Chef Micah Wexler could already coast on his Jewish food accomplishments and credentials. But the LA culinary celebrity is expanding his range with a new ten-seat deli at the city’s resurgent Grand Central Market.
Wexler’s Deli promises to focus on tradition, serving Jewish deli favorites prepared by a fine dining chef. According to Eater LA, the small space will serve a limited menu, including “just five tried and true deli sandwiches (old school pastrami, corned beef Reuben, turkey, smoked salmon, and smoked sturgeon).”
Wexler told the Jewish Daily Forward that it oddly took him just one try to formulate a pastrami recipe that was “perfect.” And he promised that the deli would not feature more progressive interpretations like “smoked tofu pastrami or duck matzo ball soup.”
But the chef said his deli would depart from one tradition: the towers of meat made famous by spots like the Carnegie Deli in New York.
“If you are at one of those delis and your first instinct is to remove half of the meat, then something is wrong,” he said.
Wexler opened the restaurant Mezze in 2012, and made a name for himself as one of the few US chefs to focus on upscale Middle Eastern cuisine. Unfortunately, Mezze closed after just a year due to disputes with a construction site next door.
Even amidst the tahini, feta, and Persian mint, Wexler would occasionally serve Ashkenazi influenced dishes “like knishes and matzo ball soup.”
The Grand Central Market opened in 1917, and has been a home to food vendors ever since. It recently announced a spate of openings from artisanal vendors and restaurants representing the changing tastes of the city. Wexler’s Deli is expected to open sometime this spring.