflow with each particular item, such as the nut and dried fruit corner where bins as well as prepackaged items abound.

DSC_0204

The deli counter lays out freshly made sushi as in most markets, so we don’t feel we are missing out in any way.

DSC_0201

A preserved fuit and vegetable case offers olives and pickled vegetables to adorn the dinner table.

DSC_0207

While the feta cheese case displays the tangy white dairy product from a variety of  countries.

DSC_0206

Both the meat and fish counters provide an assortment of kosher products for the orthodox and nonreligious alike.

DSC_0219

The beautiful meats and fish adhere to strict standards and tend, in our experience, to be of high quality and freshness.

DSC_0220

A small area houses bread including challah, lavash and a number of other exotic loaves and flatbreads.

DSC_0218

While pastries galore line the shelves.

DSC_0221

We love Elat Market for its diversity, reasonable pricing, foreign ambiance and fresh produce, fish, meat and poultry.  They have everything we look for in a supermarket experience with the added benefit of Middle Eastern flair.

DSC_0227

Elat Market, 8730 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone _ 310- 659-7070  web site – elatkoshermarket.com

Educational Treasure

DSC_0143

Open to the public since 1996, the Skirball Cultural Center has established itself as one of the world’s most dynamic Jewish cultural institutions and among the leading cultural venues in Los Angeles.  Its mission is to explore the connections between 4000 years of Jewish heritage and the vitality of American democratic ideas.  It seeks to welcome and inspire people of every ethnic and cultural identity in American life, with the aim of building a society in which everyone can feel at home.

DSC_0084

The Asian elephant presides over the entrance to Noah’s Ark, one of the Skirball’s award winning permanent exhibitions. Almost all of the materials used to make the elephant are Asian in origin, including a gong from Thailand, vegetable steamers from Laos, handmade Lokta paper from Nepal, and bronze Thai rain drums engraved with decorative elephants. The deer sports shoehorns as ears. The elegant, endangered Grevy’s zebras are fabricated from wind turbines and keyboards.

DSC_0091

Noah’s ark is an old story, so they chose to use old stuff. Stuff from attics, stuff from e-bay, and some stuff right off the street.  Children and adults alike find a new sense of wonder exploring and becoming one with the animals, the ark and the thrill of creating the rain, thunder and lighting integral to Noah’s story.

DSC_0107

Docents, puppeteers and guests all recreate the tale together in this interactive space.

DSC_0114

Birds Fly, coyotes howl, giraffes stretch their long necks to get a better view, all at the guidance of visitors whims.

DSC_0121

There is great joy found in the identification of the mundane objects used to craft the sculptures inhabiting this space of ingenious simplicity, movement, storytelling and playful artistic expression.

DSC_0126

Not to mention a jungle gym of an ark to climb, crawl through, explore and learn from.  This family friendly collection is a must see for locals and visitors to Los Angeles.

DSC_0125

Current running at the Skirball, is Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution, the first comprehensive retrospective about the life and career of legendary rock impresario Bill Graham (1931–1991). Recognized as one of the most influential concert promoters in history, Graham launched the careers of countless rock & roll legends in the ’60s at his famed Fillmore Auditorium. He conceived of rock & roll as a powerful force for supporting humanitarian causes and was instrumental in the production of milestone benefit concerts such as Live Aid (1985) and Human Rights Now! (1988). As a promoter and manager, he worked with the biggest names in rock, including the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Led Zeppelin, and the Rolling Stones.

DSC_0075

The Skirball’s exceptionally well produced exhibitions offer unique glimpses into traditional and non traditional Jewish heritage and culture that is fascinating, entertaining and delightfully educational.

Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049
Phone – 310-440-4500    web site – skirball.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blintz Nirvana

DSC_0019

As part of Orthodox Jewish tradition, milk and meat may not be cooked or eaten together.  Kosher restaurants are either fleishik, serve meat products, or milchik, serve milk products, following the Jewish dietary laws of kashrut.

DSC_0028

Kosher restaurants are abundant on Pico Boulevard between Beverwill and La Cienega and today we were charmed by one of the standouts, The Milky Way.   As the name suggests this establishment is milchik, serves dairy, and we happily jumped on the milky bandwagon to explore the cuisine.

DSC_0021

The vivacious owner Leah Adler, also known as Steven Spielberg’s mother, came over to greet us and was happy to make suggestions,  “The blintzes and the potato pancakes,” rolled off her tongue.

DSC_0038

The menu is an eclectic mix of Italian, Mexican and American food.  We began our exploration with the hot mushroom sandwich, a layering of sliced avocado,  tomato, and spicy mushrooms atop garlic bread, all smothered in melted swiss cheese, resulting in a hearty open-faced homey creation with a kick.  We then moved on to the famous off-menu pistachio pasta which was a garlic laden enchantress.  But the star of the day, after Leah herself, were the blintzes.

DSC_0046

We love blintzes and have been searching for the perfect cheese filled package. We believe we have now located our Shangri-la.  The secret to a flawless blintz is the quintessential balancing of its parts.  From the warm, rich, mildly sweet, creamy cottage cheese based filling to the crisped brown, light yet sturdy crepe, to the sour cream and strawberry preserve toppings, all of Ms. Adler’s blintz components are in perfect zen alignment.  Nirvana achieved.

DSC_0017

Most prices land below the $10 mark and the quality definitely goes into each dish.  Order whatever tickles your fancy, but don’t miss the blintzes.

The Milky Way, 9108 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035    Phone – 310-859-0004

Open 11:30 to 2:00 and 5:30 to 8:00 Sunday thru Thursday.  Closed Friday evening and all day and evening Saturday.