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Current Obsession: The Best Lox In Los Angeles

Photo by Krista Simmons/LAist
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Call us nitpickers or details people, but it's the little things in life—and in the food world—that get us excited. Whether it be an off-the-wall menu item, a particularly stylish bathroom or a restaurant's signature scent, we get stoked on the minutiae that makes our dining scene unique. Consider this the sacred space where we feel safe to express our current obsessions and openly explore our favorite things.

This time around, it's Wexler's Deli lox and bagel.

What it is: Smoked fish is a sacred thing, especially when it comes to the classic deli staple of lox and bagels. With American's bagel-eating roots on the East Coast, it's a common for New Yorkers to complain that it's pretty much impossible to find a decent version here in L.A. Leave it to the new kid on the block to solve all those problems.

Wexler’s—which opened earlier this year at Grand Central Market—is the only Jewish deli in town making its own lox, using farm-raised salmon from Scotland whose cure is just right. There's a sweet luxurious fattiness to their fish, which stands out for its stunning deep pink hue and thin slicing technique, which allows for the lox to melt in your mouth the same way a choice cut of toro might at one of L.A.'s greatest sushi spots.

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The lox is laid atop your personal preference of fixins, ours being an onion-laden everything bagel, seedy on the outside with a perfectly chewy inside; a schmear of cream cheese (we ask for a light shmear so we can really enjoy the flavor of the fish); a thin slice of tomato; slivers of red onion; and a sprinkling of capers. Add a mist of lemon from the wedge served alongside, and you'll forget all about those hankerings for Russ & Daughters.

Why it's rad: We first became fans of Micah Wexler's cooking over at the now-closed Mezze, which abruptly shuttered regardless of his fantastic Middle Eastern-inspired eats. It was a bit of a shock to see the classically-trained restaurant chef resurface at the newly renovated Grand Central Market, attempting to tackle one of the country's most sacred class of establishments—the traditional Jewish deli—in a teensy market stall.

The cooking space at GCM is minuscule compared to a traditional commercial kitchen, but that hasn't stopped Wexler from doing all the smoking—from pastrami to sturgeon to the salmon—in house. Their small, edited menu also slangs egg sandwiches, phosphate sodas, and classic black and white cookies, but the real standouts are the house-cured proteins, sandwiched between perfect bread. (Their rye is also ridiculously good.) Wexler's is the embodiment of the old adage, "Do a few things, and do them well."

How much it'll cost you: The bagel, lox, and cream cheese goes for $10. You can also get the combo with smoked sturgeon for the same price. Be sure to keep an eye out for their smoked fish platter specials, which change daily.

Where to find it: Wexler's Deli is located at 317 S. Broadway, Downtown.

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