HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >


Canter's or Langer's For Pastrami

Visiting over memorial day, and looking to take my girlfriend out for some pastrami. Pastrami quality is the most important, but as i am generally more of a pescatarian/flexatarian id love to hear about the (none too often discussed) non-meaty options. Is there anything worht getting other than a pastrami sandwich, or should i bit the (meaty) bullet on this one?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Um, Langer's, no question, for the best pastrami.

    Not very good veggie options at either.

    Might be OK cooked fish at Canters. The smooked and preserved fish wil be good at Canters. Never had it at Langers.

    When one wants pastrami, one goes to Langers. For other deli stuff, I go to Brent's.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Diana

      "When one wants pastrami, one goes to Langers." Well, maybe if Langers is open for lunch. If one wants Langers one better call ahead to be sure they are open on the day and time one is in town. Canter's is 24/7 just like the City.

      1. re: JeetJet

        Or one can look on their website:

        to the OP, get the pastrami, but be warned, you may have to become a pastramitarian.

        1. re: ozzygee

          Hey OZ, thanks. I did not know Langer's had a page -- Closed by 4:00 pm and closed all day Sunday. That is a shame. Today is a no go whatsoever unlees you wish to also be a part of the march in the park accross the street. What, 30 to 100 thousand strong? Maybe Langer's will have a sell out.

          The OP would like some non-meant options. Canters does have some salads and soup including clear broth with those great matzo balls.


          1. re: JeetJet

            I've been to Langer's with a vegetarian before. They split a white fish, lox & cream cheese platter with another person that looked pretty good. Did it tempt me away from my #19? No. But it looked good nonetheless.

            1. re: ozzygee

              "Did it tempt me away from my #19? No." LOL! Combine that with the OP who is, "generally more of a pescatarian.." and the temptation could prove to be too much for the "generally" part of the description.

            2. re: JeetJet

              Take the Red Line to the metro. Stop right nearby.

              I found Canter's Matzo really gross.

      2. Is this a trick question? (Go to Langer's and get a pastrami sandwich, number 1 or 19, on rye, with new pickles, and some crinkly fries.)

        1 Reply
        1. Langer's and Canter's, like most Jewish Delis, both have a number of non-meat options--the lox at both is perfectly fine (albeit not the best in town), for example, and there will be a few middling salads to choose from. However, if pastrami is the main point, it is no contest: Langer's.

          1 Reply
          1. re: New Trial

            While i may be a northern california-raised jew, i was certainly aware that both places would offer non-meat (fish) options. if you'll reread my post - which i will admit is somewhat vague about my decidedly ambiguous eating habits/preferences - i wasnt really inquiring about the availability, but the viability of non-pastrami options.

            i can see this playing out like ozzygee's scenario - unless someone can chime in and definitively tell me that i will be ok with a bite of pastrami and some whitefish (which, i supoose, would require getting further inside my head than i would normally recommend)

            thanks all for the responses.

          2. Glad you're not trying to go to Langer's today. It's probably a mess around there.

            1. I happen to really like the matzoh ball soup. The chicken broth here is much more chicken-y than most other places...I guess it's reduced more. There's a non-meat option for you. I've never tried their fish options.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Jack Flash

                Jack, which place are you talking about, Langer's or Canter's?

                1. re: Servorg

                  Langer's. Sorry 'bout that. I guess since it was universally accepted that Langer's would be the choice for pastrami, I forgot that the OP actually inquired about both places. But yeah, I like the chicken soup at Langer's. It tastes more homemade to me.

              2. Canter's for a late night deli craving. It's 24/7 and while it has some patina (perhaps . . . an understatement) it's not what I'd call gross by any means. It's fine. It's okay.

                Langer's for the food. The pastrami is an absolute treasure.

                Responding to your other question on whether to bite the bullet, yes. A resounding yes. This is special. This is worth it. Get one of your own because once you have a bite you'll want more. There are other options if I'm not swaying you here, but I hope that in this case you'll allow yourself to 'flex' a bit.

                1. if you chose not to go to langers for the pastrami, i'd look at nate 'n al's in beverly hills as the fall back postition instead of canters.
                  i'm not much of a fan of canter's
                  nate 'n als will have a large menu that will offer, among many other things, really excellent matzo brie (one of my favorites).

                  1. As my 2 year old daughter says, "Are you kidding me"? Langer's without a single thought or question.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Lipps


                      My vegetarian pal was quite taken with the tuna on rye.

                      As for the pastrami, I alway get just pastrami on rye with mustard, that's it. No #19 for me - seems to me a waste to have pastrami like that drowning in all that dressing and cole slaw.

                    2. Langer's. There is no better pastrami on great rye this side of Chicago.

                      1 Reply
                      1. as everyone else has stated, the pastrami at langer's is kind of amazing in every way. having said that, the cabbage soup there turns out to be a delicious vegetably surprise.

                        1. If you eat meat once a year let it be a pastrami sandwich at Langer's. And ever year after...

                          They aren't huge sandwiches and you could also split one if you wanted to limit consumption.

                          There are fish options too but there is not really a point to going to Langer's if you aren't getting pastrami. There are a 100 better place in LA to be a flexatarian.

                          1. Where is Langers? I am in the beach cities and don't get into town much, but I could make the trek for that pastrami.

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: JEN10

                              Jen10 Langers

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

                              1. re: Skunk2Racer

                                Calling my girlfriend and setting a time, Thank you so much!!!

                                  1. re: Skunk2Racer

                                    Just looked at the menu, I will go with the #19 and try a soup perhaps, any other suggestions? Can't wait, I am drooling just thinking of it. What about pickles, I love pickles!!

                                    1. re: JEN10

                                      I like their "new pickles" better than the regular ones.

                                      1. re: JEN10

                                        I know there is a split on the board about this but I'm just going to sing the merits of the plain pastrami on rye, ordered lean, with your choice of mustard. I wouldn't let anything get in the way of the pastrami, especially the first time I went. *But*, the #19 has its fanatics so it's not a bad choice by any means.

                                        1. re: Frommtron

                                          of course, your recommendation should be viewed as more than just a recommendation--pastrami should NEVER be adulterated with anything other than good rye bread and mustard.

                                          1. re: Frommtron

                                            I'm with Thi (http://chowhound.com/topics/show/60237 ) on this point. The perfect compromise is to get a plain pastrami on rye and a Number 19, and then have half of each.

                                            Thi's Langer's post is, btw, probably the best thing I've ever read on this board. As far as I'm concerned, Thi should have won a James Beard award for that particular piece of writing.

                                1. langers east coast native no contest

                                  1. Thanks all for your wonderful replies. I can not wait to go!!! Pickles, mustard and pastrami, you can't go wrong.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: JEN10

                                      Get some of the Russian Dressing on the side. I can't have mustard but the dressing if you add it yourself is worth it.

                                      I also hear their corned beef hash is wonderful too at Langers.

                                      1. re: JEN10

                                        Jen... please... speaking as an east coast Jew with a long history of pastrami eating, beware the #19 praises. Langer's pastrami is so wonderfully decadent, so silky on one's tongue, that adding *ANYTHING* to embellish it other than a small dab of Gulden's deli mustard (not French's, for God's sake!!) is gilding the lilly. Love it for what it is... at least on your first visit.

                                        By the way, if you're not a big pastrami eater in general, I advise you to stop by Ralph's on the way. Ask for a free sample of whatever Boar's Head nonsense they've got in the deli case... and take it with you to Langer's for a side-by-side comaprison. You will not believe the difference.

                                        Mr Taster