Ellie’s Deli, extension of Chef Jason Witzl’s restaurant family, to open this week

Ellie’s Deli, Chef Jason Witzl’s more casual offshoot in the space that formerly housed Ellie’s, will open Thursday, July 9 in Alamitos Beach.

“We have a lot more happening,” Witzl said. “On top of the deli, we will be opening a small grocery store inside as well with organic harvest produce and take away food. In all honesty, this is the food I eat when I’m not cooking—so it’s exciting to get to bring it to Alamitos Beach.”

As Witzl prepares to move Ellie’s into the ambitious art-meets-food space known as the Compound—joining The Hideaway, Pho Hong Phat, and other culinary gems in the Zaferia neighborhood—the original location in Alamitos Beach will become the straight-up, all-out Italian deli Witzl originally envisioned.

The Italian sub (front) with the pastrami sandwich (back) from Ellie’s Deli. Photo by Brian Addison.

When Witzl first opened Ellie’s in Alamitos Beach, he had no intention of becoming a high-end spot serving $30 pasta dishes. In fact, he’d intended for Ellie’s to be a deli, a place where stacks of calabrese, mortadella, capocollo, chicken parm, and meatballs were stuffed between slices of hearty bread.

But, like many chefs, his mind raced and he opted for a last-minute turn highlighting the more formal aspects of Italian cuisine merged with Californian sensibility and, with it, came the crowds that adored the food but expressed frustration with its tiny space as well as the neighborhood’s infamous lack of parking.

Even more? Witzl is having fun.

“We are having a ton of fun getting, cooking and eating this food,” Witzl said. “And for real: Don’t sleep on the Italian sub.”

For more information on Ellie’s and Ellie’s Deli, click here to read the original piece announcing the move and opening.

Ellie’s Deli is located at 204 Orange Ave.

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Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 16 nominations and two additional wins for Best Political Commentary for his work at KCET and Best Blog for Longbeachize, a section of the Long Beach Post. Brian currently serves as a columnist and editor for the Long Beach Post.