Thursday, September 9, 2010

Foods Both Local and Away for The Days of Awe

For those celebrating the Jewish New Year, L'Shana Tova. And for those not attending temple and not exactly practicing Jews, there's still a great way to get in touch with your heritage during these Days of Awe (the time between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur), and that's through the glory of food.

Typically, ethnically jewish food can be a drag to prepare (and not exactly low fat or calorie, either). For those hardy souls who do love to cook, making a homemade challah, simmering a pot of matzoh ball soup from scratch, or rustling up a brisket might be a breeze. But, for the rest of us, tradition might depend largely on take out. So, here's some sources for excellent and easily available food, to bring out the inner jew in us all.

Langer's: Such a classic. Located in a not very nice neighborhood, Langer's is nevertheless a prime destination for unparalleled pastrami, on some of the best corn rye bread in existence. Place an order and Langer's will run it out to your car. 704 S. Alvarado St, LA, 213-483-8050

Beverlywood Bakery: I went here when I was a kid, so you know it's been around since prehistoric times. Awesome bread and baked goods in a classic atmosphere. Challah, corn rye, pastries (try the little sticky schneken buns), all in a classic jewish bakery atmosphere. And you know it's kosher. 9128 West Pico Blvd., LA 310-278-0122.

Diamond Bakery: Family owned and located in the renowned Fairfax District, this bakery makes some excellent bagels and bread. 335. N. Fairfax Blvd., LA, 323-655-0534.

Art's: The go-to deli in the Valley, this institution of superior sandwiches (and just about everything else) has been around a long time. New York style, no nonsense, and it's in the Valley, for easier parking. What's not to like? 12224 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, 818-762-1221.

Zingerman's: Definitely NOT local, Zingerman's is in Michigan. But, the breads and coffeecakes are superior, and they do a bang up mail order business. They'll even send you a ready to devour Pastrami Kit. Yum. Order online and let it come to you.

Bagel Broker: They just do bagels. They do them pretty well. You could do worse. Parking isn't difficult, either. 7825 Beverly Blvd., LA 323-931-1258.

Barney Greengrass: It's very Beverly Hills, and located on the top of the most exclusive department store in an already exclusive shopping area. But, Barney Greengrass is full of fabulous New York ingredients. You'll pay for it, perhaps dearly, but it's about as high end and high quality as deli food ever gets. 9570 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, 310-777-5877.

Saveurs: Ok, fine. This is French, not Jewish. But it's local and delicious. They'll deliver the food to you. The rustic, classic, perfect French stews and sides add a note of elegance to a pseudo-religious meal. Add some classic baked goods from one of the bakeries listed above, and you have one elegant dinner party.

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