Tutor & Spunky’s Deli
34085 Pacific Coast Highway, #116
By Lillian Boyd, Dana Point Times
The new owners of Tutor & Spunky’s Deli say they’ll be keeping all the items on the original menu but plan on adding Vietnamese cuisine.
Samantha Nguyen and Elena Sik have taken over ownership of the sandwich spot since April 1, but business is nothing new for the two sisters. Since moving to the United States from Vietnam in their twenties, Nguyen and Sik have helped to lead their family’s cosmetic and skincare business.
Nguyen says her love for cooking is what led the sisters to seek out a new business venture involving food.
“I love being in the kitchen and sharing my creations with family, friends and neighbors,” Nguyen said. “Dana Point has been such a welcoming city, I can’t wait to share that with the wonderful people that live here.”
Dana Point Times columnist Tom Blake is the original founder of Tutor & Spunky’s Deli, having started the business in 1988. Nguyen and Sik will be the third set of owners after Jim and Shelley Mouzakis took over in February 2015.
“They are two lovely women, and I think they will do a nice job of keeping the iconic deli in the forefront of Dana Point,” Blake said. “And that makes me so happy to see, because Tutor and Spunky’s was something I devoted more than 25 years to.”
All sandwiches are available in 7”, 9”, or 12”-long subs. Bread options include sourdough, squaw, white, wheat, rye, gluten-free as well as wraps. Notable sandwiches have been given unique names such as the “Tutor’s Special,” which includes ham, capicola, salami and prosciutto. The “Doheny Beach” sandwich comes with cream cheese, cucumber, tomato, onion and sprouts.
“We love the menu, and we don’t intend on changing it. Why change a good thing?” Sik said. “We would like to add Vietnamese foods to share our culture with the people of Dana Point. You don’t see very much Vietnamese food in (South Orange County), and we’d like to change that.”
Nguyen and Sik have already added Vietnamese coffee and Nguyen’s special bread pudding to the menu. They plan on adding phở (Vietnamese soup with rice noodles) to the menu once a week, as well as bánh mì (Vietnamese baguette sandwich with pork, cilantro, cucumber, pickled carrots, jalapeño and mayonnaise).
Tutor & Spunky’s Deli offers DoorDash services for those who wish to order from home or at the office. Nguyen and Sik will also maintain regular business hours from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. daily.