Even though everyone will tell you that some of LA’s finest dining can be found in strip malls, it’s hard for a Midwestern gal like me to believe. Case in point: Roll ‘n Rye in Culver City. I drive by frequently on my way to the airport, or Target, and it just looks like — forgive me — but as my father would say, early nursing home.
You can almost smell the tapioca and Ensure. This place would look right at home in Boca Raton. Or Sun City. Or any number of retirement communities nationwide. So in four long LA years (which is like 40, in actual years), I never once stopped to smell the matzo balls nor tiptoe through the kishke.
OH HOW WRONG I WAS. Awesome pal Emanuel treated me to dinner there last night, and that matzo ball is in a broth even a bubbe (grandma) could love. Beautifully seasoned, with generous chunks of chicken, carrots and celery. And the pastrami — tender and peppery with just enough of my mandatory greasy sheen — more than passes muster.
The price was a little high and the coleslaw a little suspect. (Might be as old as some of the patrons. Okay, I’ll stop! I’d better; it’ll be me before I know it.) But I can’t help myself. Sarcasm and deli, it’s the way of my people. I guess that’s just how we Roll n Rye. Groan. Okay. I’ll go now. Quietly. But before I do, are these cookies for everyone? No? Okay. Bye. Bye.