You guys, I basically saved the universe the other night. I mean, I generally don't think of myself as a hero, but sometimes the shoe just fits. I know, to most people, I just look like your average little brown girl who can't stop picking at any bowl of anything that is placed in front of her, but friends, I am here to tell you that were it not for me, there would be a giant pile of ashes where Little Dom's Deli once stood.
A couple Saturdays ago, I had some early evening downtime, and I was hongry. I needed a sandwich. Fortunately, I live a block from Hillhurst Avenue, which may as well be called Sandwichhurst*. I decided on the Deli at Little Dom's, a thimble of a place perfectly designed to make you feel like you're in the Norman Rockwell version of a New York Italian deli. I managed (somehow, inexplicably) to resist the tiny jam jars of vanilla panna cotta, stared down the pistachio shortbread (I mean, those two words: Pistachio. Shortbread. Hello?), and in the end, gathered myself and ordered a sandwich. "How's the tuna melt?" I asked. "Amazing," he said. The guy behind the counter described their Sicilian tuna melt to me with a smile: a salad of poached tuna from Little Dom's proper next door, capers, and herbs, no mayo; Fontina cheese; all grilled panini-style on whole grain bread. Sold.
I sat down and waited for him to do his panini magic. I was the only one in the little shop, and I could see that they were using some of the deli space to hold the prep stuff for dinner service at the restaurant. A narrow shelf against one wall held table linens, a bunch of lit tealights, and a grey plastic tub filled with silverware. I looked up from iPhone futzing and noticed that one of the tealights actually had fire on the outside of it. Um.
The tealight had melted the corner of the plastic tub, and a little puddle of hot plastic had caught fire. Fire! I yelled out to my tuna melt friend, he doused the fire with a cup of ice water, thanked me profusely. Disaster averted, he saw me out with my sandwich in a white paper bag and tons more thank-yous.
When I got home, tucked into the bag with my incredible tuna melt, I found a pistachio shortbread and a sweet blueberry and pear focaccia. I'm here to tell you this: it pays to be a superhero.
The Deli at Little Dom's is at 2128 Hillhurst Ave., just north of Avocado Ave.