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Feb 20, 2009 06:52 PM

Great real deli in LA?

I miss my east coast NYC deli food......

where can I get killer pastrami, pickles, and matzo ball soup in LA?


Is Canter's the only place?

(have Carnegie and Katz's withdrawls)

xoxo, Liisa

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  1. Oh God no, not Canter's, Canter's is just chaloshes.

    The very best pastrami in LA is at Langer's and whether it's as good as or better than Katz's is a matter of furious debate on these boards. You must order it hand-sliced, though, and they close at 4 because the neighbourhood is a little skeevy at night. It will totally scratch your itch.

    If you want the whole deli experience, go to Brent's in Northridge. I also like Billy's in Glendale but it's not as good as Brent's (and the pastrami at Brent's is no great metsieh either, but it's leagues better than Canter's).

    If you've absolutely got to stay in the 310, then go to Nate 'n Al's in Beverly Hills. Skip Junior's in Westwood.

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

    Brent's Deli
    19565 Parthenia St, Northridge, CA 91324

    Nate 'n Al's Deli & Restaurant
    414 N Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

    14 Replies
    1. re: Das Ubergeek

      I forgot the link for Billy's, and also a warning: Izzy's Deli in Santa Monica will probably come up at some point and it's absolutely a shanda and a charpeh and fit only for goyim who don't know any better.

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

      1. re: Das Ubergeek

        I am a huge fan of Langer's and recommend it highly. A pastrami on rye with an order of crinkle-cut fries (ordered welldone) and a cup of matzoh ball soup will make a fantastic lunch. Beware, however, this is not a mile-high sandwich in the Carnegie/Katz's style -- if that is what you are looking for it will seem downright chintzy. But the meat is rich, succulent, tasty, tender, excellent -- I order it untrimmed so I get the crisp outside peppery portions and, yes, the fat. The sandwich makes up in quality what it lacks in quantity.

        1. re: nosh

          You are far too hard on Junior's, which remains one of the better delis in town. Their lox is the best in town, by a fair margin, and the pastrami is no Langer's, but also no slouch. (Yeah, they serve a lot of Chinese chicken salad. It's that kind of town.)

          1. re: condiment

            I guess I wouldn't really know about the lox since I make my own... but their pastrami, feh. Too lean by half and on the worst rye bread ever.

            1. re: condiment

              The fudge cake is excellent. Have no clue about the rest.

          2. re: Das Ubergeek

            Or doctors who are stuck by proximity/location....

              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                I gotta disagree about Billy's. I think it's dreck, too. I love the waitress with the dirty jokes. The pickles on the table aren't bad, but pretty much everything I've ever had there has been mediocre at best. I once went to a wedding - a big Italian family and a big Mexican family and I was practically drooling in anticipation of the food. But, it was catered by Billy's and was awful. I got talked into going there for breakfast last Sunday. Corned beef hash was mushy, characterless and flavorless, eggs horribly overcooked, bagel burnt, I've had better coffee in an old age home. My friend had a pastrami sandwich that I wouldn't even dare taste, it looked so awful (green around the edges.)

                Langer's for pastrami - and I like some of their breakfast stuff also. Brent's for all around. Nate-N-Al for the atmosphere mostly (although it is, IMHO, overpriced and undergood for the price.)

              2. re: Das Ubergeek

                yay!! field trip is in the works!

                thank you for all the info!.it's a mitsvah.

                Watching the reruns over and over of Bourdain gave me the itch.

                and makes me remember Ronnie's in Orlando..... such a fabulous icon.... gone now.

                1. re: missliisa

                  Ess gezunt -- and report back and let us know what you liked best!!

                  Oh, you asked for bagels. You can get H&H bagels at unbelievable markup at Barney Greengrass in Beverly Hills -- flown in every day from Eleventh Avenue. If you want something that's not fifty cents a biss, my recommendation is Bagel Nosh, on Wilshire and 17th in Santa Monica. They used to be open in the Woodbridge Center Mall in New Jersey. Also passable (but not great) is Western Bagel Too in Studio City on Coldwater Canyon and Ventura. Ess-A-Bagel it's not, but until you convince yourself to have a basket overnighted from Zabar's...

                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                    I've grown to like the Bagel Factory I think it's called in the Vons minimall on the northeast corner of National and Sepulveda (their main store is on Robertson). Could be just slow acclimatization to the melted pot here but I don't yearn for H&H any longer...unless I think too much about it. IMHO Western Bagels are not (and I just saw them in Costco today; can you imagine????). But this subject has been boiled many times over elsewhere on Chowhound.

                    1. re: aliris

                      bagel factory is good. and they have good challah.

                2. re: Das Ubergeek

                  Langer's and Brent's are by far the best.

                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                    First response is the definitive one!

                  2. There is no real good deli in L.A. but Canter's is the worst of the bad attempts. I would try Frohman's, Arts Deli, Nate and Al's...not great but better than Canter's...way better

                    1. There is no one deli that has it depends what you want. For example, Roll and Rye in Culver City has the best rueben I've had ....Brents has good corned beef and pastrami....the pickles sourkraut and sky high sandwiches are really good at Nate'n Als......Jerry's deli has decent matzo ball soup...Barney's Greengrass has good smoked fish and bagel plates. The lox,eggs and onions is good at Fromans. Of course Langers for pastrami. Nobody makes good potato pancakes....Brents makes their own kishka and its good. ...I like the sweet and sour cabbage soup at Fromans...Broadway Deli in Santa Monica used to have a good selection of smoked fish... I haven't been there for some time so I don't know about now....... Thanks for all the yiddishisms Das Ubergeek ...really gave me a laugh.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: delishdonna

                        roll & rye!!! i always forget about this place - i was never wowed by this place, but it does serve mile high sandwiches that are pretty tasty! i need to go back and try a few more things to get a fair opinion of it.

                        10990 Jefferson Blvd, Culver City 90230

                        langer's is the best. i was disappointed at brent's - i think i just expected too much and it didn't really deliver. i need to go to arts deli. nate and al's is fine. canter's is eh - some people love it and some people hate it. it's just ok in my opinion, but i won't argue if someone wants to go there. juniors is awful. truly. i do my best to stay out of this place.

                        no one has mentioned factor's deli - which i don't know too much about.

                        be sure to steer clear of greenblatts - i would put it at a sub-junior's level.

                      2. P.S there is a kosher bakery on Burbank near Laurel Canyon next to Cambridge Farms market....They have the best biallys outside of New York..there bagels and rye are also very good...Cambridge farms has excellent pre sliced packaged lox from Acme supplier in New York . ...along with all kinds of other smoked fish.

                        1. Langers for killer pastrami.

                          I like the Matzo Ball soup at Jerrys.

                          Bagels: Handsdown the closest to NY bagels.