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Best corned beef and pastrami in L.A.?

riverman2166 Dec 17, 2008 10:43 AM

Other than Langer's who has the best corned beef and pastrami in L.A.? Mort's isn't that great and I think Nate 'n Al's is very overrated. Suggestions? Thanks

  1. h
    Hackenbush Dec 20, 2008 09:07 AM

    Another set of opinions...

    The corned beef at Magee's in the Farmer's Market is excellent. It reminds me of Katz's Delicatessen in New York, which may be the best corned beef I've ever had. My problem with Magee's is that I don't like their rye bread or their mustard.

    The pastrami at Langer's is good but I've never found it all that worthy of the raves it gets. Then again, I prefer corned beef to pastrami. Maybe you have to be a pastrami preferrer to really appreciate it.

    Canter's corned beef is wonderful about 85% of the time. Every so often, I get a batch that's a little overcooked.

    I only eat at Nate & Al's about once a year and I only have corned beef about every other visit but I've always enjoyed it there. The last time I was there, Larry King was in the next booth and he kept raving to me about how good the corned beef was.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Hackenbush
      kevin Dec 20, 2008 09:47 AM

      but i'm not quite sure larry king is a chowhound or food lover.

      i like nate n al's but the pastrami there and the corned beef are rubbery even when warm if yu know what i mean. langer's, on the other hand, is tremendous smokey goodness.

    2. toitoi Dec 20, 2008 07:19 AM

      The Oinkster pastrami is dry and fatty. Not sliced to order, but plucked from a steam table tray. And, the roll they serve it on is dreadful.

      The Hat's pastrami is for people who like to eat more fat than meat.

      I rank them both: HORRID

      1. s
        Sam D. Dec 20, 2008 06:06 AM

        My vote goes to Bill's Deli in Glendale. I've never been disappointed with wither the pastrami or corned beef there.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Sam D.
          Servorg Dec 20, 2008 06:10 AM

          Do you mean Billy's? (or is there also a Bill's Deli in Glendale?)

          Billy's Delicatessen
          216 N Orange St, Glendale, CA 91203

          1. re: Sam D.
            Fru Dec 20, 2008 06:54 AM

            What can you compare it to?

          2. ipsedixit Dec 19, 2008 08:59 PM

            For pastrami, I like the aforementioned Oinkster as well as Chronis in Whittier.

            1. l
              liltamby5 Dec 19, 2008 10:41 AM

              Canter's!!!! They have the best deli selection there! And the pastrami is the bomb!!! Also, try The Hat, but I'm not sure if there are in LA. You might have to go to San Gabriel.

              3 Replies
              1. re: liltamby5
                Mr Taster Dec 19, 2008 02:29 PM

                Whoa there pardner, reign in some of those exclamation marks.

                I rarely eat at Langer's, despite living around the corner from them (literally a 2 minute walk). But their recent 60 cent corned beef sandwich promotion was too good to pass up. I was pleasantly surprised... the corned beef was thickly sliced, tender, and well seasoned. Well worth 60 cents (although I'd balk at paying the regular $13 price). Canter's pastrami however is not in the same league. Langer's for that.

                Mr Taster

                1. re: Mr Taster
                  kevin Dec 19, 2008 07:37 PM

                  You meant, "I rarely eat at Canter's", right?

                  oh, by the way, have you been to animal a few blocks away from canters? what are your thoughts?

                  1. re: kevin
                    Mr Taster Dec 19, 2008 09:17 PM

                    whoops.... you're right, I meant Canter's

                    I know Animal is right there, but I've been too busy with work to check it out. Sad too, since I've got my own parking space, there's no reason no to go :)

                    Mr Taster

              2. t
                tissue Dec 18, 2008 02:22 PM

                I like the corned beef at Nate And Al's in BH.

                1. j
                  jeffskal Dec 18, 2008 12:02 PM

                  I have become addicted to Porto's Pastrami sandwiches, on their roll, a steal at $4.75. Just the right amount of meat and those fried plantains on the side...

                  Porto's Bakery
                  315 N Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA 91203

                  Porto's Bakery
                  3614 W Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505

                  1. j
                    JudiAU Dec 18, 2008 09:36 AM

                    The corned beef at Magee's at Farmer's Market is quite good. Hand carved to order.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: JudiAU
                      kevin Dec 18, 2008 09:49 AM

                      i agree with that. great corned beef at magee's in the same way that langer's has the paragon of pastrami.

                      1. re: kevin
                        Mr Taster Dec 19, 2008 02:27 PM

                        Yes yes yes

                        I can't believe it took this long for Magee's to show up on the list! Farmers Market, 3rd and Fairfax, on the north side of the market. It is for corned beef what Langer's is to pastrami.

                        Mr Taster

                        1. re: Mr Taster
                          kevin Dec 19, 2008 07:35 PM

                          hey taster, i chatted w/ you about the pricey pastrami at langers, right? well, i gues i was wrong. it's not that expensive, it's 11.95 but i happened to pass by johnie's pastrami on washington and sepulveda and their pastrami dip (which is much worse than the hat in my opinion) is 10.25. so yeah, langer's is reasonable in price.

                    2. Will Owen Dec 18, 2008 08:53 AM

                      Just wanted to add that I really enjoyed the pastrami at the Agoura Deli in Agoura Hills. I've eaten there three times now, and have enjoyed everything so far. Don't get out that way too often, but when I do I'm glad to know where I can get a nice lunch.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Will Owen
                        Servorg Dec 18, 2008 08:59 AM

                        Next time I'm out visiting my friends in Agoura I'll I have to give this place a try, Will. Thanks for sharing. One other place comes to mind that I recall as having pretty good pastrami and corned beef, Weiler's Deli.


                        1. re: Servorg
                          Will Owen Dec 18, 2008 04:37 PM

                          My favorite lunch there I think was the liverwurst and Swiss cheese sandwich I got. I put about two-thirds of the liverwurst into a clamshell box, bought half a loaf of their rye bread, and liverwurst sandwiches for the next two days!

                          Love their potato salad, too.

                      2. wienermobile Dec 18, 2008 08:34 AM

                        Langer's is by far my favorite, but Brent's in Northridge is a close second.

                        1. d
                          dkisaway Dec 17, 2008 04:54 PM

                          Pico Kosher Deli on Pico west of Robertson. The real deal.

                          1. Golem Dec 17, 2008 11:57 AM

                            I've never had a bad corned beef or pastrami sandwich at Brent's, which has been mentioned, already. Art's in Studio City seems to have cut back on their portions, lately, and I wouldn't necessarily send anyone there, except to mention that fact.

                            1. f
                              Fru Dec 17, 2008 11:19 AM

                              I had dinner at Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks the other night and Aaron was giving appetizer samples of his corned beef on rye with horseradish mustard. It was awesome. All the connective tissue had melted away. It was cut right, it wasn't dry, it wasn't over seasoned. The only drawback...It will only be available for lunch on Weekends. I was just at Barney Greengrass and that is way overrated for pastrami. Many like the Oinkster but for me it is over seasoned. None of the Jewish delis are outstanding IMO. I have yet to get to Langers but my whole family swears by them.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Fru
                                kevin Dec 17, 2008 03:45 PM

                                Langer's is very good but heavy, it's even better than the big boys in NYC.

                                what other stuff did you have at Boneyard, any venison on offer? and does aron still have that silly completely no-substitutions rule.

                                as for barney greengrass, i don't think it's supposed to be known for it's pastrami but rather for it's smoken sturgeon and other smoked fish.

                                1. re: kevin
                                  Fru Dec 17, 2008 04:25 PM

                                  I didn't see venison on the menu. We didn't ask for any substitutions and I didn't notice it mentioned on the menu. (Here is my reportas this was our first of hopefully many meals http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/576354 As for BGG here again is what I had to say http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/573430

                              2. m
                                manolid1 Dec 17, 2008 11:06 AM

                                A suggestion not a recommendation, but on Pastrami try The Hat, there are a few around town. One in Pasadena and the other in Rosemead. I think there are others around too.

                                17 Replies
                                1. re: manolid1
                                  kevin Dec 17, 2008 03:44 PM

                                  i really like the Hat but it is junk food pastrami

                                  1. re: kevin
                                    Will Owen Dec 17, 2008 04:29 PM

                                    Yup, totally different breed. Chewy instead of succulent, more like dried chipped beef out of a bottle than anything else. And yeah, I do like one of those monsters now and then myself, whenever I feel overdue for a fall from grace...

                                    I like the pastrami at the Oinkster. Not quite up to Langer's, which was supposedly this guy's model, but moist and rich and flavorful anyway. And you get to have THOSE fries on the side!

                                    1. re: Will Owen
                                      Fru Dec 17, 2008 04:30 PM

                                      Tops has them beat by a mile. Only my opinion. The Hat is extremely salty.

                                      1. re: Fru
                                        kevin Dec 17, 2008 04:33 PM

                                        that's why i like the hat, the salt factor, but i'll check out tops, by tops do you mean the original location, the one all the way down colorado, east of rosemead, near where michilanda crosses colorado? that particular location also has a kobe beef burger on the menu.

                                        1. re: kevin
                                          Fru Dec 17, 2008 05:09 PM

                                          I am talking about the one on Walnut west of Allen. I don't remember if I have ever had it at the one on Colorado at Michillinda. I like it with lots of mustard and pickles. Their pastrami has a bit of a kick to it. Seriously, it is much better than the hat!

                                          1. re: Fru
                                            SoCal Foodie Dec 18, 2008 07:47 AM

                                            I second Top's on Walnut/Allen and it's my favorite fast food pastrami place in the SGV! The Hat is just too greasy and salty for my taste buds.

                                      2. re: Will Owen
                                        cagey Dec 18, 2008 09:19 AM

                                        re: Hat: Like "dried chipped beef?" Granted, it's not on par with Oinkster or Langer's, but I can't remember ever getting a "dry" pastrami dip from the Hat. It is a "fall from grace" though (well put), if not a decadent and self-indulgent one. It has it's special place. Now imagine if Langer's or Oinkster had multiple locations around town.....

                                        1. re: cagey
                                          kevin Dec 18, 2008 09:49 AM

                                          the thing i like about the hat is it's always perfectly steamed so that most of the meat actually melts in your mouth.

                                          once it goes cold it does turn to rubbery garbage.

                                          1. re: kevin
                                            Poeticalmath Dec 19, 2008 12:06 PM

                                            that is true

                                          2. re: cagey
                                            riverman2166 Dec 19, 2008 09:43 AM

                                            Where is Oinkster? I've never heard of it before the posts here.

                                            1. re: riverman2166
                                              Servorg Dec 19, 2008 09:46 AM

                                              Many of the places mentioned on the LA CH board can be found in Chow Places (and failing that google will usually turn up what you are looking for).

                                              2005 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041

                                              1. re: Servorg
                                                ExtraCheesePlease Dec 19, 2008 10:50 AM

                                                Yum, the pastrami at the Oinkster is incredible. I prefer it to Langers but Langers is so much closer for me than Eagle Rock. I did hear that the people behind Oinkster was going to expand. My vote is Hollywood next. They would make a killing.

                                                1. re: ExtraCheesePlease
                                                  kevin Dec 19, 2008 01:16 PM

                                                  i'VE never really like the pastrami sandwiches at oinkster. they are ok, but not the best,

                                                  Langer's does take the prize in my opinion.

                                      3. re: manolid1
                                        ChinoWayne Dec 19, 2008 10:40 AM

                                        Another Hat aficionado here, when you really need to feed a salty, greasy forbidden food jones, The Hat is the place to go for the pastrami dip (which is a totally different animal, as others have pointed out, than a typical "Jewis deli style" pastrami sandwich).

                                        I like their fries and rings too. The fries are thick and made from real potatoes, not like typical fast food fries (which are from emaciated, stringy thin potatoes who never received sufficient love and nourishment from their farmers).

                                        1. re: ChinoWayne
                                          kevin Dec 19, 2008 01:18 PM

                                          ill have to say this though, the chili there is as bad as tommy's or worse, or maybe i just don't like gloppy, heavy, mealy tasting, tasteless, gloppy, corn starch and flour laden chili.

                                          But the pastrami sandwiches are swell, but eat it within a 1min to 3min window of it's preparation or it does turn to crap.

                                          1. re: kevin
                                            ChinoWayne Dec 19, 2008 01:33 PM

                                            Agree on the chili, have had it on their dogs and it was underwhelming. You are right, if you don't eat the pastrami quick enough, it turns the bun to mush, but I don't care, I still like it, when I need it. (But like a drug addict, I have OD'd on their pastrami when I got greedy and ate two in one sitting, after finishing the third of four half sandwiches, my stomach reminds me that I have mistreated it.) ;-)

                                            1. re: ChinoWayne
                                              kevin Dec 19, 2008 01:47 PM

                                              jeez, one sandwich (aka two halfs is more than enough for me), i always like to follow it if i'm still hungry with a sandwich from european or one of the other joints in pasadena (my usual hat go-to spot).

                                      4. Servorg Dec 17, 2008 10:49 AM

                                        I really can't say on pastrami outside of Langer's, (which you already covered) but we recently had lunch at R & D Cafe (a member of the Hillstone Restaurant Groups - Houston's/Bandera family) on Montana Ave. in Santa Monica and I tried their Rubenesque sandwich. Wow, that was some great corned beef. Now I am dreaming about going back for another one. The burger is a clone of the one at Bandera.

                                        Some posts on the LA board have extolled the pastrami and corned beef at Brent's in the Valley. Have you given Canter's a try? Fairfax just south of 3rd Street.




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

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: Servorg
                                          rednyellow Dec 17, 2008 03:14 PM

                                          Canter's is good. it is a few blocks NORTH of 3rd. It is also North of Bevery, between Oakwood and Rosewood, South of Melrose.

                                          1. re: rednyellow
                                            Servorg Dec 17, 2008 03:22 PM


                                          2. re: Servorg
                                            yogachik Dec 18, 2008 09:30 AM

                                            I crave the R&D Rubenesque, and go there about once a week just for that sandwich.

                                            1. re: yogachik
                                              Servorg Dec 18, 2008 10:13 AM

                                              I wouldn't be surprised to find out it is made with kobe corned beef it was so melt in your mouth tender. ;-D

                                            2. re: Servorg
                                              riverman2166 Dec 19, 2008 09:49 AM

                                              In the past week I've been to Canter's which was ok when I was a kid but now just seems to rest on it's laurels, and Art's which was just so-so. Most places slice their meat so thinly that the flavor and texture disappears. I was also down in Irvine or Lake Forrest -somewhere down there-and saw The Hat so I stopped in. I have to agree with the 'hounds who say it's greasy, salty and turns into rubber. It is filling and cheap though.

                                              I'm definitely going to try Magee's and Brent's when I get the chance.

                                              1. re: riverman2166
                                                ChinoWayne Dec 19, 2008 10:35 AM

                                                If you have not tried Langer's, you may want to add them to your future sample list.

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