Jewish delis, both in old and new school varieties, are some of my favorite places to dine. It’s hard to beat bagels, smoked fishes, and hot pastrami when it comes to ultimate comfort food. Given my affections for the genre, I was beyond stoked to hear that a new deli was arriving in Los Angeles in the form of Freedman’s.
Opened late last year by Jonah Freedman, Amanda Freedman, and Nicholas Papadatos, Freedman’s offers a contemporary take on traditional Jewish fare. Behind the stoves is Chef Liz Johnson (formerly of Mimi in New York). Stylistically speaking, Freedman’s has the very best wallpaper in all of Los Angeles.
Sarah and I came in for a weeknight dinner in the middle of February. As we perused and contemplated the menu, I sipped the “Arrival” ($8) made with Lillet Blanc, Buddha’s hand, and ginger.
The smoked dates in schmaltz ($8) were one bite wonders. The combination of sweet, salty, and schmaltz-y was unexpectedly divine. Our one small complaint was that the dates weren’t deseeded, disrupting the rapture of each bite.
The “Trout Roe Popovers” ($11) were just as terrific. Imagine freshly fried doughnuts stuffed with sweet caramelized onions served with creme friache and trout roe. We were taken aback by the combination of flavors and textures. So good!
And then there was the “Smoked Fish Assortment” (market price) with smoked sturgeon, smoked salmon, egg salad, caper jam, parsley salad, and house-made, Toronto-style bagels. Everything on the platter was executed to exacting and delicious standards, and believe it or not, the caper jam was especially fetching.
We couldn’t leave without trying the restaurant’s signature reuben ($15). Expertly constructed, the reuben hit all the right toasty, melty, savory, satisfying notes.
And finally, we shared the potato latke with cured sea trout and sour cream ($15). Latkes can definitely be waffle’d and the results are perfectly crispy on the outside and pure comfort on the inside. The trout and sour cream were just gravy, baby.
Not bound to tradition, Freedman’s one-of-a-kind take on Jewish fare exceeded our expectations this evening. Everything we tasted was superb, especially the popovers and dates—I haven’t been able to get them out of my head. Thanks for doing what you do, Freedman’s.
2619 Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90026
One year ago: California Chutney – Pasadena
Two years ago: State Bird Provisions – San Francisco
Three years ago: WILD at Canelé – Los Angeles (Atwater Village)
Four years ago: Bourbon Steak – Glendale
Five years ago: Hui Tou Xiang Noodles House – San Gabriel
Six years ago: A-Frame – Los Angeles (Culver City)
Seven years ago: Bacon Almond Brittle
Eight years ago: Dahlia Lounge – Seattle
Nine years ago: Taihei Restaurant – Monterey Park
Ten years ago: Augustin – Ho Chi Minh City
Eleven years ago: Reading Terminal Market – Philadelphia