Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Jul 6, 2006 07:57 PM

The Best Deli in LA

So which one is it?

I'd probably rank them by different qualities, consisting of:

1. The Rye Bread
2. The Nosh (pickles, kraut, etc.)
3. The Matzoh Ball Soup
4. The Sandwiches

Anything I'm missing?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
    1. re: silence9

      and chopped liver, cheese cake, cole slaw, potato salad, blintzes, white fish salad, kishka, stuffed cabbage, chicken in the pot, break down the meat: pastrami, corned beef, brisket, roast beef, rueben, meat knish, potato knish...

      Sounds like some serious field research is in order before anyone can provide a definitive opinion.

      1. re: silence9

        Re: the smoked fish, lox, etc.. Where do you go for this? I'd like real hand-sliced smoked salmon, no chemicals, no nitrites.
        Currently get the 18 0z. pre-sliced pack at Costco, not bad and very cheap; also, the packaged stuff at Surfas isn't bad, maybe a little too smoked.

        1. re: ciao_ny

          Well for the best smoked fish, there is Barney Greengrass (atop Barney's) in Beverly Hills, but the co$t and attitude may be prohibitive for many...

          1. re: silence9

            For the price there you can have it shipped overnight from Russ and Daughters in New York... since this thread got reopened.

      2. You've stumbled upon a hornet's nest of controversy. For my 2 cents, Langer's has the best pastrami sandwich (and rye bread) by a long shot, but otherwise is an unremarkable deli. I'd venture that many will say that Brent's is the best overall deli.

        5 Replies
        1. re: TomSwift

          Agree on both counts. And it's blasphemy, I know, but I actually like the matzoh ball soup at Jerry's. (Haven't tried Brent's version yet, though.)

          1. re: David Kahn

            Cummon! Jerry's isn't really a deli (once it was, but that was a looooong time ago). Personally, I'll never forgive them for wrecking Solley's which was the best deli we had out here in the valley. They might have bought it, but why did they have to turn it into the same white bread restaurant that all their other locations are?

            1. re: David Kahn

              I was told that Jerry's isn't chowhoundish, but I too like their matzo ball soup.

              1. re: David Kahn

                Just quickly - I agree. the chicken/matzoh ball soup at Jerry's is not bad at all. It's made with real ingredients that you can recognize (a plus), plenty of chicken, it isn't too salty or bland, etc. Given the other absurdly-price options at that non-deli, I order it almost every time I end up there.

                1. re: David Kahn

                  I like Brents' Matzo Ball soup..the only problem with it is that the matzo ball is almost too big (its softball sized) and the top of it gets dry as you go along eating it.

              2. Langer's does have the best pastrami, but I don't consider them deli-worthy. More of a sandwich shop in my opinion.

                I've lived on the Westside/Hollywood area since I've been here so I have mixed feelings.

                I think Factor's on Pico/Beverly has the best rye. Soft middle, very crusty outside. They also have very good nosh (2 types of pickles on the table). As for matzoh ball soup, I'm a fan of the Full House/Mish Mosh, and Junior's has an amazing one, filled with everything including rice, kasha, kreplach, veggies, matzoh balls and noodles. I usually make the trek when I'm sick and it's well worth it (you get a massive tub of it for about $15.)

                As for sandwiches, Nate and Al's is pretty good. So is Cantor's and Factor's. And the lox is very good at Factor's.

                Jerry's is decent, but not a favorite of mine. It's good in a hurry or if another alternative isn't close. Although they do have very good sweet tuna salad (I believe they have regular as well.)

                Is Brent's the one in the Palisades? I can't remember if that's it or not...

                5 Replies
                    1. re: weaver

                      "Mort's is in the palisades"

                      And of course, by this time (since this thread was started in 2006) Mort's is Muerto (bought by our dearly (?) departed Mayor of LA, Richard Riordan and turned into a couple of different restaurant. The Oak Room and the Village Pantry (more casual).

                      And just to add the fact that I recently (two weeks ago) got out to Brent's Deli in Northridge and rectified a long running oversight on my part by having one of the "Black Pastrami Reuben's" for lunch. Unbeliveably great sandwich that struck all the right notes. I know that Langer's has great pastrami and rye, but this sandwich (and the rye bread) at Brent's gives Langer's a serious run for its money.

                      The Oak Room
                      1035 Swarthmore Ave., Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

                      1. re: Servorg

                        I like Brent's, except for their chopped liver which has some kind of sweet taste. The Mrs. just participated in a Brent's spread that was brought in to work last week (to celebrate the end of tax season) and reported all was good.

                        1. re: ChinoWayne

                          We did notice, as we waited outside for our table, a small fleet of Brent's catering trucks buzzing to and fro from the main hive out to pollinate ("calorie-ate"?) the countryside...They certainly have nothing to be ashamed of as a first class fighting force in the Deli wars of Los Angeles.

                  1. Victors has a good pastrami and a full deli. I haven't tried anything elso though.

                    Rather than go to a restaruant and look at the menu, I usually decide what my taste buds are hungry for and go to the restaruant that has my favorite.

                    Bad news about that is that I rarely try their other menu items.

                    1. My opinions:

                      BEST CORNED BEEF: Art's
                      BEST PASTRAMI: Langer's
                      BEST RYE BREAD: Langer's
                      BEST POTATO SALAD: Canter's
                      BEST CHICKEN SOUP: Jerry's
                      BEST KREPLACH & MATZO BALLS: Canter's
                      BEST PICKLES: Nate 'n' Al's
                      BEST POTATO PANCAKES: Nate 'n' Al's
                      BEST BRISKET: Junior's

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Hackenbush

                        Best Corned Beef - Brents
                        Best Pastrami - Langers
                        Best Roast Beef - Arts
                        Best Rye Bread - Nate and Als