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"St. Felix"

The Kibitiz Room - Canter's Deli
by Maren Swanson



Dear Love,


I have definitely curbed my Groupon/LivingSocial purchase habits recently, but when I saw the Canter's Deli notice on my app, I had to press the purchase button. Canter's Deli on Fairfax was one of the first Los Angeles landmarks I discovered after a wrong turn off the freeway during my Arizona to California pilgrimage. I was in search of new land and a new apartment, and that wrong turn determined my West Hollywood fate.



The crazy part is, I never actually made it into Canter's that day, and it took me until last week to hit up the neighborhood delicatessan. So Groupon in hand, my friend and I headed to the old school spot for a legitimate Hollywood experience. Ever since Silver Spoon had closed on Santa Monica Boulevard, I had been grieving the loss of the best Rueben I had ever eaten. Therefore, if a Rueben was on the Canter's menu, it was all mine.



The classic "Rueben" was lettered in bold and the two of us had to have it. The pleasant and elderly waitress serving us offered a Corned Beef or Pastrami option, so naturally we opted for one of each. Before we were served our sandwiches, house made pickles (extra sour) graced the table. Our meaty lunch arrived and was paired with potato chips - salty heaven. Sauerkraut, swiss cheese, rye bread and Russian dressing piled with cured meat made the sandwiches look as big as the billboards all over town. Conclusion: delicious.




As we prepared to leave we noticed a happy hour sign inside for The Kibitz Room. Apparently, Canter's had an adjacent bar?! Ok, now it was my duty to check it out. We crossed through to the next room and sat down at the bar. The atmosphere was dark and cool, and the bar stools were strewn with beer mugs, bar napkins and "regulars." I imagined that the same people we sat next to had been going there for years, possibly having engraved initials on the wood that supported their cocktails. The daily 4pm - 7pm happy hour specials included $2 tap beer (Coors), $3 domestic beer and well drinks, $3.50 imported beer, $4 call drinks and $5 top shelf. For noshing, you could order a limited food menu of onion rings, fries (regular or sweet potato), cheese quesadillas, chicken tenders, and or a grilled cheese sandwich ranging from $3 - $6.50.





I was still overly stuffed from our massive Rueben indulgence, so I only nipped at the complimentary chips and salsa provided by the bartender. Something tells me that he's worked there as long as most of the other staff. And as I was snapping photos, a nearby patron asked what the fuss was about. Yes, I'm a glorified happy hour writer. "Try the onion rings, they're the best in town," he commented. Next time, I promised - when I had an appetite. The Kibitz Room has that old Hollywood bar feel and it's a great spot to hear live music. As my friend mentioned, it's like the Rainbow Room of delis. It's cheap, it's low-key and it has Canter's. No complaints here.







Happy Hour Breakdown:
Daily, 4 – 7 PM
$2 - 5 Drinks
$3 - 6.50 Appetizers


The Kibitz Room (Canter's Deli)
419 North Fairfax Avenue
West Hollywood, CA 90036
(323) 651-2030




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