At Jeff's Gourmet Kosher Sausage Factory on Pico Boulevard, high school boys crowd the place, sinking their teeth into chicken-cilantro sausages and Moroccan sausages with olives and preserved lemons. The hot dogs at Jeff's are a far cry from the skinny pink Hebrew National ones that most people think of when they think hot dog, and because of this, the franks sell well, even to high school boys who aren't natural gourmets.
Jeff Rohatiner, who started Jeff's Gourmet in 1999, and Alain Cohen and Evelyn Baron of Neshama Gourmet Kosher Foods, are at the vanguard of a kosher sausage revolution in Los Angeles. Both companies were founded by people dissatisfied with the state of kosher sausages and wanted to turn a normally low-cost food item into a high-end treat.
Vegetarianism may be trendy and maybe even healthy, but when Jeff Rohatiner was looking for a product on which he could base a restaurant, he knew that most of us are carnivores at heart. So he figured there'd be a market for the wares at Jeff's Gourmet Kosher Sausage Factory, opened in late 1998 in the heart of Pico-Robertson.