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Canter's or Langer's For Pastrami

tex.s.toast May 1, 2008 11:36 AM

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. JEN10 May 7, 2008 08:11 PM

    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
      smr714 May 8, 2008 08:30 AM

      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
        Mr Taster May 8, 2008 01:05 PM

        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

      2. j
        JimmyC May 7, 2008 05:38 PM

        langers east coast native no contest

        1. JEN10 May 6, 2008 08:20 AM

          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
            Skunk2Racer May 6, 2008 09:28 AM

            Jen10 Langers

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

            1. re: Skunk2Racer
              JEN10 May 7, 2008 04:35 PM

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

              1. re: JEN10
                Skunk2Racer May 7, 2008 04:43 PM

                They Close EARLY at 4:00pm

                1. re: Skunk2Racer
                  JEN10 May 7, 2008 04:55 PM

                  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
                    David Kahn May 7, 2008 05:34 PM

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

                    1. re: JEN10
                      Frommtron May 7, 2008 05:56 PM

                      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
                        westsidegal May 7, 2008 08:28 PM

                        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
                          David Kahn May 8, 2008 10:52 AM

                          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.

              2. j
                JudiAU May 6, 2008 08:05 AM

                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. t
                  tannazie May 5, 2008 05:33 PM

                  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. b
                    Barbara Ladden May 5, 2008 04:57 PM

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

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Barbara Ladden
                      Frommtron May 5, 2008 05:16 PM

                      This side of paradise you mean.

                    2. l
                      Lipps May 5, 2008 09:18 AM

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

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Lipps
                        lad1818 May 5, 2008 03:55 PM


                        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. westsidegal May 4, 2008 09:28 PM

                        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. Frommtron May 3, 2008 01:35 PM

                          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. j
                            Jack Flash May 1, 2008 11:56 PM

                            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
                              Servorg May 2, 2008 04:50 AM

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

                              1. re: Servorg
                                Jack Flash May 2, 2008 07:25 AM

                                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. Tapeworm May 1, 2008 02:20 PM

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

                              1. n
                                New Trial May 1, 2008 12:11 PM

                                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
                                  tex.s.toast May 1, 2008 05:29 PM

                                  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. David Kahn May 1, 2008 11:53 AM

                                  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. re: David Kahn
                                    sku May 1, 2008 01:23 PM

                                    Don't forget the egg cream.

                                  2. d
                                    Diana May 1, 2008 11:38 AM

                                    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
                                      JeetJet May 1, 2008 11:45 AM

                                      "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
                                        ozzygee May 1, 2008 11:56 AM

                                        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
                                          JeetJet May 1, 2008 12:04 PM

                                          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
                                            ozzygee May 1, 2008 12:09 PM

                                            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
                                              JeetJet May 1, 2008 12:24 PM

                                              "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
                                              Diana May 1, 2008 12:21 PM

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

                                              I found Canter's Matzo really gross.

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