Brent's Deli - A Short Review
- David Kahn Jul 4, 2006 06:49 PM
I finally got the chance to try Brent's Deli (19565 Parthenia St., Northridge, (818) 886-5679, http://www.brentsdeli.com). Those of you who live in this area are lucky. This is a very good deli, maybe the best all around deli in the city.
I was with a fairly large group of people, so I had a chance to sample a number of items. In no particular order, the corned beef on rye was excellent. Bbq brisket sandwich was great. All of the sandwich meats were sliced thin and piled high. I usually like thicker, hand cut meat on my sandwiches, but the thinner slicing worked well at Brent's. All of the meats were fresh, moist, tender and flavorful without gristle or excess fat, and made pleasing, tasty sandwiches. Rye bread, while lacking the crispy crust one finds at Langer's, was fresh and good. Nice coleslaw, a bit on the sweet side, exactly how I like it. Also, good onion rings that were fresh and tasted homemade. Saw, but didn't get to sample a couple of salads. They were huge, and looked fresh and tasty. Brent's has a nice selection of Dr. Brown's bottled sodas. Nice new dill pickles are available on request. Service was friendly and competent throughout. Didn't get a chance to try their chicken soup, but that's definitely next on my list.
As for the pastrami, it was very good, but frankly, not in the same league as Langer's. In my opinion, Langer's wins hands down for pastrami on rye (in its various forms), but, in contrast to Brent's, from what I can tell, this appears to be the only thing Langer's does really well. Brent's, on the other hand, has good pastrami, and pretty much everything else I tried was quite good too.
Brent's is an excellent and well rounded deli. It took me way too long to try this place, but it will not take me nearly as long to return.
Scary thing about Brent's when you look around at the diners...easily 50% of the people eating there are extremely overweight. But I love it---one of the top deli's in LA.
Now that you've experienced, don't deny yourself in the future. I grew up on Brent's deli food and now at 47 years old, I'm still going. (Fortunately, I live close). Go for brunch sometime and order their smoked fish platter. Whenever my folks come to town, I take them to Brent's. 4 can easily share and it's incredible. Ask for rye ends and bagel chips be brought to the table with your meal. There's nothing better!
I also will "take out" the fish - smoked whitefish and smoked cod - expensive but, so very worth it. :) FYI - opening one in Westlake Village area.
Hiya... Also, the service at Brent's has always (for me) been incredibly efficient and attentive, even when the place is (always) packed; the waitstaff seem as colorful as those at Canter's, but much less dour and much more affable. On my last visit, I tipped the waitress a standard 20%, and as I was exiting, she caught me at the door and profusely thanked me for my apparent generosity, as if she'd rarely seen a 20% tip. Made my day, by making hers...
we always make a pit stop at Brent's when we are in the Valley. Both for a sit-down meal and massive take out order to bring back home! Their whitefish salad is to die for, their chopped liver actually made me understand "why" and "how" liver could be addicting, their fresh rye bread is so soft and their corned beef hash is full of lean corned beef. Not to mention their cabbage soup (even better with a shot of Sriracha) and new dill pickles!
I second the whitefish salad and chopped liver - both are the best EVER, and I am a deli connoisseur. And the sweet-and-sour cabbage-and-meat soup is to die for. Of the smoked fish, the lox is great and the BBQ cod is just amazing. Ironically, the matzo ball soup is not the best I've ever had, but quite passable.
No one has mentioned the BLINTZES - they are, God forgive me, better than my grandmother's. Absolutely delicious.
Brent's is by far the best deli in LA - except if you want pastrami, in which case Langer's is better at that one dish only.
Gotta disagree with you on the chopped liver, waaayyy too sweet, I think they must really carmelize the onions, chopped liver should be savory, imho. Anyone had pancakes for breakfast there. I always get a fish platter because it is so infrequent that I get to a real deli, but their pancakes really smell and look good. The way I remember Du-Pars pancakes from 30 or 40 years ago.