Encino Deli breakfast ... it's pretty bad
- PaulF Mar 21, 2007 09:46 AM
Coming from the guy who defends Jerry's Deli's as a place where the menu is so large you have to be able to find something you'll eat, it seems strange to rag on another, sort of similar place.
My kid's like to go to the batting cages in the Valley and we go on most Sunday mornings. We don't live anywhere near Encino, btw, but their coach has a cage there.
Anyways ... I grab a cup of Joe at Coffee Bean before their lessons and then we've been going to Encino Deli (Ventura and Louise) for breakfast. We've gone a bunch of times and for the life of me I don't know why. Because it's close to the cages, is the only reason.
The eggs are flavorless -- no amount of salt and pepper can penetrate the Shield of Blandness. The deli meats are sub par (I've only had them in omelettes, no sandwiches). The bagels are ordinary. The lox tastes like cardboard.
I don't like anything there. This place upsets my "Even Denny's can't screw up scrambled eggs" theory. Because Encino Deli manages to make everything I've had tasteless at best and taste bad at worst.
The coffee is bad.
The service is nice, but it's really shoddy. The order is never really right. But it's so slow, you eat what they bring you. My parents joined my for breakfast last week (you've not dined until you've dined with my parents -- their specific instructions on exactly how they want their food prepared is more detailed than a French cookbook) and naturally their order came out wrong.
Ironically -- or maybe it's not ironic, maybe it's just interesting -- it's always crowded.
When we used to hit at night, we'd go for pizza at Mulberry's. That's better.
I'm done with Encino Deli. For now on, we're driving back to our neighborhood to eat. Maybe hit Don Chuys, where the huevos come with great, fresh tortillas.
I haven't been in a long time, but Fromin's has always been a reliable Sunday breakfast place in Encino. It's only a 1/2 mile further west along Ventura from Encino Deli (just before White Oak).
There also are some other deli's in the area. There is a Solley's on Van Nuys, right by the 405, so it is close to the batting cages. And there is a Jerry's on Ventura just west of Hayvenhurst. Both are closer to Sepulveda than where you have been going.
There also are a number of good non-deli breakfast places in the vicinity -- Hugo's, Jinky's, and More than Waffles (in the Encino Town Center across the street from Encino Deli).
Thanks for the suggestions. (FWIW - The cages where we hit are Louise and Oxnard; Encino Deli is Louise and Ventura. That's why we go there. We don't hit at the cages/mini-golf place.) More than Waffles sounds like an interesting alternative ... we'll give it a try. Hugo's, I know from WeHo, that could be cool, too, if it is west of the 405 (I'm not going east of the 405 in this situation -- might as well head home if I'm gonna do that).
I wasn't aware of the batting cages up there. They didn't have them when I played at that field. I assumed you were referring to the batting cages at Sepulveda at the Castle Park. So count out Hugo's, Jinky's, and Solleys. More than Waffles and Fromins are close, and the Jerry's on Ventura at Hayvenhurst is nearby.
Another option, at Louise and Ventura in the CVS shopping center, is a little bakery called L'Artiste Patisserie that has a few tables and a limited selection of breakfast items. I've had a few egg dishes that were quite nice. But it may be too limited a menu for you and your kids.
For a total change, you could take Oxnard to Reseda, take a right and drive about 5 minutes to A&W Seafood in Northridge for dim sum. It's not as good as dim sum in the San Gabriel Valley, but it's a nice change from eggs. There also is a place called Emle's in that same area that has received great reviews for breakfast. But by the time you drive to Northridge, you also could go back to the Westside.
I've never been, but funny thing about the "Encino Deli" is that they always weren't terrible. Prior to the location they’re in now, they were located just a little further down the street where "Quincy's BBQ" took over. When it was there it was called "Bagel Nosh;" a very reliable cafeteria style breakfast place that local crowds flocked to weekend mornings for a nice (and better then average) breakfast along the boulevard. Then one day I heard rumor that the owners were moving, the lease had run out, or they sold the place. Bottom line was, they came under new ownership, were moving, and were going to try and “class up” the joint. When they did move they were still called “Bagel Nosh,” and from what I read of your comments, that’s exactly what I heard from people who had visited the fallen “Bagel Nosh.” Then suddenly one day, they’re was a name change and they became what you know now as the “Encino Deli.” It’s sad really, because I have such nice memories of the former incarnation.
There's a Bagel Nosh in Santa Monica that I used to go to, it was pretty good. I just don't live near it anymore. It was cafeteria style. too.
There is a stretch on Wilshire in Santa Monica with an Izzy's Deli, Bagel Nosh and Fromin's. All within a mile of each other. Bagel Nosh had the best crowd and the biggest TV - pretty good place. Menu was more limited than the delis, though.
My family has been going to the Encino Deli/Bagel Nosh for years, and it has certainly gone downhill in the last 12-15 months. I believe there has been an ownership change, and somehow this has resulted in worse food and bad kitchen service (the servers are still friendly and helpful, but the orders are always wrong.) And the are apparently turning the front part of the deli -- where they currently sell take out, bagels, and bakery items -- into a pizzeria. Yes, their indifferent deli food will become more of an afterthought when a pizza place takes over half the restaurant.