Last week my friend, Denise and I met at Rocco’s, her favorite Italian deli on Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles. When I walked in, Denise was locked in conversation with a sweet, older Italian man, named Rocco, who was sitting beside her. Yes, this was THE Rocco.
If Denise and I were stronger, we would have kidnapped him – that’s how cute he was. He told us about his life, when he immigrated to the U.S., the different jobs he had, and more. His memory was remarkable — and he is no spring chicken! Then, his wife came in and was just as cute as he was. Then I met his daughter, Rosamarie and…well it was pretty much a love fest. I didn’t get to meet his son, Francesco, but I’m sure I would have loved him too. And, I haven’t even gotten to the food, which was delicious.
In a city as big as Los Angeles, usually, the best you can hope for in a restaurant is good food, served to you fast, and maybe with a smile. But I felt like I was in my parents house at Rocco’s, and that was the thing that kept me beaming all the way home. Even though Rocco occasionally uses a cane, he kept getting up and offering to fill our cups, or bus our table. His daughter did the same. The hospitality was not forced, it was real and we had such a wonderful afternoon there, we hated to leave. Continue reading