Fried Royale at Rutts Hawaiian Café (Culver City, CA)

The part of the family that lives in West LA loves Rutt’s, a diner in Culver City that has been serving Hawaiian food for over 20 years. After all these years, the food remains very popular with locals and fans. While there are lots of Hawaiian favorites on the menu, the most popular is the Royale, eggs scrambled with a choice of meat (or not) served over white rice.

Several family members have switched over to the fried Royale, which essentially combines the Royale like fried rice. It’s easy to miss this since it isn’t a separate menu item, but rather an option offered in the descriptive text under “Rutt’s Famous Royales.” This version is tastier in our opinion, the original suffering from a certain blandness. The meat choices include char siu (pictured above), Portuguese sausage, Spam, Kalua pork, bacon, hamburger (loco moco), chicken, teriyaki beef, even smoked salmon.

We haven’t ordered anything else here to pass judgment on other dishes. It’s good to have a local go-to Hawaiian restaurant when the urge hits.

Rutt’s Hawaiian Café
12114 Washington Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90066
Menu, map

Johnnie’s Hot Pastrami Sandwich (Culver City, CA)

The best hot pastrami sandwiches are piled high with sliced fatty meat, moist and succulent in its own seasoned, beefy juices. What passes for pastrami nowadays in more health-conscious restaurants is revisionist, an abomination to the sandwich, an insult to taste and texture, usually served with lean and chewy slices of meat that bear little resemblance to the real stuff. There is a place for healthy food, but a deli (or burger joint) is not one of them.

In New York City back in 2001, we made sure to have the one at Carnegie Deli. The one-pound sandwich is made with rye bread and served with a bowl of pickles.

In the Los Angeles area where I grew up, Johnnie’s in Culver City has a huge following. The sandwiches in this part of the country are served on French rolls. It is easily one of the best things between two slices of bread in the LA area.

Johnnie’s Pastrami
4017 South Sepulveda Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90230
Menu, map