Rising Star Chef Micah Wexler of Wexler's Deli - Biography

Santa MonicA, CA

April 2017

Micah Wexler may now be known as Los Angeles’ pastrami king, but he got his start cooking Italian food at Vincenti Ristorante in Brentwood. Throughout high school, the L.A. native honed his skills around the city before moving east to attend Cornell University, where he met friend and future business partner Michael Kassar.

Kassar was born and raised on the Upper East Side of Manhattan before his passion for food took him to Cornell University, where he studied hotel administration while working for Union Square Hospitality and the Dinex Group.

After graduating, Wexler and Kassar traveled through Europe and staged at Martín Berasategui in Spain and Ristorante Righi in San Marino, Italy. Kassar returned stateside to helm front of house at Spago, which earned Michelin stars and a James Beard Award for “Outstanding Service” during his tenure. Meanwhile, Wexler—who ate a life-changing meal at l’Atelier de Joël Robuchon in Paris—went on to become Robuchon’s chef de partie in New York. 

Wexler soon returned to L.A., and the duo opened Mezze, which landed on Jonathan Gold’s 99 Essential Restaurants and got a top 10 nod from the LA Times. After Mezze shuttered, Wexler and Kassar were ready to get back to their roots, and Jewish deli food felt like the perfect place to apply their fine-dining mentality. In 2014, they opened Wexler’s Deli in Grand Central Market, a counter space spot serving pastrami, lox, and bagel sandwiches. The second location opened in Santa Monica in 2016, and they have plans to launch a third restaurant in Century City, along with a retail line of smoked fish