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Thursday, January 28, 2021

Restaurant Review: Cavaretta’s Italian Deli

Traditions are kept alive in a small hole in the wall deli where delicious pastries and quality meats mesh.

Open since 1959, Cavaretta’s is a deli where an Italian sub and chocolate-covered cannoli ought to be available till doomsday.

The sandwich is stuffed with domestic and imported meats, their names ending in vowels and proudly listed in all-caps serif behind the glossy counter. It is a sandwich sewn by hands that asked the cuts how they would like to be placed, and were answered.

It’s an entirely by-the-books affair: $7.44 for a sub and a drink. The interior is doused in a deli-standard “Where’s Waldo? visual melee of primary colors and trinkets of hometown pride, for both Italy and LA. One of the walls is obscured by photos of content customers.

A bit northwest, the prices at Italia Deli & Bakery of Calabasas dwarf Cavaretta’s. Neither Italia nor Domingo’s Italian Deli, further southeast in Encino, measure up in terms of inducing a satisfying post-meal coma. Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery, a nearly 90-year-old Santa Monica trademark, is the closest sandwich artisan of comparable quality and price, but that’s a bit of a haul, and there’s an equally long lunchtime wait.

Cavaretta’s has the most-updated Facebook page. It’s peppered with weekly raffles for sandwiches and salads and questions that encourage locals’ online involvement. In a world rife with technological advancements, this deli isn’t allowing itself to be left behind.

Some things remain fundamental, and while technological trends and gimmicks come and go, but the the sandwich whisperer with a firm-but-friendly handshake doesn’t care, she just makes great grub.

Matt Gottesman
Staff Spring 2013

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