On my last visit to Agoura Hills Shopping Center, I instagrammed about Szechuan Place. One Commenter suggested Italia Deli & Bakery in the same strip mall. On my most recent foray to the west Valley, I took the long way home, stopping at Italia for a sandwich.
Gina De Giosa and husband Benito opened Italia Deli & Bakery for business back in 1981, and the family still runs the business, even after winning the lottery in 1995! That’s serious commitment. Italia probably looks pretty similar to how it did three decades back, with aisles of wine, a refrigerated case devoted to grab-and-go-items, and ingredients like San Marzano tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, and 25-year-aged balsamic vinegar. Take a number and sidle up to the marble counter to order from a wall-mounted menu. I opted for Porchetta, which costs $12.99 for a 12-inch sandwich, and $8.99 for a 6-inch version.
No matter the size, slow-roasted, well-spiced pork chunks folded with fennel, onions and celery come on a soft or hard roll, both baked in-house. Garlic spread is optional, but should probably be required, since it adds welcome punch to proceedings. You can also get a slice of cheese on your sandwich for an extra buck. The counterman suggested Havarti and Provolone. I went cheese-free and still enjoyed the hell out of my sandwich.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.