By Mark Hancock, San Francisco Food Correspondent
I rolled down from S.F. with my main squeeze, the pugs and a mighty hunger stirred by two hours of Santa Barbara’s best bumper-to-bumper.  I craved solid, hearty grub to alleviate my road fatigue.   No ordinary grub would do; we’re talking comfort food and lots of it.  My future in-laws suggested lunch at “the deli” – you know, THE deli.  Agoura’s Famous Deli. I’m told the currency of Agoura’s deli realm is minted right at 5915 Kanan Road.  And yes, dear reader, run over and cash in for your next meal.
This was my first nosh at Agoura’s Famous Deli.  As a recovering East-coaster there are certain qualities a restaurant must display in order to be properly classified as a “deli.”  Upon entering with our party of five we were warmly greeted and  I immediately spied the dessert case full of cheesecake, macaroons, and most everything swimming in oversized dark chocolate swaddling.  We’re off to an excellent start.  But are there Black and White cookies?  Check.  Pastel-ish caricatures of famous patrons and not-so-famous regulars plastered on the walls?  Check.  Halvah offered as a take-away treat? Check.  First impressions prove that Agoura Famous delivers.
As we were sitting down my companions blurted out their orders and declared my request to open the menu unnecessary.  Two burgers and two Chinese chicken salads.  Two sides of fries, crispy.  Two orders of bagel crisps, one cinnamon raisin. Four sides of homemade Russian dressing for dipping the fries and bagel chips, of course.  I opted for the kosher hot dog, grilled – my standard deli order. Marcie, a familiar face to our crew and one heck of waitress, took our order with ease.
Our meal was delivered promptly from the kitchen within 10-15 minutes.  The burgers were scrumptious.  Thick, juicy, well seasoned and quite a value for the price.  My companions loaded up their burgers and fries with the homemade Russian dressing. This stuff is arguably nectar and ambrosia in one.  It complements the burgers, fries, and bagel chips perfectly with its slight tang and sweetness.  And those fries!  Crispy on the outside, steamy and dense on the inside.  My kosher dog was grilled to precision – slightly charred, juicy and with the faint garlicky kick one expects from America’s iconic treat.  My companions were equally pleased with their Chinese chicken salads.  Alas, I was too full to try a bite, but even so, nobody was interested in sharing!
When in need of an authentic deli experience, or simply authentic comfort food surrounded by authentic people, head on over to Agoura Famous Deli.  Although the portions are huge don’t expect to bring leftovers home – unless, of course, you succumb to the sweet temptation of the dessert case on your way out.  Next time I’ll be taking half a dozen Black and White cookies to go, thank you.

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