For some time I have had this idea to write about all the kosher stores and restaurants located on a section of Pico Boulevard, between Beverwill on the west and La Cienega Boulevard on the east, just south of Beverly Hills. The two mile stretch of low rise mom and pop store fronts and a few large establishments is typical Los Angeles. There is parking in the rear alleys as well as meters for the lucky few. Traffic is horrendous.
The variety of kosher establishments is amazing; bakeries, butcher shops, groceries, deli, Persian food, pizza, Chinese, steak houses, coffee and even kosher ‘Subway’ I hope this will be the first installment of many, as I plan to compile a list and make it available. This first installment is about my kosher butcher and one of the markets I frequent.
Doheny Kosher Meat market has everything from prime steaks cut to order, fresh ground turkey, boneless skinless chicken thighs, free range chicken or baby lamb chops. They carry exotic meats like bison, tiny Cornish hens and the most beautiful, cut to order veal chops I have ever seen. If I don’t feel like cooking (yes it happens occasionally), or don’t have time, I just call and order up some rotisserie chicken. They have two giant rotisseries running all day. I have shopped with them for 30 plus years and it is a first name basis kind of place where you run into old friends and talk about your kids.
For Friday night I ordered a 4 bone prime Prime Rib and three whole 3.5 pound chickens to roast. After a visit to the Santa Monica farm market I was ready to prepare my feast for my Shabbat company.
Next stop on the Pico Boulevard tour is Pico Glatt Market. Stepping into Pico Glatt or as some call it the Livonia market is like entering another country, narrow aisles, crowded with carts crashing into each other with nary an ‘excuse me’ and people speaking many languages, Hebrew, Farsi, Spanish, Yiddish and English.
A spice and legume aisle intersects with an end of row display of shrink rapped dried figs, mango spears, Zareshk, pistachios, slivered almonds, and slices of chocolate covered marble halva. The variety is incredible and exhilarating for one’s creativity.Do you have a fancy for Persian take out? There are cold cases full of every kind of cheese, kosher, from Brie to Parmesano Reggiano, including the best Feta imported from Israel. Next, lavash, pita, challah, non dairy hamburger buns are piled high on the right while fish mongers are whacking off the heads of whole salmon on the left.
The section with bins of fresh produce spilling out is flanked by cold cases full of fresh chicken and meat. If you don’t see what you want just ask someone. If you speak Spanish your word is golden. If you can stand the cacophony and the crowd Pico Glatt is a fantastic source for kosher food.