Canter's Fairfax is refreshing its dated deli-style menu with some new items and deleting a few lesser-ordered dishes. Times change, after all, even at institutions like Canter's. Nothing groundbreaking, but KCET's Julie Wolfson says the additions include chocolate chip banana pancakes, four kinds of Benedict dishes for breakfasts, new salads — a wedge, a caprese, and spinach with feta and roasted almonds — and a trio of new burgers: Hawaiian with grilled pineapple, a bacon bleu-cheese burger and a pastrami burger topped with sautéed onions, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing. There is also a new menu of panini melts.
Out are short ribs, canned salmon, a triple-decker sandwich with tongue, macaroni salad and peppered beef. "If people complain, we will let them know that we needed the room for the newer items and those were the ones that we didn't really want people to order anyway," says Marc Canter, who took over from his father some years ago. "Some of the items we can still make for people if they ask. It's not the first time we took things off the menu."
Canter's has also added a cocktail menu available in the dining room as well as in the Kibitz Room lounge. Alex Canter, a University of Wisconsin-Madison student and Marc's son, says he's been pushing for changes to keep up with the popularity of late-night dining by people leaving Hollywood clubs. "The newer delis in Hollywood like Kitchen 24 are focusing on their bars and nightlife," Alex Canter said. "Since we are open 24 hours, we want to focus on not only our food but also the whole atmosphere of being here. Our customers can order cocktails in the Kibitz Room and in the deli. I worked on creating things that complement the food."
For some reason the KCET headline announces a "changing of the guard at Canter's," but not really. Just one of the family's periodic light touch-ups.
Canter's, as most Angelenos probably know, started in Boyle Heightsin 1931 and moved to Fairfax Avenue as the Eastside Jewish community moved west. In 1953 Canter's took over the former Esquire movie theater and moved to the current location, adding the lounge next door in 1961.
And yes, we know some of the Canter's neon signs don't use an apostrophe, but some do — and the family uses the singular possessive pretty much everywhere else.