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Help with Jewish/Kosher food in Southern California (Los Angeles)

I have a nephew whose 11 and of mixed background. His father was of German/Jewish decent but hasnt been in the picture since he was 4. Recently, he's really been trying to identify with his Jewish roots and has spent extensive time with his father's sister and his family tree; but anyway, he's also been really wanting to eat some real Jewish cuisine - and here's where we're stuck. My family, including myself are pretty damn ignorant when it comes to Jewish food, so this is where I ask for help.

I live in North OC and he lives in the Riverside area, but we're more than willing to drive anywhere within the Southern California area to get some real good Jewish eats.

I know there are many delis in West LA and I would love some recs on those, but also looking for kosher markets and sit-down restaurants. I would also like some tips on German places as well.

Any tips? Recs? Comments?

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  1. What do you mean by Jewish? Do you mean deli? Kosher? Israeli?

    1 Reply
    1. re: gsw

      i apologize for the generalization, didnt mean to offend anyone if i did..
      Like I said, I'd love some recs on some good deli's, but also some good kosher restaurants as well.

    2. I don't understand the term jewish food. There are delis like Nate n Als - is that what you mean? Really, it could mean anything from Russian to Hungarian to German to Polish to Mediterranean food, depending on the family.

      1. i apologize for the generalization, I just re-looked at my post and realized I posted it too hastily without really delving deep into what I really wanted. I just didnt mean to offend anyone if i did..
        Like I said, I'd love some recs on some good deli's, but also some good kosher restaurants as well. If you know of some good Jewish/German food, I'd love to hear it.

        1. Brent's in the valley gets good reviews for Jewish deli food. For kosher deli food, Pico Kosher Deli in west LA is pretty good.

          1. You could take him to the Fairfax district (but not on a Saturday) and walk up and down Fairfax between Melrose and Beverly. There are several Jewish bakeries and markets, along with Canter's Deli. You'll also be surrounded a lot of Orthodox Jews (and others) going about their day in the area.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ITurnedOutTV

              I'm gathering that nephew isn't actually "keeping kosher", a set of dietary laws that, when observed strictly make restaurant-hunting a bit more challenging. (I've got an associate who does keep strict kosher; my struggles to find a place downtown to have biz lunch with her is amply posted about hereabouts...)

              If not, then Langer's, by McArthur Park, is a "kosher-style deli" (but is clearly not kosher; they'll give you cheese on your burger, IIRC) with what is regarded by many as the best pastrami on the West Coast. Even Canter's isn't really kosher; they're open 24/7, but along with Art's in the valley, they may be as close to the "East-coast kosher deli experience, but with better weather" as you're going to find.

              Nephew should check out the Fairfax and Pico-Robertson restaurant rows. For maximum culture shock, ideally he should have lunch in a deli or Middle-Eastern place, and then go to the south end of Fairfax and have Ethiopian (which I'm also guessing he doesn't see much in Riverside) for dinner