Del Rey Deli Co.

Photo: Joshua Lurie


Photo: Joshua Lurie

The sandwich kings of Playa bring out breakfast

By Joshua Lurie

The name Playa del Rey translates from Spanish as “beach of the king,” and while this neighborhood café is a fair trek up the hill from the edge of the Pacific, it no doubt wears the crown as the best place to eat along this rise of Pershing Drive. Corrina Murdy and Tim Edwards opened their doors back in 2013, in a strip mall along this main traffic corridor from the South Bay to the city, with a menu that focused solely on lunch and brunch offerings. But new inspiration has recently struck, and they’ve worked with Chef Vince Howard to introduce breakfast to the kingdom.

The expanded menu adds three sandwiches to an establishment that proudly claims, “sandwiches are our business.” The newcomers are some worthy contenders, including a pretzel egg sandwich with chipotle Hollandaise sauce; a bagel sandwich with bacon, egg, and cheese; and, best of all, buttery brioche with ham, runny egg, arugula, and chive crème fraîche.

Humberto Raygoza—aka the Chori-Man—used to work at Del Rey Deli Co., and he still makes their in-house chorizo. Raygoza’s Zacatecas-style red chorizo—crumbled pork sausage seasoned with guajillo chiles, garlic, and spiced vinegar—tucks beautifully in a jumbo breakfast burrito with spinach, peppers, eggs, salsa, and molten Cheddar. But if chorizo isn’t your thing (seriously?), then chicken, pork, mushroom, or bacon will more than suffice. Regardless, sour cream and tomatillo salsa will add some two-toned tang to your morning nosh.
Del Rey’s Avocado toast delivers some twists on the ubiquitous LA standby, with toasted Ca’ d’Oro sourdough bread supporting scoops of creamy avocado folded with pungent Gorgonzola and dressed with fried egg, zippy red pepper relish, and cilantro. Less bold but no less delicious options include a bagel featuring silky house-cured lox that comes with the classic accompaniments of sliced tomato, arugula, caper cream cheese, and red onion. There’s also the fiber-rich quinoa breakfast bowl, which piles on the peppers, broccoli, kale, avocado, fried eggs, and your choice of topping. Mushrooms, or pork, perhaps?

The daily specials appear on white butcher paper, and typically include a soup, such as the killer potato-leek soup Howard churns out—made with mirepoix, chicken broth, and spices, then dressed with fresh tarragon leaves. Soup for breakfast, eh? If the king says you can have soup for breakfast, you can have soup for breakfast.


Breakfast: Mon–Fri 8 AM–noon; Sat–Sun 9 AM–4 PM
Store hours: Mon–Fri 11 AM–6 PM; Sat–Sun 9 AM–6 PM

price range

$7 (Parmesan potato hash) to $11 (bagel and house-cured lox)