Show 452, November 20, 2021: The Milky Way, Los Angeles with Nancy Spielberg and Chef Phil Kastel Part One

Nancy Spielberg of the Milky Way

The Milky Way is a kosher dairy restaurant serving New American Kosher food in the heart of the Pico-Robertson neighborhood of Los Angeles, which reopened in February 2019 after the passing of its matriarch, Leah Adler. The menu features many of the restaurant’s original family recipes updated with a fresh twist as well as new dishes that have a global appeal, both for the international Jewish community and the general dining public alike.” All are warmly welcomed.

“Bernie and Leah (Spielberg) Adler opened the doors to Milky Way restaurant (A Kosher Dairy restaurant) in 1977. Their vision was to offer fine kosher food to the Jewish community at a time when such a thing didn’t exist in Los Angeles. Leah wanted to introduce interesting fare to many who had never tasted dishes like Cajun, Mexican, or Thai. Shortly after opening, it was very apparent that the main attraction wasn’t just the food, but was Leah herself! With her unique and exuberant charm; independent and confident style, Leah had the ability to make every guest in the restaurant feel as if they were the most important. People came for the food, but they kept coming back for Leah!”

“Leah disdained being identified as a “kosher deli”! Yes, she served traditional Jewish dishes like blintzes and potato pancakes, but that was where the similarities ended. When Leah would greet each table, she would describe the daily specials with such animation that she would easily convince the table to try them. She was known for her love of classical music, art, denim and Cabernet Sauvignon wine.”

When Leah passed the four Spielberg siblings (including Steven) made the decision to revamp and refresh The Milky Way as a living tribute to their late Mother. Nancy Spielberg became the point person for the Family for the ambitious effort. Well respected chef, Phil Kastel, was engaged as Executive Chef to tweak the recipes and enhance the menu.

For Hanukkah (and beyond) a custom latke kit To-Go (containing 12 latkes) with house-made apple compote and sour cream is now available. Among other menu items The Milky Way is known for are Leah’s cheese blintzes with strawberry preserves and their Halibut, beer-battered fish & chips. Also, trout amandine and other seafood specialties are on the menu. Dessert specialties include a classic cheesecake with blackberry compote and a rich carrot cake with cream cheese icing with toasted coconut.”

The Milky Way is open for Lunch and Dinner Monday through Thursday. Brunch and Dinner on Sundays. Closed for The Sabbath on Friday and Saturday.

Nancy Spielberg (Leah’s youngest child) and Chef Phil Kastel are our guests to chronicle the inspiring revival of The Milky Way.

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