Back in January when Cardone’s opened up a couple doors down from Dusty’s on Sunset Boulevard, there was rejoicing around these here Silver Lake parts. Promising homemade cheeses and the finest in Italian sammich fare, Cardone’s seemed poised to fill the vacant neighborhood Italian deli niche quite nicely and my wife and I wasted little time giving them a try. In doing so we came away pretty much pleased with the goodness of the food, if not very impressed with either its proportions or the stark, refrigerator-dominated interior accented with folding chair seating and a marked sparcity of ambience that screamed “take out” a lot louder than it did “hang out.”
So why wait almost five months to give the place a looksee? Well, it was triggered by my wife making her first return visit this past weekend and while this might draw fire and ire, the reason for the wide interval between trips is because I’m a cheap bastard. Plain and simply the prices are too high for sammiches too small to make me any sort of regular customer. Their Iow-end Caprese sammich is $7.25, with their Burrata Caprese coming in at $9.25. On the panini side, a grilled cheese is $6.75 and their Prosciutto is $9, with most of their regular deli sammies coming in around $8.25 (exceptions: tuna salad, $6.75; cheese, $7.25).
If that kinda coin sounds totally reasonable then good for you and go enjoy. But when I can roll a couple miles toward downtown to the fabled Eastside Market and get their enough-for-two Roast Beef, Pastrami and Cheeser for $6.30, Cardone’s creations — though fresh and tasty and authentic — can’t help but pale in comparison.
Having said that, I’m glad to see Cardone’s is still here, especially having driven by often these past few months to find it barren of any patronage. But that seems to have changed of late, even if the interior space is still just as “to go” as it’s always been. A price cut or larger portions would bring me back more often, and on the internut end it certainly couldn’t hurt business if they got a real website instead of just this MySpace thing. After the jump are a few more pix from inside the shop and of some of what relatively little you get for the money they charge.
Cardone’s Italian Deli, 3206 W. Sunset Blvd., Los Angeles 90026; 323/906-9080. Hours: Monday/Wednesday-Saturday: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Sunday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.; closed Tuesday. Free delivery.
The Prosciutto panini — $9
Caprese sandwich — $7.25
Capicolla & Provolone — $8.25