East Coast West Deli, SF
After searching fruitlessly online, I broke down and phoned Information to get phone number and called deli for details.
Open 10-10 every day. All CC except AX; on Polk between Washington and Clay (that's 2 1/2 blocks north of California)
I went to this place for lunch yesterday. It's big, bare, and very clean--zero ambiance, but also none of the old-new-york kitsch of the Noah's chains. I did miss some of the natural clutter of those real NY/NJ delis...I had a big, pretty-good bowl of chicken soup-full of shreds of chicken, carrots, noodles, and dill. Broth itself was a little watery--needed to be a little more concentrated to get that real grandma-style sweet chicken flavor. Matzoh balls were beige on the outside, weirdly grey inside. I took them up to the counter and the cook agreed that was strange, brought me a new bowl with fresh ones, which were fluffier and better, although they were still a little bland--perhaps a bit more salt. Sour tomatoes were good, although I like them very sour and these were rather mild. However, they're trying hard, and a lot of these kinks should be worked out over the next few weeks. (They've only been open 4 days.)
Went with wife Judy and 3-year old daughter Madeleine. If they pay attention to details, they can make it work.
Pastrami, good. Rye bread, not so good. Asking me what kind of bread I want w/my Pastrami, give me a break!
The knish and the matzoh ball soup were great. Flaky crust on the knish, lots of chicken in the soup and the matzoh ball was still good after my daughter nibbled at it for 25 minutes.
We went at 4:30p on Saturday, not very busy, so the service was very attentive. If they get busier, I wonder how that holds up.
My daughter's summary, "That deli was yummy, they had FOOD!"
re: JB Leibovitch
JB: "Pastrami, good. Rye bread, not so good. Asking me what kind of bread I want w/my Pastrami, give me a break!"
My favorite (not!) deli question is "Do you want mayo on your pastrami?" Always sends me screaming into the street.
Love Madeleine's review--she's gotta be the youngest Chowhound poster.
re: JB Leibovitch
Was walking past around 6pm and stopped in for a pastrami sand.
The corn rye leaves much to be desired. but it was still better than what's now served at 2nd Ave. Deli and Katz's in Manhattan.
Didn't think the pastrami was that good. Shaved nice and thin, but too lean and not tender enough. I still long for the read deal.
We went there a few days ago, and have to say, it wasn't good.
Gary's reuben was acceptable, but my tongue sandwich was a disaster: the tongue was improperly sliced--they sliced it from the fat side. When I asked to send it back, they told me, "It's all the same tongue, what does it matter?" I explained how to cut it, and the sandwich I got back was at least recognizable.
Both the meat and potato knish were overcooked to death.
COMPARISON: Nate and Al's in Los Angeles yesterday was like being back in New York! Drive the five hours down to Nate and Al's on Beverly near Rodeo Dr., it's worth it.
re: Peter and Gary
Yes, outside of NYC, Nate 'n Al's is so good and the waitresses are straight from the city...but they know their stuff (or did the last time I was there). I only wish we had a good deli in the So. Bay area (L.A.)
The lox here is so mediocre. And there's no place to get good smoked trout like I used to get in NY...:-(
By the way, I so enjoyed your restaurant review to the point of drooling...:-)