Remains of L.A.

Traces of L.A.'s past can still be found, in the kitsch of '50s diners and the decayed glamour of '40s hotspots… and sometimes the food is good, and there are nice people.

(1948) Factor’s Famous Deli, Los Angeles

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wpid-imag0917_1.jpgI had a babysitting job in Beverly Hills, so I went to the (fairly) nearby Factor’s Famous Deli for lunch beforehand.

-When you walk through the doors there’s a large takeaway counter and store, you walk through to get to the restaurant. Two large, airy rooms with green leather booths and light wood, a long-stemmed rose on each table (yellow with orange/red tips, my favorite), sports memorabilia and old movie posters cover the walls, a counter with stools in the very back. The two rooms are divided by a wall with large windows cut out of it, and inside each window a plant holder is suspended by wires so it looks like it’s floating in air.

-I was a bit overwhelmed by the menu and considered getting something other than a pastrami sandwich but I love pastrami sandwiches so much I almost always get them at delis. This one was great, thick marvelous pieces of pastrami cooked exactly right. I also got something called a toasted horn, because a page in the menu was devoted to taking about how the Horn is a traditional Jewish roll that is seldom seen anymore and it sounded really good. It was beyond good, something in between a bagel and maybe French bread? I ate it with cream cheese and then with pieces of pastrami that had fallen off the sandwich. I got fruit on the side, and it was ok.

-The man at the booth next to mine had a disturbingly high voice and very strong feelings about margarine vs. butter. “There’s just no sense in getting something that tastes bad! It messes your breakfast up!”

-The signs on the men and women’s rooms are pictures of people crossing their legs and clutching their groins. Underneath they say “gents” and “ladies. ” I think you need to choose between bathroom humor and saying “gents.”

factorslucydez-It seems like two people with very different interests decorated the place together, in a race. There will be a couple old movie posters, then a framed team jersey, then a picture of a basketball player, then some John Wayne pictures plus a gun he used in some movie, then an autographed picture of a baseball player, then another movie poster. I guess this way there’s something for everyone.

-Before it left the kitchen some coleslaw got onto one side of my fruit cup. I was kind of grossed out–I’m allergic to mayo but beyond that I just find it icky–but upon investigation I found it had only touched a few spots and so was quite easy to remove.

-Sitting near me was an absolutely stunning couple I almost recognized; I’m pretty sure they were big celebrities but I couldn’t for the life of me figure out who. I tried to eavesdrop, in the hopes they’d mention their names or the last movie they’d starred in or something, but they were just a little too far away.

-I got my food really fast, and the waitress refilled my water a couple times while I was eating, but when I wanted the check she had completely disappeared. The area had mostly emptied out and I felt a bit deserted. It seemed like it would have been the easiest thing in the world to just get up and wander out. I’ve never done that; even when I was a troublemaking punk rock teenager I never ran out on a check, and I didn’t really consider it now. But I bet it would have been super easy.

factosdolls-Near the bathrooms was a room that didn’t have anyone seated in it, and on the wall was a shelf, and on that shelf were a bunch of old man dolls, and things that looked a little like Menorahs but weren’t. I would have loved to know what it was about, but there wasn’t anyone nearby to ask.

-I took half the toasted horn home to David (my husband), who happily talked about getting them there as a small child.

What I Ate: Pastrami on rye, fruit, half a toasted horn with cream cheese, a couple bites of pickle.

What I Read While I Ate: “Audrey Wait!” by  Robin Benway, a fun YA book I picked up on a whim at the library (this happens a LOT when you work at a library).

What Sort of Ghost I’d Expect to Find if I Believed in Ghosts Which I do Not: Two little old ladies, who started meeting here every week when their children were small, and were still meeting every week to compare pictures of their grandchildren

9420 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035

factorsinterior

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One thought on “(1948) Factor’s Famous Deli, Los Angeles

  1. maybe the little old man dolls were the shrunken husbands of the ghostly little old ladies…
    so glad david (the husband) got something to eat too.
    : }

    Like

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