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Sep 8, 2001 03:22 PM

best pastrami

  • r

I'm going to be in the los angeles and long beach area next week. Any recommendation where I can have a really good pastrami sandwich. Thanks

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  1. Johnnie's Pastrami on sepulveda in Culver City. Brent's on Parthenia in Northridge. Canter's on Fairfax in Fairfax. The Hat (several locations). A lot of people recommend Langers in downtown L.A. I'ver never been there.

    34 Replies
    1. re: PHIL

      AT Victor's Deli in Hollywood, it's first-rate.
      MUCH better than other so-called "delicatessans."
      This is excellent.

      1. re: Paul Zollo

        Paul's trying to keep Victor's to himself by not letting you know where it is.

        It's on the corner of Bronson and Franklin, across Bronson from the Mayfair market (and, Scientologists, across Franklin from the Celebrity Centre). Around the corner from La Poubelle, etc.

        Victor's grind their own coffee, have an OK wine department, and Orson Welles used to stop by for pastries (that was before Victor Benes opened a branch at the Mayfair). There's usually some space in the lot.

        Victor's also has a pretty good restaurant (glorified coffee shop, really) next door.

      2. re: PHIL

        Then get yourself there immediately! :) Seriously, Langer's is one place you shouldn't pass up. It's on 7th and Alvarado across from McArthur Park. Parking is oddly one block away but you'll see why when you get there.

        1. re: PHIL
          Mike Kilgore

          Re. Johnnie's Pastrami on Sepulveda in CC. Have you been lately? I remember eating here a couple of times a few years ago and I thought their pastrami was really pretty bad. Fatty and greasy. Maybe things have changed? Any new info to the contrary would get me to give it another try. Langers has the best pastrami I have ever had, handsdown.

          1. re: Mike Kilgore

            Fatty and greasy? mmm mmm good. yummy yummy yummy. no wonder I like it so much.

            1. re: PHIL
              Toni the Tiger

              Good to have an idea of your standards, or in this case the lack of same, inorder to avoid your rec's in the future.

              1. re: Toni the Tiger

                Sorry, but I have to agree with Phil....love Johnnies pastrami...fatty...yes.....tasty....absolutely!!!!

                1. re: dkawai

                  I wonder, What's pastrami without the fat??

                  I suppose on the lighter side they have kick-butt dill pickles (though they mesh oh-so-wonderfully-well with the pastrami). Factor in their toasty fire-pits, late hours of operation and the motley diners...and you have yourself a pretty cOoL establishment.

                  1. re: JenW

                    They got fries with crinkles too! Nice and crispy! Fried Chicken is pretty tasty too!

                  2. re: dkawai

                    Johnnies Pastrami is AWESOME!! fatty...greasy...=delicious!!!

                  3. re: Toni the Tiger

                    Hey, we're talking pastrami here, not tofu! Langer's pastrami, fatty, sinful and absolutely delicious. Old fashioned milk shakes and malteds. Not crazy about their pickles. Their version is the lightly (green) pickled kind. Professional waiters and waitresses. And if you need any fake id or docs just stand out on the corner for a bit.

                    1. re: Toni the Tiger

                      Oh good. Have fun at Real Food Daily.

                        1. re: laliz

                          Just as an FYI - The post you are replying to is over 10 years old.

                    2. re: Mike Kilgore

                      Still fatty and oily. Avoid at all costs.

                      1. re: Muhlyssa

                        the hat in alhambra was certainly disappointing.

                        1. re: Mike Kilgore

                          Johnnie's may be fatty and greasy, but it IS expensive and small.

                          1. re: Wes

                            That about covers it, Wes. I abandoned Johnnie's a while back.

                            If I want some good ghetto pastrami, I go to Johnny's on Adams.

                            Johnny's Pastrami On Adams
                            4331 W Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90018

                            1. re: BeenThereAteThat

                              johnny's on adams is pretty terrible too.

                              i much prefer the hat for dirty fast food pastrami, it may still be pretty crappy, but i much much much much prefer it to both johnnie's.

                              1. re: kevin

                                I actually much prefer Johnnie's corned beef to their pastrami.

                                I don't dig Johnnie's pastrami. When I go there I either get corned beef, a shrimp sandwich or their hot dog. They also have good chili.

                                They should change their name, IMO. The pastrami in the name is misleading.

                                1. re: PaulF

                                  PaulF, this is in reference to Johnnie's Pastrami on Sepulveda (and Washington) in Culver City, right?

                                  yeah, next time i'll have to get the corned beef, i never even knew they had corned beef. is the shrimp sandwich kinda like a fried shrimp po' boy???


                                  1. re: kevin

                                    Yep, part of Culver City's famed restaurant row, along with Tito's and Cinco De Mayo.

                                    (Kidding aside, if you're standing in front of Johnnie's you're also walking distance to Yamadaya, Metro Cafe, a pretty good quickie Greek place next to Joxer's Daly [which is next to Yamadaya] and the Halal Burmese place called Jasmine).

                                    And, yep, the corned beef comes on the same french roll or on rye. I find their pastrami to be a bit too fatty (almost hard to chew) but the CB is soft and tasty.

                                    The shrimp sandwich comes on the french roll, with lettuce and tomato. They'll ask if you want mayo. The shrimps are fried (I think they even have a shrimp basket with shrimp and fries.).

                                    Look, JP is not a drive cross town and wait an hour for a table kind of place. But it's a good coffee shop if you're in the area. The coffee is good for coffee shop coffee, the chili is good for coffee shop chili, the hot dog is good with or without the chili, the pie is pretty good and they have a weird retro juke box.

                                    But because of the name, it's the pastrami that they get judged on. It's just not -- to me -- the best thing on the menu.

                                    1. re: PaulF

                                      I do get your point. I wouldn't drive across town to go there. But Langer's on the other hand, I would. But once again, they are different types of pastrami.

                                      For some reason, I just never realized that they also had corned beef too.

                                      Thanks for the heads up on Joxer's Daly for greek, I never knew it even existed.
                                      And I presume that Yamadaya is a ramen joint?

                                      1. re: kevin

                                        Just to clarify.

                                        Joxer's Daly is a sports bar. Next to it, is a Greek place that is decent, not great. I don't know it's name. Yamadaya is the ramen place. They are all around the corner from Johnnie's.

                                        I too drive cross town for Langer's. I just make the distinction became recommendations on a message board take on a life of their own. I wouldn't want someone driving from Eagle Rock or Anaheim just to try Johnnie's corned beef. But if the same person is in my neighborhood, they might like to try it.

                        2. re: PHIL

                          I recently went to "The Hat" in Pasadena and I was very impressed with their pastrami. Served on a french roll with mustard and pickles. I made the mistake of ordering fries and the pastrami. The pastrami is huge and the fries are larger than the largest size fries at any fast food place. Go there very hungry.

                          1. re: Schudog

                            Yes, Langer's was really good, but for the price? I'd have to think twice. For the price of a pastrami sandwich, fries or onion rings, and a soda at The Hat, you'd pay for just the sandwich at Langer's. Whenever we eat at The Hat, we often joke that we need to order extra bread on the side with the pastrami sandwich. You do the math.

                            1. re: Can

                              you can do the math, but the pastrami at langer's is at the very least ten times better than the hat (and i do sometimes like the hat).

                              so in a nutshell, others and me would probably even pay triple over the cost of a regular pastrami sandwich to have the pleasure of devouring a langer's one.

                              1. re: kevin

                                Langer's is a completely different pastrami experience than The Hat. You can't compare the two. One is thick-cut deli pastrami in a restaurant; the other is thinner cut in more of a fast-food environment.

                                I love them both.

                          2. re: PHIL

                            I second Johnnie's and Canter's. Both are great.

                            1. re: PHIL

                              Was at Langer's today. Grossly overpriced and not that good. I've had better and thicker cut corned beef sandwiches.

                                1. re: MattyTCB

                                  Where ?????

                                  Thanks for the dissenting opinion which is always welcome here.

                                  1. re: MattyTCB

                                    Langer's is considered by most to be a one trick pony and that trick would be Pastrami, not corned beef.

                                2. I was driving down Seventh Street in Long Beach last weekend (around Cherry & Redondo Aves), when I saw a place I think was called Manny's with a giant sign: Best Pastrami Ever...

                                  I wanted to stop but didn't have time -- maybe if you get there, you could tell us what you think!

                                  1. No question. The best pastrami on the west coast is at Langers on Alvarado. Equal to the 2nd Ave Deli in N.Y. City and that says a lot.

                                    1. Ric, FYI, if Langers is where you are headed, they are a breakfast/lunch place only. They close at 4PM. 704 S. Alvarado

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Sandra W.

                                        Thanks for providing that info. They are also closed on Sunday. They have a parking lot 1 block east with validation. Also the subway stops close to them. A warning is that the neighborhood is not great, but perfectly safe during the day.

                                      2. The rule-of-thumb used to be:

                                        - best pastrami at Langer's
                                        - best corned beef at Art's in Studio City
                                        - best brisket at Nate & Al's in Beverly Hills

                                        This is what the Brooklyn-born Jews told me when they moved me from New York twenty years ago and I lamented the loss of my favorite "real" delis.

                                        Today, I find no reason to disagree. All three are very different and certainly nothing like a New York deli for ambience (or lack thereof). Personally, I think the corned beef at Art's is better than the Stage or Carnegie; 2nd Ave Deli ? That's open to debate.

                                        Try them all and post your opinions back here !

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Bob S II

                                          Bob S II

                                          If you go to Langers again try the pastrami and chopped liver sandwich. Pure heaven. The rye bread has to be the best anywhere with its crispy crust and soft textured interior.