Gourmet Detective
Carvery Kitchen
A Divine Deli Experience

by P.P.
How many commercials and printed food advertisements have had your mouth watering over that perfectly prepared sandwich, sub or burger? Whether it’s on a 14 foot high billboard or your high-definition TV screen, those sandwiches look scrumptious. Now, when you go to order that sandwich, how often does it actually look as good as its model? More often than not, the lettuce is wilted and the bread is partially stale. So when I saw an ad image of Carvery Kitchen’s Corned Beef Brisket Dip, I wasn’t expecting the real thing to look as delicious when placed on a plate in front of me. As it turns out, Carvery Kitchen is the exception to the disappointing sandwich ad rule. Tender pieces of corned beef marinated (for one week), cut and layered in between a freshly baked soft baguette with a side of peppercorn au jus. It was picture perfect!
In the heart of Ocean Park in Santa Monica, CA, Carvery Kitchen understands “the art of the deli.” Fresh meat, bread, condiments and salads made and cured in-house every day. When the deli opened over a year ago, Chef Roman Shishalovsky had the goal of providing healthy, fresh and tasty “toasted and roasted” food. Born in the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War, in the Republic of Uzbekistan, Roman went from being a seven-time Greco-Roman wrestling champion to pursuing his true passion: food. ‘Roman the Wrestler’ became ‘Roman the Chef, attacking his new profession with the same dedication. He became an elite chef who helped to create the restaurant named Rendezvous, which became the most famous restaurant in Uzbekistan.
Roman eventually learned the craft of baking and bread-making in Kansas City before moving to Los Angeles, where he developed Roman’s Fresh Bakery and Grill in Sherman Oaks. A few years later, with the help of his daughters, Diana and Karina, Roman created his dream restaurant with the concept of fast casual dining and fresh ingredients. Patrons can dine in, carry out or even have their next party catered.

I visited Roman’s Carvery Kitchen on one of the hottest days of the summer. Diana greeted me and guided me through the menu, pointing out her favorite dishes. Of course, the brisket was the first mentioned! To remedy the heat, their homemade chilled Gazpacho ($4.95/$7.50) seemed like a great way to start the CK experience.
If you want to sample the best that Carvery has to offer, then you want to taste all of their deli meats, which are available as a Prime Dipper Sandwich or as a Wrap option: thinly sliced Roast Beef, roasted hand-carved lemon Chicken Breast, Mongolian Pulled Pork Dip, Soy-ginger braised pork in the Bahn Mi Supreme and the roasted Turkey Dip. If it’s fish that’s on your mind, their Pesto Salmon can be served ciabatta or pizza style. My top recommendation is their Corned Beef Brisket Dip ($11.45). It melts in your mouth with the warm au jus.
Carvery’s Cheezzeta open face crisp, which can be described as a pizza but is much more health conscious, is served on a thin white or wheat tortilla crust. They added some brisket to the five-cheese Italian medley, chock full of Oaxaca string cheese with artichoke-olive tapenade, herb roasted veggies like carmelized peppers with lemon-basil pesto ($8.95). Without the meat, this is great for vegetarians.
For the surf and turf fans, Po’ Boys Pork & Shrimp is packed with braised soy-ginger pork, mustard greens, spicy shrimp scampi, pickled jalapeno and sweet & spicy BBQ chili sauce. ($14.95)
Although I’m someone who doesn’t always crave greens, Carvery has a delicious variety of salads and healthy sides.
I recommend:
Avocado Salad with honey-chia seed vinaigrette
Shaved Brussels Salad with dried cranberries
Bloody Mary Artichoke Salad with herb-marinated artichoke hearts and Bloody Mary tomato salsa
Succotash Salad with edamame, corn, black beans, tomato, cucumber, spinach, etc.
Open daily, this is a great deli spot for a casual lunch with friends. You can sit inside or enjoy their booths outside.
As the famous cookbook author and food enthusiast James Beard once said, "Too few people understand a really good sandwich." I can attest that Chef Roman Shishalovsky and his Carvery Kitchen understand quite well!

3101 Ocean Park Blvd # 105
Santa Monica, CA 90405
Restaurant Tel:  (310)  450.0880
Catering Tel: (310)  450.0881