Izzy Freeman was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. When he was little, he always loved eating at a deli. The big sandwiches, the pickles, the smells, and tastes, they were part of his childhood. He said he dreamed that one day he would own a deli.
In 1953 he moved to Los Angeles with his family.
He said his dream remained: opening a New York style deli in Los Angeles.
In 1972, through his involvement with City of Hope as a volunteer, he was fortunate to meet Santa Monica developer Ernie Auerbach. He discussed the idea of opening a deli in Santa Monica.
In August 1973, Freeman opened Izzy’s Deli, the first major deli to open in Los Angeles in a decade.
Freeman said Izzy’s Deli was an immediate success.
“With enthusiastic customers waiting in lines around the block, it was obvious that Santa Monica was ready for a taste of New York,” Freeman said. “Our overstuffed sandwiches, homemade soups, fresh roasted turkey, great rye bread, and New York style corned beef and pastrami have made Izzy’s Deli an institution in Santa Monica.
Over the years, Freeman said Izzy’s Deli has received many awards including one for the ‘Best Designed Restaurant.’
He said Izzy’s Deli was certainly a dream come true.
“Our quality, service, and New York style deli have remained consistent through the years,” he said. “Our food is prepared by the same family of chefs since 1973. A number of our wait staff have been with us since the day we opened. I am especially pleased to have several second-generation family members now working at Izzy’s.”
Over the past 40 years, Freeman said Izzy’s Deli has served 2,890,737 corned beef on rye, 4,635,512 matzo balls, and 6,386,129 kosher pickles.
Izzy’s Deli is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Over the years it has been voted as “Best All Night Restaurant” in the Los Angeles area as well as receiving other accolades.
Freeman said at almost any time, patrons might see celebrities, athletes, writers, old friends or, perhaps, new friends.
“Our Celebrity Wall of Fame is always fascinating to look at and quite a topic of conversation around town,” he said.
Izzy’s Deli is located at 1433 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica.
Copyright © 2011 by Santa Monica Mirror. All rights reserved.