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Great Jewish Deli/Restaurant in LA

SFGourmande Oct 14, 2007 09:51 PM

My parents are coming to town and I want to take them out to a great Jewish deli. My dad is from Brooklyn (but they have lived in San Fran for 30 yrs.) and is a huge pastrami fan. I love Cantors for the ambience but the last few times the food and service has REALLY fell short and I don't want to go there anymore; besides my folks have already been there. I really like Greenblatts on Sunset (it is on Sunset right??) and have been there several times. Any other recommendations??? Looking for a great pastrami sandwich on rye type thing, good pickles, soup, and latkes and all the fixin's.

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  1. ElJeffe RE: SFGourmande Oct 14, 2007 09:59 PM

    Here's a relevant thread...

    1. b
      Burger Boy RE: SFGourmande Oct 14, 2007 10:56 PM

      Langer's is about good as it gets for pastrami!

      1. Hungry4Good RE: SFGourmande Oct 14, 2007 11:35 PM

        Langer's, Langer's, Langer's. They chose pastrami over corned beef as their specialty at the outset and even New Yorkers come here for it.

        1. wutzizname RE: SFGourmande Oct 15, 2007 12:26 AM

          Nate 'n Al's, absolutely.

          1. w
            whatsfordinner RE: SFGourmande Oct 15, 2007 07:28 AM

            For pastrami it has to be Langer's.

            1. Golem RE: SFGourmande Oct 15, 2007 03:46 PM

              All the top 10 are pretty good, but it depends on where you want to go. I like Brent's in Northridge, but I live near it. Art's in Studio City is also nice. When in the City (not in the Valley) I like Junior's, in Westwood. It's not on the top 10, but I personally think it's very good.

              1. Skunk2Racer RE: SFGourmande Oct 15, 2007 03:58 PM

                yep Pastrami......LANGERS

                1. b
                  B Minus RE: SFGourmande Oct 15, 2007 04:04 PM


                  1. umami RE: SFGourmande Oct 15, 2007 04:07 PM

                    Your father will not be disappointed by the pastrami at Langers. It is THE BEST!

                    1. l
                      lad1818 RE: SFGourmande Oct 15, 2007 04:22 PM

                      Yes to Langer's. Though the area is not the best if you're thinking of taking a walk after lunch, the pastrami sure is. I'm an ex-New Yorker, and I think it beats Katz's big time.

                      Don't take them to Arts, unless you want your parents to stare at you like my parents did when I took them to Arts.

                      1. m
                        Mark Sarvas RE: SFGourmande Oct 15, 2007 04:39 PM

                        Langers, Langers, Langers.

                        1. g
                          glutton RE: SFGourmande Oct 15, 2007 05:16 PM

                          It's as close to unanimous as anything can be on Chowhound -- for pastrami you go to Langers. For non-pastrami dishes, then there is more dissension on the board. Personally, I like Brent's in Northridge. One of the best delis I've ever been to in the country (and that's no small statement). But if I am in the mood for pastrami, I go right to Langers for the hand-carved pastrami on toasted rye with mustard. Best sandwich in America.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: glutton
                            ElJeffe RE: glutton Oct 15, 2007 06:25 PM

                            It's near Dodger Stadium? My god, that's way East of the 405. El Jefe is not very happy about this. Can Pastrami be that much better over there vs. Nate n' Als?

                            They definitely have the nices website of the delis. Links to directions from all 3 map services!


                            1. re: ElJeffe
                              ElJeffe RE: ElJeffe Oct 15, 2007 06:38 PM

                              I just took another glance at the website and something alarmed me. The pastrami looks VERY thick cut, almost like chunks. Is that the case? I really like my pastrami thinly sliced. Can anyone confirm?

                              1. re: ElJeffe
                                wutzizname RE: ElJeffe Oct 15, 2007 07:06 PM

                                It is very thick cut, not like any other pastrami, a different animal all unto itself. If you're comparing it to the pastrimi you already love, you may be disappointed. But if you treat it like a whole new dish, call it a Langer's Sandwich instead of a Pastrami Sandwich, you may just love it on its own.

                              2. re: ElJeffe
                                glutton RE: ElJeffe Oct 16, 2007 06:26 AM

                                There are a lot of places better than Nate 'n' Al's, not just Langers. Brents roundly destroys Nate 'n; Al's.

                                Give Langer's a shot. Seriously, it's the closest thing to a unanimous recommendation on Chowhound and that's an extraordinary statement.

                                1. re: glutton
                                  blackbookali RE: glutton Oct 18, 2007 01:12 PM

                                  Nate 'n' Al's is average at best . A step up from Jerry's Famous Deli. Greenblatt's blows it out of the water.

                            2. n
                              nosh RE: SFGourmande Oct 15, 2007 05:28 PM

                              Agree about Langer's. So you know, it is located across from MacArthur Park on the S/E corner of Alvarado and Seventh, across from a Redline stop. Their parking lot (validate) is a block to the east on the north side of Seventh. This is not a mile-high sandwich stuffed with three meals worth of meat a la Carnegie Deli. Their pastrami is warm, succulent, thick cut (specify handcut) served on a perfect double-baked rye, soft in the middle and crunchy at the crust (I strongly advise against toasting it). I like mine a little bit moister than they usually trim, so I ask that not all the fat be removed. I also like their fries, ordered welldone, and I've had a good cup of matzo ball soup. Limited hours -- go for lunch.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: nosh
                                Foodandwine RE: nosh Oct 16, 2007 06:46 AM

                                Nosh, I like your ordering tact.. Gosh, now I need to go to Langers. I better stay away from this board..

                                1. re: nosh
                                  Skunk2Racer RE: nosh Oct 16, 2007 03:20 PM

                                  I Ask for Hand Cut Fatty Pastrami.

                                2. liu RE: SFGourmande Oct 15, 2007 06:42 PM

                                  No contest: Langer's pastrami sandwich!

                                  1. c
                                    Clinton RE: SFGourmande Oct 16, 2007 07:28 AM

                                    The only complaint...no issue...that I had with Langer's was the price of the pastrami sandwich. Eleven dollars for a sandwich was a bit steep. Any sides like fries were extra. If I remember, all I got with the sandwich was a pickle. But I do have to admit, it was a great sandwich. Not the best place to go sightseeing though.

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: Clinton
                                      Servorg RE: Clinton Oct 16, 2007 07:36 AM

                                      Nate 'n Al's is $13.50 and Junior's is $12.50

                                      1. re: Servorg
                                        Clinton RE: Servorg Oct 16, 2007 08:29 AM

                                        Oy vay, that's a lot of Big Macs!

                                        1. re: Servorg
                                          ElJeffe RE: Servorg Oct 16, 2007 10:06 AM

                                          Agreed. $11 is probably the cheapest I've seen in the big LA delis.

                                        2. re: Clinton
                                          hpcat RE: Clinton Oct 16, 2007 11:32 AM

                                          I took my visiting sister to Langer's and told her to order the hand-cut pastrami on rye. She pronounced it the "best sandwich I ever ate." No small feat, since we grew up on Detroit Jewish deli food and used to frequent NYC 2nd Ave and Carnegie delis.

                                          1. re: Clinton
                                            Skunk2Racer RE: Clinton Oct 16, 2007 03:27 PM

                                            Agreed $11 is Cheap for a Sandwich of this magnitude. In a Class all by itself. Perhaps your used to "Cheaper" Pastrami like the Hat, or Dino's? I've eaten a WHOLE Woody Allen at Carnagie Deli at One Sitting. Took me Hour and a half. Plus egging from my friend. Didn't feel so good after and didn't eat again till 12 hours later. Big Deal You may think? I'm 5'4" 127 Pounds BIG Guys around 2-3 time my Size Watched in Amazement. They could Barely eat a 1/2.... LOL I Must be related to Kobayashi the Former Nathans Hot dog king.....

                                            1. re: Clinton
                                              cjla RE: Clinton Oct 17, 2007 01:25 PM

                                              $11 is cheap for pure happiness, which is what I feel after eating their pastrami--I'm also a huge fan of their matzoh ball soup.

                                              1. re: Clinton
                                                SFGourmande RE: Clinton Oct 22, 2007 02:37 PM

                                                Well - luckily I live in Silverlake and work downtown so this is pretty close and easy to get to! And I can show my folks where I work and take them for fantastic pastrami! What a combo!

                                              2. i
                                                Ira Nova RE: SFGourmande Oct 16, 2007 11:50 AM

                                                I recommend Salad Farm on Figueroa St. Not fancy but healthy and can be Kosher, vegetarian, or quite protein loaded. Bread could be better, but people are friendly and try hard to please you. You will feel very wanted.

                                                1. maxzook RE: SFGourmande Oct 16, 2007 03:34 PM

                                                  I agree with the CW about Langer's, but I would also look into the Oinkster on Colorado in Eagle Rock.

                                                  They may be the only local place that makes their pastrami from scratch ... yes, even Langer's buys from a distributor -- with them it's about the steaming and slicing.

                                                  Oinkster serves their pastrami on hoagie rolls, and you won't get soup, latkes or anything close to Jewish deli ambiance -- just astoundingly good pastrami.

                                                  2005 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041

                                                  Langer's Delicatessen
                                                  704 S Alvarado St, Los Angeles, CA 90057

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: maxzook
                                                    socal RE: maxzook Oct 17, 2007 02:38 PM

                                                    Obviously Langer's is a must...it's really the only answer if you're going for pastrami.

                                                    But Oinkster is very good also...their approach is "slow fast food", which I like. And apparently the owner/'chef' learned his pastrami technique from none other than Al Langer himself.

                                                    I prefer Langer's pastrami, but Oinkster is definitely worth a trip. (They serve beer on tap too...)

                                                  2. SauceSupreme RE: SFGourmande Oct 16, 2007 04:21 PM

                                                    One thing about Langers is that they close early (~4pm).

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: SauceSupreme
                                                      maxzook RE: SauceSupreme Oct 16, 2007 07:07 PM

                                                      If I eat pastrami after 4 pm I'm up all night. So it works out just fine.

                                                      And who'd want to be in that neighborhood after sundown anyway?

                                                    2. russkar RE: SFGourmande Oct 16, 2007 11:34 PM

                                                      One of my favorite past times is taking my friends from NYC to Langer's and watching their faces as they experience the Finest Pastrami & RYE Bread known to Man. Game over!

                                                      10 Replies
                                                      1. re: russkar
                                                        Burger Boy RE: russkar Oct 17, 2007 07:02 AM

                                                        I was hoping you were going to BREAK IT DOWN, on the $6.50 Langer's #19!

                                                        1. re: Burger Boy
                                                          russkar RE: Burger Boy Oct 17, 2007 07:11 AM

                                                          Order from Langers To-go, One LB of Handcut Semi Lean Pastrami (16.50), Half Loaf of Rye (3.50). Makes 3 sandwiches for under $7.00 ea

                                                          1. re: russkar
                                                            Clinton RE: russkar Oct 17, 2007 08:09 AM

                                                            Ah, but you don't get a pickle!

                                                            1. re: russkar
                                                              Hackenbush RE: russkar Oct 17, 2007 09:35 AM

                                                              Do you know for a fact that Langer's puts a third of a pound of pastrami in a sandwich or are you just guessing?

                                                              This is an honest question. We always compare pastrami sandwiches (and other kinds) here and discuss prices but no one ever discusses how much meat you actually get in the sandwich.

                                                              1. re: Hackenbush
                                                                Clinton RE: Hackenbush Oct 17, 2007 01:45 PM

                                                                Good question? Many places offer pastrami at a lower price but skimp on the meat. Not to get off the subject but I do also love Viennese pastrami from Steve's in Torrance that stuffs their French loaf with lots of meat. Not Kosher but still tasty for $6.00 or so. OK, OK so shoot me!

                                                              2. re: russkar
                                                                SoCalMuncher RE: russkar Oct 23, 2007 03:39 PM

                                                                Hhhmmm... that sounds like a great idea, as I was always thinking that the only thing that the Langer's pastrami sandwich was missing was some of Philippe's hot mustard.

                                                                1. re: SoCalMuncher
                                                                  JAB RE: SoCalMuncher Oct 23, 2007 03:41 PM

                                                                  That would be sinfully good!

                                                                  1. re: SoCalMuncher
                                                                    gaylenwaydelich RE: SoCalMuncher Oct 23, 2007 10:46 PM

                                                                    I thought I was the only person that has fantasies about that combo. I love Langers and have been eating there for 30 years. The only complaint I have is the mustard selection. I guess I'll have to buy a jar at Phillippe's and BYOM.

                                                              3. re: russkar
                                                                Burger Boy RE: russkar Oct 17, 2007 07:58 AM

                                                                russkar, you are my Hero, now if you could do that with the Machaca Burrito at El Tepeyac.

                                                                1. re: Burger Boy
                                                                  russkar RE: Burger Boy Oct 17, 2007 10:54 AM

                                                                  Ah yes, Tepeyac. First you have a shot of Teq with Manuel (not now days, health reasons, but in the "old" days), then you order a Machaca Burrito Grande and share it with a bunch of friends, your cost should be a couple of bucks each.

                                                              4. a
                                                                AquaW RE: SFGourmande Oct 23, 2007 11:56 PM

                                                                Also, if possible, grab a copy of the October's "Los Angeles" magazine, they did a feature on local jewish delis, highlighting many of the ones already mentioned on the thread.


                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: AquaW
                                                                  maxzook RE: AquaW Oct 24, 2007 09:28 AM


                                                                  The thread on LA Magazine's list is above. This is their list:

                                                                  1. Brent’s
                                                                  2. Langer’s
                                                                  3. Nate n’ Al
                                                                  4. Art’s
                                                                  5. Pico Kosher
                                                                  6. Marv’s
                                                                  7. Canter’s
                                                                  8. Factor’s
                                                                  9. Billy’s
                                                                  10. Label’s Table

                                                                  I would have dumped Canter's and Factor's for Greenblatt's and Billy's, and I would have put Art's ahead of Nate and Al's.

                                                                  1. re: maxzook
                                                                    Jerome RE: maxzook Oct 24, 2007 03:08 PM

                                                                    there's also junior's which is decent.

                                                                2. m
                                                                  mjalz RE: SFGourmande Oct 24, 2007 09:12 PM

                                                                  A Big Fat (not lean) LANGERS! Hands down the best LA has to offer.

                                                                  1. videolouis RE: SFGourmande Oct 26, 2007 04:48 AM

                                                                    What about Corned Beef?
                                                                    right here in the Valley...

                                                                    In Beautiful Downtown BURBANK
                                                                    WORLDS BEST CORNED BEEF
                                                                    Ben's Deli
                                                                    271 E Orange Grove Ave
                                                                    Burbank, CA 91502
                                                                    (818) 846-6227
                                                                    next to B.P.D.

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