Ron Magnin & David Laredo
Owners, The Nosh of Beverly Hills
9689 Santa Monica Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
Yelp: 4 stars
Interview Date: Friday, March 12, 2010
Ron Magnin and David Laredo acquired The Nosh of Beverly Hills about four years ago from Lenny Rosenberg, who now owns Seventeenth Street Café & Bakery. Ron, a Beverly Hills native who grew up riding his bicycle to The Nosh of Beverly Hills to get bagels for his dad, had owned several Beverly Hills restaurants including Airstream Diner, Azia, Daily Wrap and Wokfast. He was looking for a new project, and held many business meetings at The Nosh of Beverly Hills. When the deal that he was working on fell through, he heard that Lenny was thinking of selling, and decided to seek a partner and dive in.
David is also a restaurant pro and a serial entrepreneur. After owning Sprazzo in Westwood for about 8 years, he then got into the import business, but was looking to jump back into restaurants. When Ron called him to discuss the possibility of partnering on The Nosh of Beverly Hills, David was hesitant. “I said ‘I’m not a deli guy,’” he says, “but when I looked deeper and understood the bones of this place, and realized how iconic it is, I decided to go for it.”
The Nosh of Beverly Hills opened in 1975 as a Bagel Nosh franchise, with the parent company based in New York. Although the name has changed and the franchise is no longer operating, Ron and David have stuck with the original bagel recipe, which is a staple at the restaurant. “Our bagels are made the old fashioned way: they are hand-rolled, boiled in a kettle and then baked in a hearth fire,” says Ron. The cook who does all that hand rolling has strong forearms – one time he rolled more than 4,000 bagels in just three days … and that was for a high school catering job and didn’t include the thousands of bagels he regularly produces each week.
The Nosh of Beverly Hills has two kitchens – a prep and catering kitchen and a fast line for the restaurant. A full on-site bakery and many cooks work tirelessly to keep the deli cases filled, restaurant patrons fed, and many catering customers satisfied. In addition to the retail counter offering deli fare and the restaurant seating, The Nosh of Beverly Hills has many standing orders with hotels, businesses and organizations that appreciate the quality of food as well as the early delivery time.
The most significant change that Ron and David made when taking over was the philosophical shift from pure deli to a cross between a deli and a diner. David is originally from Israel, and has introduced some delicious Middle Eastern dishes including, he says, “the best falafel in LA!” Other atypical deli fare includes massive waffles and “hole in one” pancakes. Nonetheless, when I asked what to eat, the answer was as “deli” as it gets: a homemade bagel with whipped cream cheese and excellent lox.
This approach allows the pair to be more creative in food choices, and is also how they see an opportunity to expand the business. In fact, they recently acquired a wine and beer license and will be extending their hours to include dinner.
The best part of owning The Nosh of Beverly Hills is the customers. Both Ron and David agree that the social aspect of running a restaurant is “addictive” and fun. “The best part for me are the regulars – some people have been coming here for decades and still call us ‘Bagel Nosh’ and many people come in here every day for a good meal,” says Ron. “We’re like (the TV show) ‘Cheers’ in deli format.”
The hardest part of owning The Nosh of Beverly Hills is the very nature of the deli business. “Delis are notoriously difficult due to the nature of having so many businesses … retail, dining and catering … rolled into one store,” says Ron. “We have a huge selection, and everything must be made fresh and kept in stock at all times.”
The benefits far outweigh the challenges for this pair, as they appear to thrive in the deli environment. To me, Ron and David are truly entrepreneurial, and seem to relish jumping around from task to task – greeting customers, training employees, searching to constantly improve the food quality, all the while watching sales and marketing efforts and adapting as the market constantly changes.