Early this year chef Micah Wexler of the shuttered Mezze on La Cienega decided he wanted to take a class on cheese. It just so happened that the class' instructor was involved with the Grand Central Market redevelopment project, and he asked Wexler to come and check out the open-air bazaar. Fast forward months later and Wexler plus Michael Kassar (Mezze) and partner David Sanfield (Pitfire Pizza) are the trio behind Wexler's Deli, a traditional 10-seat deli slated to open in February of 2014 diagonally across from Sticky Rice in the market's center.
Having grown up in Los Angeles and being familiar with Grand Central Market prior to its ongoing transformation, Wexler spent ample time considering concepts that would bridge the gap between the market's longtime shoppers and the new breed of patrons looking for a better brew or bite of barbecue. A deli seemed like the perfect fit, an operation serving comfort food for everyone, and an idea he had tested out on Sunday nights at Mezze and more recently via UMAMIcatessen.
[Photo: Gastronomy: L - Wexler, R- Kassar]
In no way shape or form is Wexler looking to reinvent the deli wheel. He'll be serving 14-15 menu items in total, just five tried and true deli sandwiches (old school pastrami, corned beef Reuben, turkey, smoked salmon, and smoked sturgeon), plus bagels, eggs in the morning, and maybe a special here and there. For dessert one might find chocolate babka and possibly back and white cookies. However, what separates Wexler's Deli from other Jewish delicatessens around town is that everything Wexler serves will be made in-house. From curing his corned beef to smoking his pastrami, he will control every last edible detail, executed with only the highest quality ingredients. As compared to other delis which outsource all their meats and condiments and then just throw them between bread.
And on the subject of bread, Wexler is working with Etchea Bakery on recipes for bagels and rye bread, among others.
Wexler's Deli is about craftsmanship and technique, and great classic sandwiches done right. Hours of operation are expected to run from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and once Grand Central Market acquires an alcohol license, Wexler plans to likely offer booze too. Until then he'll have a soda situation popping.
And lastly, in other news, Wexler and Kassar are working on another full service dining concept to open next year. But that's on the DL for now.
·All Micah Wexler Coverage [~ELA~]