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Best corned beef and pastrami in L.A.?

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

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  1. 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

      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: Servorg

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

        1. re: yogachik

          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

          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

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

        3. 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

            i really like the Hat but it is junk food pastrami

            1. re: kevin

              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

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

                1. re: Fru

                  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

                    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

                      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

                  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

                    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: cagey

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

                      1. re: riverman2166

                        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

                          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

                            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

                  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

                    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

                      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

                        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. 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

                    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

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

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

                        1. 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

                            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

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

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: JudiAU

                              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

                                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

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

                                1. 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

                                    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

                                      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

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

                                    1. 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.

                                        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. 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. 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

                                              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.