Delphi Greek Cuisine – We All Need an "Olive" in Our Lives

delphi greek cuisine, westwood, los angeles, ca

Delphi Greek Cuisine
1383 Westwood Blvd. (@ Rochester)
Los Angeles, CA 90024
310.478.2900

If you have been following along in my Delicious Life, you know some very key things about me because they are things I tend to repeat about myself over and over in a strange, self-centered OCD-ish manner. I don’t fly; I like neither foie gras nor caviar, but I love nachos and strong, oily fish (I’d be willing to try them together); I {heart} Tony Bourdain, Gordon Ramsay, and Tyler Florence, but I have nothing but envious contempt for Rachael Ray and Sandra Lee; I am jobless, I am unemployed, oh yeah, and I don’t work full-time; and one that I haven’t mentioned in a while, which bears worth repeating now – I don’t like movies so much that I could use a much stronger term and say “the big screen.”

The thing is, I think that all previous proclamations of a deep-seated hatred for movies have been erroneous. They weren’t completely false; they were just slightly mistaken. Misunderstandings. Misinterpretation. Missamerica, i.e. convincing on the outside, but empty on the inside.

I am beginning to realize that I do not hate movies.

There are many movies I love so much I could watch over and over, like American Beauty, Memento, Tombstone, etc. Therefore, it cannot the movie itself, though I can’t always say that because sometimes, for example in the case of oh, say, Cruel Intentions, it is the movie. But my general statement of hating movies was grossly misrepresented sweeping misrepresentation of overgeneralization.

I don’t hate movies; I hate going to the movies.

I do not like to leave my house because it requires everything I hate about LA – I have to shower and get ready because I am going out in public, even though 90% of “public” takes place in darkness. omg, I might even have to put on makeup because a good friend of mine once told me that I should never leave my house without makeup, or at least a little bit of mascara. Not only do I have to drive, but I have to battle traffic because most people see movies at a time that requires driving during peak travel rush hours (pl. because we wouldn’t have KNX1070 traffic reports every six minutes if it only lasted for one hour). I have to park. I have to pay for parking. I have to look for parking. I hate parking, especially when it comes to movie theatres because a seating capacity of 400 people arrive at the theatre in the tiny 20 minute window that is enough time to park and get inside, but not really because that 2 minutes is exaclty when 400 people are all trying to park at the same time, and competing with 1600 other people who are there for the four other movies that are showing at or about the same time.

Movies are expensive. Food is expensive-er. Sanity is the most expensive of all when I have to take into account that my seating options are limited because what was once a 400 capacity theater is really only 20 seats for me because I have to sit in the aisle seat. I have been cursed with a small bladder.

Theaters are dirty. Sure there are uniformed high school kids who’d rather be upstairs getting high than down on the floor sweeping up popcorn, but have you seen those 40 year old brooms and dustpans they use? They need a Dyson to suck up all those unpopped kernels, and while we’re at it, they could use a Swiffer doused in turbo strength Pine Sol to sop up the dried, sticky soda on the floor.

I will not talk about how dirty, filty, unsanitary the seats are. It is too digusting to even think about.

The final conclusion is that I do not like the whole experience from online ticketing to final credits, of going to the movies in a movie theatre.

But give me a DVD, a delivery order from All India Cafe of samosas, saag paneer and a thick, chewy naan, and I am Siskel, Ebert, and Roeper all rolled into one. I will watch that movie, I will watch it twice, I will even take notes if I have to. If I don’t have to go to a theatre, I might even watch Cruel Intentions without making so much as a *sigh*. I still might roll my eyes, Sarah Michelle Gellar.

Despite this grand revelation that I am allergic to movie theaters and not movies themselves, I went to see Little Miss Sunshine in a theatre anyway. So the true epiphany is still unfolding. I don’t like to drive far to go to big blockbuster movie theatres. The little ones that are nearby aren’t so bad.

I loved Little Miss Sunshine. I didn’t just love it. I luuuuurved Little Miss Sunshine. I laughed. I cried. I laughed so hard it made me cry, and that wasn’t even at the funny parts when everyone else was laughing. Since this is a food blog, the
only thing I will mention about the movie is that YES, I noticed that they ate Dinah’s Fried Chicken for dinner at home and Pann’s was the diner in which they were talking about ice cream in a way that made me wish someone had told me that same thing when I was little, too.

After the movie though, we needed a bite to eat because another thing I am realizing is that theaters are not crowded when you go early in the evening. It just means dinner has to wait a little longer, and having a reason not to eat at both 5:00 and 10:00 PM, but only once at 8:00 PM is a good thing for an almost fat food blogger like myself.

delphi greek cuisine, westwood, los angeles, ca
that’s greek for “delphi”

We walked across the street to Delphi Greek Cuisine. The evening was unfurling itself so conveniently that I had to wonder why it has taken me 30+ years to realize that movies can be fun.

Delphi is a place that I used to see almost once every other week when I was manic about my manicure. I would only ever go to Candy to get my full set and I would certainly notice the places along Westwood Blvd that seemed to have been there for 30 years, but never thought to try them. Candy moved and opened her own salon somewhere else. I bite my nails now.

It was late when we stepped into Delphi. Except for one lonely man sitting at a small table in the dead center of the room, nibbling pita bread over a paper in another language, the tiny place was empty. Several tables scattered around the perimeter of the room were still littered with dirty dishes, wine glasses, and empty baskets, evidence of previous diners, and a sign that in the rush, there wasn’t time to clean up. The busboy was putting away dishes from tables that had been untouched. Were they closing up shop for the night?

A big burly man with long, wild hair appeared from behind a wall in the back and filled up the tiny dining room. “Anywhere!” he welcomed us with a grand sweep of his arm that could have knocked over every table in the room. Maybe his name was Nikos. Or maybe it was Bob. Who knows? Even if Delphi was ready to shut down, Nikos would stay open for us. We sat down at a table against one of the walls – all of them painted over completely with loud murals on a bright Aegean blue background. Depending on your mood, it could have been festive or obnoxious.

Nikos suggested a couple of Greek wines which we were happy to try. There was nothing particularly remarkable about them. They were light, crisp, simple for drinking instead of water. We didn’t order much food from the menu of typical Greek foods, just a few meze to accompany the wine and our talk about the movie. I couldn’t stop talking about how much I loved Olive and wished I could be as loving, trusting, confident, and positive as she was.

delphi greek cuisine, westwood, los angeles, ca, pita bread
eat-a pita
delphi greek cuisine, westwood, los angeles, ca - assorted salata
quite a spread

An order of assorted spreads came out with a basket of warm, thick pita bread. Hummus and tzatziki have become a staple in my diet at home, so I tasted them, noted they were good, then paid careful attention to the melitzanosalata and taramosalata between statements of “Remember that part where…?”

The melitzanosalata was similar to baba ghanouj, except that the eggplant flavor was much milder, probably due to the cream or cheese with which it was mixed. I wasn’t sure which it was (cream or cheese or both). I had fallen in love with taramosalata, a whipped cheese and fish egg spread, when I tried it for the first time a year ago at Greek Islands in Chicago, despite my initial skepticism about fish eggs. Delphi’s taramosalata had an extremely strong fishiness to it, which would have been overwhelming on its own, but perfectly balanced with the three other things on the plate.

delphi greek cuisine, westwood, los angeles, ca, tiropitakia
tiny plump. like me.

My first instinct was to order spanakopita, but I was convinced toward the tiropitakia. The three tiny, toasted triangles of phyllo were topped with a generous sprinkle of grated cheese, and were oozing cheese from cracks in the pastry. Nikos smiled with a single word “hot!” when he placed them on the table, but I did not heed his warning. I burned my mouth in the most painfully delicious way.

We didn’t stay much longer, mindful of the late hour. I would go back to Delphi to try the rest of their menu. I would go back to see a movie at that theater. Heck, I’d even replay the whole evening, Little Miss Sunshine and Delphi together, again.

** a year ago today, i suck bones dry (oxtail soup) **

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  • onetomato

    oh my god you crack me up with your germaphobic account of the movie theater. only you would notice the dustpans and brooms they use!
    did you know that tyler florence sold out to applebee’s? yes, it seems his appeal has reached the middle aged housewives of the midwest.
    and of course you have to dress up for the movies…you never know…you could run into “that girl who stole your boyfriend freshman year in college,” on your way to the bathroom. :)

  • Julie

    I loved Little Miss Sunshine too. How could you not? I actually grew up in Torrance, the next city over from Redondo, so that was kinda funny. I only order meze at Greek restaurants and the dips are my favorite. I luuuurve taramosalata, but those cheesy phyllo triangles sound awfully nice.

  • sarah

    onetomato: *sigh* i know. my darling tyler and applebee’s…applebee’s?!? i mean come on, how could he have stooped so low? at the very least he could have gone with friday’s!

    julie: isn’t it funny how we could recognize all those places? i totally knew where that hotel was where they held the pageant.

  • nosh

    Now that Mama Voula’s has served its last raw garlicky crisp fry in West L.A., I was craving a gyro the other day and headed to Daphne’s in Westwood Village, a page of discount coupons in hand. But after seeing the grey, non-caramelized, insipid cylinders of meat completely uncrusted by the vertical rotisserie, I left my coupons on the counter for the next unfortunate customer and had an In’and’Out burger instead.

  • sarah

    nosh: that is SUCH a bummer about mama voula’s, isn’t it? though i think i read somewhere that they didn’t completely shut down — just moved. of course, if they went anywhere east of the 405, i am doomed to daphne’s too.

  • Victor Agreda, Jr.

    put some anchovies or sardines into Ragu’s lamely bland cheese sauce, blend, pour over chips, sprinkle fresh salsa on top. a little extra, thin lines of white (melted, obviously) cheese doesn’t hurt

  • sarah

    victor: you had me at “anchovies”

  • hermz

    I saw Little Miss Sunshine with Ira, and Chris & Liz. Afterwards we didn’t have Greek food, but we went to Johnnie’s Pastrami to teach them the wonders of those chili cheese fries. I’d gladly repeat that night, both the movie and the food.

  • Anonymous

    Hi! Visit http://delphi-greece.blogspot.com/ for more on Delphi!

  • Anonymous

    Hi! Visit http://delphi-greece.blogspot.com/ for more on Delphi!

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