bay cities italian deli

Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery
1517 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica, CA , USA

There's a tradeoff to just about everything in L.A. … like, it's 72 and sunny most of the time, but it's also on fire most of the time.

You get the opportunity of your dreams, but it entails getting slapped around by a "Kirk Douglas type."

And you can get one of the best sandwiches you'll ever know, but you have to go to Santa Monica.

I ain't gon' lie, Santa Monica is a hellacious clusterfuck even on its best days. Yet, as with so many other things that go along with a life in L.A., you suck it up, enjoy what you can, and forge ahead until you win that golden statuette.

I myself won in 1991 for Best Acne!

bay cities deli counter crowd

Bay Cities is well-known and loved by locals and tourists alike, all of whom seem to be here all the time, every time I'm here. The deli counter is always stacked several people deep, so you take a number and either wait, or wiggle your way through the narrow aisles to look around at all the great stuff they have.

It's a deli, bakery, market, and who knows what else. I hear they even run baccarat in the back room if you know the password.

So by all means, stock up on fresh pastas and meticulously curated goods from all over. Need really good sardines? They got you. Really expensive pasta sauce? No problem.

But really, the entire operation (and possibly Santa Monica itself) revolves around a happy little package wrapped in white paper, and for once I'm not talking about a drop gun (though I hear you can get those here too).

godmother / works / hot

Large Godmother with the works and hot peppers.

Ranked #11 by Variety on the Most Powerful People In Hollywood list.

The cause of countless L.A. cured meat fevers … both kinds!

the godmother

Now, you can get a small one (but why), or mild peppers (I mean, it's your B-hole), or even another sandwich entirely. I think I ate at least a dozen Godmothers before I even thought about trying the hot counter (which might be where the rill rill gems are, like the eggplant parmesan).

But even if you're one of those folks who ends up being a little blasé about the Godmother, you still gotta try it at some point. It's as essential a part of the L.A. experience as purging one.

Review by La Fée, July 2017