I was going to Kay n’ Dave’s with a couple of friends tonight, and we parked in front of this bright red, neatly-fonted, bright little building that pronounced itself “Food” and indeed looked to be full of the same. The place was closed, but the staff was inside cleaning up, and when they saw us peeping in, a woman came to the door and waved us in.
“Oh, we’re just looking,” we said shyly, “we’re actually going to dinner down the street.” Nonetheless, she continued to wave us in, saying that they were closed, but were new in the neighborhood so she’d love to have us come look.
The woman’s name is Judy Ornstein, and she’s a longtime resident of the neighborhood, a 30-year veteran of the restaurant industry, and co-owner of Food. She said that previously there was a cramped, dingy and dusty convenience store in the location and she had always wished that they could have a place kind of like Joan’s on Third in her neighborhood. So when her oldest child left for college, and the space became available, she and some friends decided to go for it.
The space is indeed reminiscent of Joan’s, although on a smaller scale. Near the entrance are spices and packaged candies and nuts. Across from that is a refrigerated case with soups and prepared foods. Then spanning the length of the place is a deli counter with prepared foods that looked really good. There was a beef tenderloin that was soooo pink that it made me want to grab it and go NOM right there in the store. There were artichoke halves sprinkled with nasturtium, and some pretty vegetable salads: grilled seasonal vegetables and a julienned beet and apple salad.
Near the back is a small wine section, and refrigerated drink cases. The menu also contains breakfast and lunch items like granola, eggs, tofu scramble, and soups, sandwiches and salads. A neatly handwritten paper lists daily specials on the deli. I could easily see myself coming here when I need a bottle of wine, or some milk, or perhaps some soup to refrigerate for weekday meals, and then grabbing a lunch along with my necessaries.
And Ms. Ornstein was incredibly friendly. She talked to us about the place, but didn’t keep us trapped there for too long, and she sent us on our way with some free homemade chocolate chip cookies that were really delicious and packed full of chocolate.
My husband and I agreed that if we lived in the neighborhood, we would definitely be popping in often, and my friends were 100% certain that they would be back in the near future for a breakfast or lunch.
So if you’re on the Westside, check it out and report back. If this place is as good as it looks, I would love to see it do well. It’s not exactly in a prime location, but it is on many people’s way to and from work.
10571 Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064