Cool People Who Make Damn Good Food

It would not be an exaggeration to say that restauranteur Sami Othman was raised in a deli. From the age of ten, he worked at his father’s side at the family-owned deli in New York. A quick leaner and an extremely hard worker, he saved enough to open his own deli in 1977 at the age of 16. He acquired the property for his deli from his father. The property had previously been a real estate office that his father had shuttered. Sami named his first restaurant Aziz O Deli, after his father.

He proved to be a natural in the restaurant business. Six months later Sami was able to open several additional delis throughout Long Island, New York. His life changed on a trip to California in 1982. He fell in love with the promise of Los Angeles and decided to sell all of his delis in New York, except for two that he gave to his brothers. Sami and his wife, Maria, packed up their young family and drove cross country to California. He opened his first California deli in Pasadena. Other delis soon followed, including one in South Central Los Angeles.

Since opening his deli in New York as a teenager, Sami had always dreamed of combining a New York style deli with a New Orleans restaurant. He believed that the best Hero sandwiches are from NYC and that the best Po’ Boys sandwiches were in New Orleans. In 2013, his dream finally became a reality. In less than 2 years, Samiand his family opened three Orleans & York Delis in Inglewood, Baldwin Hills and Downtown Los Angeles. They have three additional locations that will soon be opening in Carson, Orange County and the Mid-Wilshire area of Los Angeles, in addition to expanding nationwide.

In 2015, Orleans & York Deli was named the #1 Cajun & Creole Restaurant in Los Angeles by Trip Advisor, and its Po Boy Sandwiches were named the best in Los Angeles by LA Magazine. Now that his children have grown up and assumed important roles in the family business, Sami has several delicious and exciting concepts that he intends to introduce to the LA food scene.