A slice of the East Coast on the East Side…but of course.
It’s not the most visible of places. If you’re looking for it on the street, you might be forgiven for thinking it’s the local liquor store. But no, those are people eating Italian Sausage Sandwiches there. So, food must be involved.
You’re at Eastside Market Italian Deli.
Stepping in is another matter. Inside, Eastside Market Italian Deli looks dark, and more than a little foreboding. Things look like it was all put together in the 1930s. But, you can set that feeling aside, because the mood is friendly, and more than a little efficient too. The folks behind the counter are good guys, but they’re not screwing around either. They want you go get your order in, take your number, so you can clear that line.
So cheap Italian eats of good repute. In Chinatown…deep in the shadow of Dodger Stadium, in the middle of a pretty decent residential area. All that’s missing is a couple of Police–
Oh, there they are. L.A.P.D. kicking back on a lunch break.
So you step up, place your order and wait a couple of minutes until it’s complete. The trick is going to be finding a place to eat it all, because, as unassuming, as dark and out of the way as this place is, it is freakin’ popular.
Me? I ordered up a Italian Sausage Sandwich, and two Cannolis. I got the Sandwich, I got my dessert. The Soda machine is right over there, and…
…man there are no spaces to sit at. None.
Man, Eastside Market Italian Deli is popular.
Okay. There’s a bench by the door. I sit there for a bit, get started. I jump on the first table I see someone leave from and enjoy the rest of the lunch from there.
And man, was it a good lunch. A bunch of awesome on Italian Bread, and I barely broke over ten bucks doing it.
It’s one of the rules (one I should get around to adding). Say what you will about Cops. They know every place in town that has good food, and is cheap.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: I got the Sausage and Meatball Sandwich, and…man was it good. One bite in, and your head will be awash in meaty, sausage…y…goodness.
Sausagey…is that word?
Screw it. We’ll make it a word.
It was it a great Sandwich. What they do here rivals Philippe’s, Coles, or even Little Jewel. Doesn’t surpass those, but it should be mentioned in the conversation. It’s a good piece of cooked sausage, awesome Italian meatballs, some Marinara sauce, some peppers…
Still, all this creates some structural integrity issues.
Yeah, keeping that Sausage and Meatball in the bun together ain’t easy. Getting it all into your mouth is also difficult. The fact that it’s all soaked from the Marinara sauce (and if bread is going to be soaked, you want it to be with Marinara sauce) sets the difficulty setting to “Maximum”.
But man, it’s still damn good.
Follow that up with the Cannoli. And yes, it’s illegal in the State of California to make any mention of Cannoli without this obligatory reference:
The Cannolis as you can see are green, made with Pistachios. They were still sweet, creamy and good. Definitely worth your purchase when you stop by.
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: It’s really going to be finding it. Eastside Market Italian Deli doesn’t scream restaurant when you drive by. It looks like a neighborhood liquor store from the outside. The signs are not in obvious spots, so don’t be surprised if you look twice when looking for it.
PARKING: Eastside Market Italian Deli is situated in a part of Chinatown that overlooks the rest of Chinatown. Point is, there ain’t no Valet, and no lot of it’s own. You’re parking on the street. Mind the signs and the meters.
I parked along Centennial. Same block as the restaurant. No meters there.
Eastside Market Italian Deli
1013 Alpine St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tel: (213) 250-2464
Monday-Friday: 8:00 am – 4:00 pm
Saturday: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm