The New York-inspired Italian-American sandwich shop sprouted a second location, where Angelenos and former East Coasters looking for bodega-style breakfast (hello, BEC), cold cuts on sesame-crusted baguettes and chicken parm dripping with mozzarella can take a seat at the diner-style counter or—when late-night launches in another month or so—grab a bite from the walk-up window right on Spring Street. It’s also where you can buy some of the best restaurant merch in town, which should come as no surprise given the ownership.
You’ll probably hear co-owner Paul “Paulie” James before you see him, his Queens accent ringing through the shop, whereas you’ll probably spot designer and co-owner Jon Buscemi almost immediately: Just look for the best streetwear fit in the place and you’ll find him in no time. Uncle Paulie’s third owner, John Rosenberg, gives Buscemi a run for his money with a denim jacket embroidered with a depiction of a giant piece of prosciutto—what we’re saying is this spot has one foot in the fashion world and one foot in the restaurant scene, which has more than a little to do with how the 2017-founded Beverly Grove restaurant fast became one of the coolest delis in Los Angeles.
At the new Downtown location, they’re doing things just as coolly but a little differently, and with big plans. There’s no cold-cut case, for instance, so you won’t be buying London broil by the pound, but you can still find sides such as their pasta e fagioli, their caprese and their cucumber fennel salad, plus their jarred goods like the Calabrian chili spread, and pantry items like Monte’s Sauce, made with a 100-plus-year family recipe, which they slather on their parms. And because of that new proximity to hundreds of offices, condos and apartments, you can bet there's also catering and delivery.
They’ve got all the Beverly Grove cold sandwiches, too, but the new location’s full kitchen opens up a world of gooey, saucy, melty options you could occasionally only find as weekend specials—or never at all—at their first shop. New sandos include the Carmine, made with roast beef, mozzarella and gravy; the Robbie, topping house meatballs with broccoli rabe and shaved parmesan; and the Franny, with fried eggplant, broccoli rabe, ricotta and pesto.
And because the new Paulie’s sits at the base of the Tuck Hotel (a 16-room boutique spot whose new bar, Night Night, opened on Saturday) the Paulie’s team will be in charge of the Tuck’s entire menu, plus late-night bites like parm sliders and charcuterie for the hotel bar.
For now, just look for lunch from 11am to 4pm, with 8am breakfast launching in a week or so, with late-night to follow. And don’t forget to pick up a snapback or a branded lighter while you’re there.
Uncle Paulie’s DTLA is now open at 820 South Spring Street, launching with lunch hours of 11am to 4pm; breakfast, which we can expect in a week or two, will run from 8am to noon, and late-night service will begin in the next month or so. The original Uncle Paulie’s is located at 8369 Beverly Boulevard.