This is the third in a sporadic series of articles about places worth investigating in Los Angeles.
Located on Fairfax between Beverly and Melrose, Canter’s Deli has been owned and operated by the Canter family for three generations and a L.A. fixture since 1931. The 24/7 restaurant and lounge, called the Kibitz Room, has seen its share of celebrity diners, including The Doors, Frank Zappa, The Wallflowers, Joni Mitchell, and the rise of Guns N’ Roses, who were friends of Marc Canter back in the day.
But that’s not the only reason Canter’s is so great. The food is an exemplary of rich, delicious, and ridiculously filling Jewish cooking. The warm, bustling restaurant is famed for everything from hot corned beef sandwiches to matzo ball soup to what could quite possibly be the best steak cut fries in town. On your way out, make sure to pick up some of their yummy cookies or confections from the bakery by the front door.
Doughboys, a little glass fronted yet private restaurant, is a delicious fusion of café and bakery. Running on a bit of a military theme, it takes its name from a slang term for a member of the Army or Marine Corps. It lives up to its legacy with its logo reminiscent of World War I, and its signature version of SOS [short for Shit on a Shingle, Doughboys’ version consists of grilled asiago bread and home fries, topped with a creamed beef mixture and 2 steamed eggs]. They also serve all kinds of other options from various pizzas, potatoes, salads, breakfast, and griddle items fresh off the stove, such as the Southern Corn Pudding Special [creamy cheesy corn pudding and smoked pork hash grilled with onions, corn and potatoes, baked together with 2 griddle cooked eggs on top and served in a cast iron skillet]. Plus, they have a variety of delicious homemade bakery goods, a selection whose crown jewel is their famous red velvet cake. Located on Third St half a block up from Crescent Heights, Doughboys is small but unique and well worth the visit.
The Farmer’s Market
While the Farmer’s Market isn’t a restaurant per say; it’s a permanent covered market that seems like a world unto itself containing more than 100 venders, most of who are food related. Cheaper than its relatively new neighbor, the Grove, the market contains bars, sit down restaurants and stand up restaurants of all persuasions; as well as candy stalls, ice creameries, butchers, bakeries, a couple of fruit vendors, and a store entirely dedicated to hot sauce. Besides the eateries there are also some jewelry stores, a dog bakery, a toy store, a sticker store, and a couple tourist traps full of souvenirs among a menagerie of other vendors. If you can’t decide what you want and aren’t adverse to a little exploration to find your meal, the Farmer’s Market is an excellent place to check out. If you visit during the summer [before Labor Day], every Thursday and Friday evenings are filled with music. Thursdays are jazz only but on Fridays they mix it up with anything from Latin music to rock. The Farmer’s Market is located at the corner of 3rd and Fairfax.