Welcome to Front & Center, a series highlighting front of the house professionals in Los Angeles restaurants. Right now: TV writer and blogger behind The Unemployed Eater Mike Metz on Hector Padilla of Bay Cities Deli:
In a city chock full of undeserved acclamations, Bay Cities truly and deservedly stands as one of LA's iconic institutions. Like Vin Scully, Kobe Bryant, the Hollywood sign and fake breasts, Bay Cities helps define the city. Every day Los Angelenos from every corner and environ flock west to the historic delicatessen at the corner of Broadway and Lincoln to grab a sandwich or, at the very least, one of their ambrosial Italian loafs. And as a Santa Monican myself, nothing makes me prouder.
And while many make the pilgrimage for BC's famed Godmother sandwich, it is in fact the Godfather of Bay Cities that deserves the most praise. His name is Hector Padilla, the store manager, and he's bionic. Screw Spider-Man and the Dark Knight, Hector Padilla is truly the superhero of the summer.
The thing with Bay Cities is it is never idle. Never ever – and that includes this morning when I stopped by to snap the picture you see of Hector above. Obviously, Bay Cities does a lot of things right, but each and every one of these things is supervised by Hector. In Hollywood terms, amongst the chaos that is the Bay Cities experience, Hector stands as the Producer. Despite the utter mayhem, he makes sure everything runs smoothly and in a timely manner. Whether that means maintaining the fresh bread output, recommending an Italian red, calling to get a repairman for a blown cooler (as was the case when I visited), or all of these things simultaneously. Through all the madness he remains even-keeled, no matter what.
While he may never don a cape, Hector's the people's (deli) superhero, doing what needs to be done behind the scenes to keep the Bay Cities wheels turning and for that he deserves the Front & Center spotlight.
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·All Bay Cities Coverage [~ELA~]