‘Got Kosher?’ gets beyond the plastic – slowly

Jillian Einalhori

Alexa Fishman, Staff Writer

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Located next door to B’nai David-Judea on Pico near Livonia, “Got Kosher?” reopened in February after several months of remodeling. It used to be takeout only, known as the source of kosher sandwiches students can buy on campuses such as Santa Monica College and Beverly High.

Now that it’s a restaurant, it benefits from ambience that goes beyond plastic wrapping and a refrigerator case.  As soon as I entered, I noticed its bright and cheerful design.  The walls are green with rainbow tiles, and the light brown wood tables complements the décor.

When my family of five arrived on a recent Sunday evening, the restaurant was quite crowded, so we moved the one empty table to the other side of the restaurant next to the serving counter. There are only eight tables, and the area where the tables are situated is rather narrow, so it would have been harder to squeeze a bigger family into such a narrow space.

Once we were seated, a waitress approached us immediately.   We ordered a few appetizers, all under $10, hoping that they would come quickly since we were all hungry.  But the appetizers arrived 20 minutes later, and overall were either cold or dry. The potato leek soup was cold and very spicy, the chicken soup was too salty, and the bantange,* a potato dish with beef and egg, was also very cold.  The only flavorful appetizer was the Moroccan cigars. There were four half-sized cigars, so the appetizer may have worked for two. The platter was empty before I could even grab one.

Things got mostly worse after that. While we were waiting for our main courses to come, I overheard the staff discussing the fact that they were running out of the brisket special.  It was 6:25 on a Sunday evening, and they were already running out of the day’s special – not a good sign.

Approximately 40 minutes after we ordered, our main courses came. I dug into my nicely sized schnitzel sandwich on pretzel challah.  The bread was delicious, but the schnitzel was a bit tough. The sandwich was also really hard to eat, because the bread was too small for the schnitzel. Fortunately, my fries were very flavorful – crispy and golden brown – and to me, fries are the most important part of a meal.

Meanwhile, the waitress brought my siblings the wrong orders. Both of their hamburgers were brought on the wrong buns with condiments, though they requested plain burgers.  Once the orders were corrected, both my sister and brother enjoyed their hamburgers – except for a few extremely pink pieces my sister pushed to the side of her plate.

My parents both ordered brisket plates and genuinely enjoyed them.   The brisket was shredded, and either spicy or sweet and tangy.  According to my mom, the best part of her meal was the roasted vegetables that came as her side dish.  I agreed, because my mouth was watering just looking at the colorful array on her plate.  I snuck a bite when she wasn’t looking.

After I finished my sandwich, I went over to check the cleanliness level of the bathrooms, since as I’ve previously mentioned, my mom says the cleanliness of the bathrooms reflects the cleanliness of the kitchen.  The bathroom was very clean and decorated just like the rest of the restaurant.

After paying quickly because my dad had to catch a plane, we left “Got Kosher?” My dad was in a huge hurry, because dinner had taken way too long.  Thankfully, he barely made his flight.

Some of the food was scrumptious and the restaurant is pleasant, so it might be worth another try in the future; after all,  it’s still pretty new.  But for now, if you’re in a rush or have a big family, “Got Kosher?” may not be the place for you.

3 out of 5 stars

This story won a National Award in Review Writing in Quill & Scroll’s 2013 International Writing and Photo Contest.

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