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Classic Santa Monica Restaurant Izzy’s Deli Has Closed Permanently

Opened for 47 years, deli owner Izzy Freeman has decided to retire

Pastrami sandwich with fries and cole slaw from Izzy’s Deli in Santa Monica.
Pastrami sandwich with fries and cole slaw from Izzy’s Deli in Santa Monica.
Izzy’s Deli
Matthew Kang is the Lead Editor of Eater LA. He has covered dining, restaurants, food culture, and nightlife in Los Angeles since 2008. He's the host of K-Town, a YouTube series covering Korean food in America, and has been featured in Netflix's Street Food show.

Izzy’s Delicatessen in Santa Monica, located on the corner of 15th and Wilshire, and one of the last remaining Jewish delis in the seaside city, has closed for good, reports the Santa Monica Observer. The former 24/7 restaurant now has “For Lease” signs posted, with a real estate agent confirming to the Observer that the space is up for $25,000 a month. Shuttered since November 2020 to undergo renovations, Izzy’s promised customers with signs strewn across the front that it would reopen in June.

Without any substantial outdoor space, plus pressure from delivery apps, the deli found it difficult to navigate through all the changes during the ongoing pandemic. Owner Izzy Freeman opened the deli in 1973 with Kenny Horowitz. Izzy’s was a classic Jewish deli with pastrami sandwiches, knishes, and other all-day classics. Freeman announced that though he had every intention of reopening, he has decided to retire. Inside there were numerous photos of famous people who had frequented the restaurant over the years.

Izzy Freeman, the so-called “Deli Lama,” gave the following statement regarding the closure:

After 47 amazing years of serving the community 24/7, 365, the time has come for Izzy’s Deli to officially close its doors. We had every intention to reopen post-pandemic but it has become apparent that the only option at this point is to retire.

I’d like to thank my incredibly loyal customers who became friends, the three generations of my family who called IZZY’S their second home, and the two generations of employees who made IZZY’S DELI a landmark in Santa Monica.

Over the years we became ingrained in our customers’ lives — we saw first dates that became engagements, husbands awaiting the births of their children who eventually came in as parents themselves, customers becoming friends with each other, families gathering year after year after year, late night study breaks, business meetings, holidays and just enjoying each and every day. We laughed, we loved, we cheered, and boy did we EAT!!

Our matzoh ball soup, overstuffed sandwiches, tuna melts, and Thanksgiving dinners brought in customers from just around the corner, thousands of miles away and everywhere in between. Together, we truly made my childhood dream a reality and brought a taste of New York to Santa Monica, and for that, I will be forever grateful.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for 47 wonderful years! This may be the end of this road, but it’s certainly not goodbye.


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Izzy's Deli

1433 Wilshire Boulevard, , CA 90403 (310) 394-1131 Visit Website