Dining Review: Serious Deli Comes to Thousand Oaks

I was on the next to the last page of the updated version of Anthony Bourdain’s red hot best-seller “Kitchen Confidential.” The famed foodie was in the middle of a pompous rant about the superiority of New York cuisine. “Deli,” he wrote, “we own it. You don’t. Even Los Angeles with no shortage of Jews, can’t get it right.”

Clearly this man has never been to Nate n’ Al’s.

Growing up in Beverly Hills, bagel, lox and cream cheese platters, kippers, smoked whitefish, matzo brei and cheese blintzes made up a sacred Sunday morning ritual.

The same wise cracking, blue-haired waitresses had been on the job for decades shuttling between the celebrity-filled red naugahyde booths and brown Formica tables.

Even after moving to Malibu, slogging into town for a bowl of steaming hot chicken soup was well worth the drive.

Fortunately, getting that taste of deli heaven has just gotten a whole lot easier because Nate n’ Al’s has splashed down at The Lakes in Thousand Oaks.

You’ll find the same great mouthwatering menu and the same family feel plus something even the original can’t offer – a large outdoor patio, lush landscaping and a cool breeze.

On one recent visit, the Sunday brunch crowd was busy tucking in to everything from lox, eggs and onions to corned beef hash, washing it down with the classic taste of Dr. Brown’s Cream Soda.

After scarfing down the customary bowl of new pickles, dill pickles, sauerkraut and pickled tomatoes, we were ready to order. We decided on three all time favorites – the world famous Hollywood sandwich with tender and perfectly seasoned corned beef, crispy cold slaw and tangy Russian dressing, a classic Ruben and a bowl of kreplach soup.

The sandwiches were just as good as I remembered them, hefty and delicious on soft, homemade rye bread containing perfectly sliced melt-in-your mouth meat. The soup was as warm and comforting as a Jewish grandmother.

There are lots of non deli options on the menu like Greek salad, Chinese chicken salad, garden burgers, eggs Florentine and a fresh fruit bowl filled with cantaloupe, honeydew, strawberries, grapes and blueberries.

If you don’t feel like dining in, there’s always take out. Even better, this stellar deli delivers to Malibu. If you are having a party, let them do the work. If your platters add up to more than 75 bucks, delivery is free. It’s delicious and such a deal!

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