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REVIEW: Katella Deli

This review is especially for "Dedicated Fresser" and "ccPark10" who wanted to know about Katella Deli (on Katella in Los Alamitos, east of the 605, near the race track and "CCC").

Katella Deli is wonderful. The prices (though they've gone up a bit) are still reasonable for the quality and quantity of the food. This is good ol' fashioned comfort food like Grandma or a favorite aunt used to make. Stuffed cabbage rolls, corned beef, tender brisket, and lots of deli sandwiches (come very hungry!) including gefiltefish, lox, corned beef, roast beef, chopped liver (not for the squeamish!), etc. etc. etc. - lots of selections plus burgers, hot dogs, chili & soups, kishka, blintzes, noodle kugel.

And the breakfasts are also good and hearty. They serve breakfast ALL DAY. I would also call about 15-20 minutes ahead and ask them to put your name on the list if you are going on a Saturday or Sunday at dinner time, especially if you have a larger group. We have gone there for seven years now and never had a bad meal. Everyone we've taken has enjoyed it also. They do serve fish but I've never eaten it there. Too many other good selections.

Once in a while they will forget to bring you everything on the plate (had a newer waitress and she didn't know what all was supposed to be there, so don't hesitate to check the menu again if you think you're missing something). If you like dill pickles, they will bring some to the table complimentary. They also do special dinners at certain times of the year (Passover, St. Patrick's Day, etc.).

There are several areas to sit in - a counter, an area on the same level with booths and tables and room for family groups (this is the level they will seat you if your party has someone with a walker). There's also a bar area, additional lower level seating, and an enclosed patio seating. The service is usually good (watch out for the waitress with the hearing problem, though).

On the way out, it's family tradition (ours, anyway) to exit through the deli/bakery, even if we don't plan to buy anything. If you like bread heels (my daughter's favorite), they sell them by the bag for about $1.50. Also coffee cakes, "bobkas," specialty cakes and cookies galore. Skip the "bagel chips" - too hard/stale in my opinion. Good local place for birthday cakes. Hope that helps all of you who had questions.

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  1. I couldn't agree more!! I've been visiting Katella Deli for over 20 years, and always have a great meal!! The bakery is OUTSTANDING, especially the bagel chips (which they make on the premises!) . . . this is truly a gem and worth the drive . . . I'm just sorry they won't open another one further down in the OC for more people to enjoy!!!!

    1. I'm not sure I'd go so far as to call it a "gem". It's okay, but the good deli was Kaplan's. RIP I guess.

      1. thanx joani. appreciate the review. i'm definitely gonna give it a try.

        1. wow, it's so strange to see a review about this place here...i grew up with katelli deli! (and haven't been there since the 90s). i particularly remember being fond of their cinnamon bagel chips.

          1 Reply
          1. re: greengelato

            I don't think that their overall menu and food is that great, but they have the best oatmeal I've ever tasted, and their bakery is pretty good as well.

          2. The Katella was in the shopping center at Katella and Los Al Blvd (the center where the LA Fish Co. is now) in an old building when I moved to Los Alamitos in 1967- actually, it was where my family ate on move-in day. Being an OC boy, it was my first taste (of many) of a home-cooked Jewish deli meal. Kishke, knishes, blintzes, matzo ball soup, all new to me, and all good! Many warm memories of the old place, owners, and waitresses!

            I still visit when in the area- a little pricey, but still good, including the pastrami and the corned beef sandwiches. But I still think about the little old place, with its pale green exterior and homey interior...

            My apologies in advance for any misspellings on the food!

            1. On Sunday we ventured over to Katella Deli in Los Alamitos for a little late afternoon noshing. Oy, they make some delicious sandwiches there. Every time we go I say I'm going to venture out and order something different. But then I always get the New York, New York. Sometimes I wonder who thought of putting delicious smoked salmon on an untoasted onion bagel with raw onions and enough cream cheese to frost a birthday cake? Whoever it was is a genius. You know you've been with your significant other for a long time when you order a fishy sandwich on an oniony bagel then proceed to put like half an onion under the lox. Needless to say there wasn't much kissing going on that afternoon.

              Boyfriend got one of his favorites, the Bronx Delight. Freshly baked rye bread piled HIGH with pastrami, swiss cheese and salami. Not sure but I think there's some corned beef in there too. This sandwich was ordered sans Russian dressing, as boyfriend abhors ALL condiments. That's right: no ketchup, mustard, mayo, tartar sauce, thousand island, etc. This guy didn't even like ranch before he met me! An extreme case but it makes it very easy to make sandwiches at home for my little love machine. Meat and cheese on bread, that's it.

              Katellla Deli has an evil bakery for browsing on your way out. Since I am trying desperately to be good, I had to forgo my usual black and white cookie. This thing is so soft it's more like a cupcake muffin top. Boyfriend usually has a brownie but wanted to try their cheesecake that day. Forgive me for not getting a picture, but it was gone in a flash. I had a bite and decided it's as good as mine. Very fluffy and light, with a hint of lemon. Just delectable. They put that sweet sour cream layer on top too which I love. Don't tell boyfriend but this cheesecake is made with (!) cream cheese and sour cream, two condiments he hates as well. After supper we headed over to the movies for a late showing of The Bourne Ultimatum. Who needs dessert when you can have Matt Damon? Rar!

              pics...

              http://thatgirlcaneat.blogspot.com/20...

              1. I highly recommend their Chinese Chicken Salad and the chicken stirfry too. I'm still trying to find something in SGV that matches it. The Godfather Omelette is another specialized item that I can't match anywhere else, and their chicken salad sandwich is also yummy, you can buy the chicken salad filling in the deli by the pound also. I enjoy the bagels and the other baked goods too. Some of the stufff is not quite as good as it was around the time they moved to this location from Polly's down the street at the 605, e.g. they used to use a very high end bacon and now it's more ordinary type.

                1. This place is so totally awesome. A couple months ago, I did a Katella Deli tribute http://katelladeli.blogspot.com/ because I am soooo addicted. And, Warmsandz, I could not agree with you more! I drive up there from Costa Mesa and EVERY time I ask when they are going to open one down here. If you do not find anything you like there, you must be clinically dead. Eclairs to die for...the BEST Carrot Cake I have EVER had in my life INCLUDING home-baked.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Cherie in OC

                    Wow! you are a groupie. I also love their soups (Matzo Ball, S & S Cabbage and Lentil) and especially the 7 layer cookie. It's like a rainbow dipped in chocolate. Thanks for your blog...makes me want to run out and get some goodies.

                    1. re: Cherie in OC

                      You know, I've never had the carrot cake, but will definately try it next time . . . I DO know however, that their chocolate dipped macaroons (both white and dark chocolate!) are some of the most sinful things on this planet!!!!!

                      1. re: Warmsandz

                        Speaking of their bakery - They have a beautiful and delicious (round layer) chocolate cake with a rasberry color on the top with a chocolate "netting" overlay over that (this cake is hard to describe when you're doing it from memory - sorry!) that is perfect for an elegant birthday or special occasion cake. Anyway, if you see it, you'll know which one I mean.

                        Also, they have "Hamantash" (Haman's Hat) cookies with several kinds of fillings year-round. I mention those because Purim is coming up and they're traditional for Purim.

                        If you need a coffee cake for a big group, try the Russian coffee cake. When you pick it up, you'll know why it will easily cut into 20 slices. (It weighs several pounds, I'm sure!). VERY GOOD and rich, lots of fruit in it. (But addictive!)

                        1. re: Joani Macaroni

                          Mmmm... I may have to go get hamantashn, though it means "Haman's pockets", not his hat. Though the song about the hat with three corners would lead one to believe otherwise...

                          1. re: Das Ubergeek

                            For more information than most people would ever want to read on the topic of Haman's Pockets, Hats, or whatever, check this site out:
                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/500709

                            There's even a post about someone's (Matt's) Lithuanian Jewish grandmother's cookies.