Bernie and Leah (Spielberg) Adler opened the doors to Milky Way restaurant in 1977. Their vision was to offer fine kosher food to the Jewish community at a time when such a thing didn’t exist in Los Angeles. Leah wanted to introduce interesting fare to many who had never tasted dishes like Cajun, Mexican, or Thai. Shortly after opening, it was very apparent that the main attraction wasn’t just the food, but was Leah herself! With her unique and exuberant charm; independent and confident style, Leah had the ability to make every guest in the restaurant feel as if they were the most important. People came for the food, but they kept coming back for Leah!
The restaurant soon became known in the global Jewish communities, and even among the general public too!
Leah disdained being identified as a “kosher deli”! Yes, she served traditional Jewish dishes like blintzes and potato pancakes, but that was where the similarities ended. When Leah would greet each table, she would describe the daily specials with such animation that she would easily convince the table to try them. She was known for her love of classical music, art, denim and Cabernet Sauvignon wine.
Leah was a devoted mother to her four children and a beloved friend and employer. She will always be an iconic figure, revered by so many. Her memory is forever a blessing and her spirit lives on inside Milky Way, its food and community always.