Let the good times Roll (‘n Rye)

Iconic eateries don’t come into town – towns are built around them. Rita Zide’s Roll ‘n Rye is one such restaurant, feeding residents and employees of Culver City for nearly 50 years.

Zide, who is of such stature in the community to simply be called “Rita,” was practically born in a delicatessen. Her father owned a deli at Eight and Los Angeles streets in downtown L.A., where the 10-year-old Rita worked as a delivery girl, learning the family business. The deli moved to nearby Culver City in 1963, and a decade later Rita bought the restaurant from her father, becoming the sole proprietor.

Even as demographics change, one generation of diners after another has flocked to the restaurant. “We’re seeing third- and fourth-generations,” Zide says.

And it’s small wonder – with about 120 items on the menu, Roll n’ Rye has something for everyone. An entire page of the menu is devoted to vegetarian dishes. Everything is made on the premises, including Salomon Perez’s famous Matzo ball soup. Turkeys and briskets are cooked in the kitchen, within sight of the patrons. The sky-high sandwich is a particular favorite. It’s so piled so high, it nearly requires a building permit.

But apart from the fantastic food, many people choose this deli for the friendly service and timeless atmosphere that Zide describes as old-fashioned. Diners have grown accustomed to the surroundings and the staff, many of whom have become part of the Roll ‘n Rye family. “People stay here,” she says.

Holidays are special occasions at the restaurant. Today, St. Patrick’s Day, diners can enjoy the traditional corned beef and cabbage. And for Passover, Seder dinners are served up for anyone who prefers to congregate at the restaurant, rather than at home. Roll ‘n Rye also provides catering.

Roll ‘n Rye is at 10990 Jefferson Blvd., in the Studio Village Shopping Center. For more information, call (310) 390-3497 or go to rollnrye.com.