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The Beach Gourmet: Zelda’s Corner Deli: It’s The Little Things That Count!

Venice Beach, that curious strip by the ocean that has blessed the world with such essential masterpieces like Jim Morrison and his Doors, skateboarding, and muscles with human beings underneath, is also a cornucopia of eateries of all styles and tastes. I have for the past few months, been something of a regular on this iconic stretch, given that I now work in the vicinity, and have had my taste buds seduced by a unique little sandwich bar just off the boardwalk on Westminster Avenue.

This part of Westminster Avenue boasts a bohemian canvas upon which is painted a part Dickensian, part Bladerunner-esque collection of stores, food-counters, a coffee shop, and my current food flirtation, a rather appealing “boutique” named Zelda’s Corner Deli. This tiny counter is predominantly a to-go establishment (yes, there are a couple of tables outside, should one wish to avail themselves of the almost free human entertainment as it snakes along the boardwalk) that specializes in super-tasty sandwiches, and their trademark mini-donuts.

The menu, although somewhat concise, is nevertheless populated by some delightful breakfast and lunch panini, melts, soups, the aforementioned mini-doughnuts, and a handful of other goodies like Zelda’s macaroni salad (1/2 pint $2), some frighteningly large jumbo dill pickles $1), and a Jell-O salad (with mandarin oranges, no less! $2).

During the past few weeks I, and some accomplices, have been making quite a meal of Zelda’s, and I can report that the state of the experience has been good n’ tasty!

The Panini, served on a 6-inch French Baguette can be consumed as they are, or toasted, and one of the most amusing qualities about this section of their menu is the choice of creative nomenclature assigned to each sandwich. On a recent visit “Mr. Electric” (turkey, crispy prosciutto, avocado, provolone, baby greens, and tomato with jalapenos upon request, $6) was sampled by my co-conspirator, Sam, who stated that it was “great, delicious, really good,” whilst I enjoyed “Professor Ted,” who with his turkey, roast beef, avocado, red onion, baby greens, and pepper jack, with a dab of horseradish was very good indeed. It appeared that the Professor was well schooled in the art of gastronomic satisfaction.

On another visit I opted for the unfancy grilled ham and cheese, which, like all of the other items at Zelda’s, was a steal at $5. Large, well filled with both ham and cheese, and an optional dab of their hot sauce, this choice, along with a bag of chips, is hearty and hits the spot right on target. Delicious!

Two of my favorite cold choices are the tuna panini (delightfully seasoned, and including baby greens and tomato, $5), and the appropriately named “Give Thanks” (turkey, cranberry sauce, avocado, and baby greens, $6). Both were fresh, generous and made for a satisfying lunch.

And last, but not least the mini-doughnuts. They are delicious and addictive. 12 for three bucks, and 30 for six bucks. I have to stop myself from eating them, ‘nuff said?

9 Westminster Avenue, 310.314.6458.

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