By Sara Hahn, Senior, Mayfield HS
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Canter's restaurant on Fairfax. Very famous.
Photo by Sarah Singer, 18, Blair HS

Looking for a place to go with lots of entertainment and fun things to do?

The Fairfax District probably shouldn’t be your first destination. The Fairfax District, located around Fairfax Avenue and Third Street, is well-known for its Jewish population. If you’d like a taste of Jewish food and culture, it’s a great place to spend a day. I went there to check it out with my friend.

Naturally, the first thing we wanted to do was eat. We chose Fairfax’s most famous restaurant, Canter’s Restaurant Delicatessen & Bakery, 419 N. Fairfax Ave. It’s open 24-hours a day and offers an enormous menu! You can sit in one of the 70s-style booths and select from a huge array of food. Some of the food is distinctly Jewish, such as knishes, matzo ball soup and Reuben sandwiches. A Reuben is corned beef, sauerkraut and cheese on rye. You can also check out the deli, where you can order Schmaltz herring and gefilte fish, or the bakery, which has awesome desserts.

Let me warn you about something—Canter’s is famous for having cranky waitresses, and ours was no exception. But the service was good.

I ordered a Reuben and the portions were huge! My friend ordered the Thanksgiving meal and was stuffed. Unless you get appetizers, plan on spending about $15 per person on a meal there. That’s not cheap to my pocketbook.

After lunch, we headed down the block and found the Cineplex Odeon Theaters, located at the corner of Fairfax Avenue and Beverly Boulevard. Here’s where you get some of your money back from the expensive lunch. At $3 a seat, the price can’t be beat! But at first I was reluctant to see a movie there because I wondered if the theater would be seedy. Actually, it’s great—it’s very clean, the seats are comfortable, and there are never many people in the audience! Popcorn, candy and drinks cost the same as any movie theater. Beware: this theater only shows movies that opened months ago in regular theaters. That explains the cheap ticket price.

Food is really the best thing that the Fairfax District has to offer. There’s a kosher pizza restaurant called Pizza Delight, 435 N. Fairfax Ave. The most charming place is Eat a Pita, a Mediterranean cuisine restaurant located at Rosewood and Fairfax avenues that has a beautiful shady area to sit!

There are also lots of thrift stores on Fairfax Avenue. We walked around the Council Thrift Shop, the Community Thrift Store, and Out of the Closet —which was the best of the three. Around the corner at Oakwood and Fairfax avenues, you’ll find Al’s Newstand. It’s full of magazines and newspapers. If you’d like to see some Jewish knick-knacks, called tchatchkes, visit Solomon’s. Atara’s Bookstore at 450 N. Fairfax Ave. has everything from stickers in Hebrew to Hebrew-bead bracelets and key chains, but be warned—some people working there were very rude when I visited.

Finally, Fairfax offers some unique entertainment. There’s Bang Improv Studios, located on the west side of the street, which offers comedy in the evening. And there’s also the Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N. Fairfax Ave. It shows silent films from the likes of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton at 8 p.m. on Friday through Sunday. It’s near Fairfax High.

If you’re Jewish or interested in Judaism, Fairfax is a definitely a worthwhile trip. If not, I still highly recommend a visit to Canter’s and to the Cineplex Odeon—it’s definitely worth your time and money! Enjoy your trip!

Getting there

Driving: From the Santa Monica Freeway (10), exit on Fairfax. Drive north. Park near Third or Beverly.
Public transportation: Bus 217 serves Fairfax Ave.