Where best to get a heaping pastrami on rye at an old school deli? Or perhaps a good corned beef sandwich?
Either way, you may not have to go very far.
Canter’s Delicatessen and Restaurant, the landmark Fairfax District deli, has started up a food truck, following Santa Monica eatery Border Grill as among the few established brick-and-mortars to get into the flourishing street vendor game dominated by hip fusion food startups.
The truck is the brainchild of one of the younger members of the family-owned restaurant: Bonnie Bloomgarden, the 28-year-old great-granddaughter of Ben Canter, one of the brothers who founded Canter’s in 1931.
“I didn’t go to business school. I play rock and roll music, and this is just what I thought I could do,” said Bloomgarden, who manages the truck and can be found dishing out Reubens, matzoh ball soup and other Jewish delicacies.
Bloomgarden had the idea for the truck while living in New York, where she worked in a taco truck in addition to singing and playing keyboard in a bluesy garage band. When she moved back to Los Angeles several months ago, she convinced the family to get a truck, which opened for business in March.
She’s still figuring out a niche for the truck, which was spotted serving the Miracle Mile lunch crowd one day, and fending off hordes of hipsters the next at Echo Park hangouts such as the Short Stop, Little Joy and El Prado.
Sandwiches are smaller and cheaper than the ones served at the Fairfax location, ranging from $5 for a grilled cheese to $10.50 for a Reuben.
“Some people still ask me for a taco, and then start speaking to me in Spanish,” she said. “I think no matter what, it’s like having a billboard or commercial for the restaurant.”