The sad task fell on me to procure food for the reception at my in-laws' house after my father-in-law's funeral yesterday. The funeral was at Mt. Sinai (next to Forest Lawn, near the L.A. Zoo), and I wanted to find something (a) relatively nearby, so I could pick up the food and get it to the house before everyone showed up after the funeral, and (b) acceptable to a group that would be at least 50% old Jewish folks.
A little web searching led me to Billy's Deli at 216 N. Orange St. in Glendale. From their very large catering menu (posted on their website), I picked stuffed eggs (what I would call deviled eggs), mini potato knishes, meatballs in sweet/sour sauce, lox/cream cheese spread, bagels, herring in sour cream, rye bread, potato salad, and cole slaw. I had no idea how many people might show up, but was shooting for ample food for 50. The tab came to about $485 (plus tax), and I asked Gloria, who apparently handles catering, to have it ready for pickup at 11:30.
When I arrived at 11:30 everything was ready to go. The garnishing on the eggs, potato salad, cole slaw and herring was very attractive, and the hot dishes (knishes and meatballs) were piping hot and ready. A couple of polite busboys helped me and my son load it all into the car. I was in and out of there in 10 minutes, no problems, no surprises.
And everything was just terrific. I particularly liked the potato salad (best I've had in a long time) and the herring (not just thrown into sour cream, but nicely spiced), but each dish was excellent. A lot of the guests -- and we are talking about people who know a good knish when they taste one -- asked me where I had gotten the food, and seemed surprised ("Glendale?!?") to find out. And the amount of food was more than ample for the crowd, which was closer to 60 than 50.
Especially considering that the choice had been essentially a shot in the dark, I was much more than pleased at how good everything was. I will certainly go back and see how they do on a pastrami sandwich.
216 N Orange St, Glendale, CA 91203
Billy's Deli & Cafe
5160 W 190th St, Torrance, CA 90503