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Apr 22, 2005 05:56 PM

Kaplan's Deli in Costa Mesa closed

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Just ran across this article in the Los Angeles Times today that Kaplan's Deli in Costa Mesa, off Harbor Blvd., closed on March 31, 2005, due to rising rent on their lease. LA Times link below.

I've always enjoyed coming here and ordering from their huge menu selection. So sad. :-(


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  1. Ugh! That was my local destination for pastrami and cole slaw on rye if I couldn't get up to Langer's.

    7 Replies
    1. re: NinoHB

      Their stuff was pleasant and wholesome, but no match for Langer's . Still, it was the only real deli down here (as far as I know), and the service was always warm and gracious. A pity.

      1. re: Hungry1

        Where did they get their bagels from?

        1. re: Hungry1
          Professor Salt

          Benjie's Deli in Tustin might be your closest replacement.

          1. re: Professor Salt

            We enjoy Jerry's Deli in the South Coast Metro area.
            Great corned beef imho.

            1. re: hbgrrl

              Actually, when they're good they can be very good and when bad very bad, i.e., Jerry's problem is rank inconsistency. Also, this pickle freak has never been able to get half sours at the South Coast location, only full. Shameful.
              Katella Deli in Los Al is more consistent but Jerry's can be markedly better on occasion. Pick your poison.
              But at the end of the day, IMHO nothing in OC comes close to Brent's, Langer's, Art's or surprisingly, even Nate & Al's.

              1. re: bernardo

                Kaplan's was the first experience I had with a Jewish Deli. Down here in Escondido, the closest we have is D.C. Akins. Not as good as Kaplans. I never had a bad meal at Kaplans and would drive the 80 or so miles jut for the heck of it. It was curious the difference in what you had in your chicken soup. I would banter back and forth between them and Jerry's off of Bristol. I now see some other choices after reading some of the posts here.

            2. re: Professor Salt

              I would agree with the rec for Benji's in that general area, though it's been several years since I've been there. I've wondered why I rarely see anything about the place on Chowhound. It seemed fairly standard for an OC 'New York-style' deli when I worked in that area in the early 90's.

              Always found it curious how little much of the staff knew about the the Jewish deli food they served..... but it IS OC after all. I was happy to have it near, especially in those days. It wasn't Langer's-great, but not bad either.

        2. Wow! Jean Pasco wrote the article? I thought she was the local Orange County political commentator for the Times.

          And, Kaplan's was also one of two places I know of in Orange County to buy Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray Celery Soda that a chowhound introduced me to at Langer's. It is a great compliment to a pastrami sandwich that celery soda.

          While Jerry's Famous Deli in Costa Mesa has it (sometimes!), their pastrami sandwich (lean is more $$) with a skimpy side of cole slaw and a soda cost me $20.

          Please let me know if I can find Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray Celery Soda somewhere else in Orange County?

          I tried the pastrami sandwich at Arnie's Manhatten Deli and it was pretty good. Could be great if they changed the bread to a more home-baked, soft center, hard crust kind. Arnie's Manhattan is a nice little deli/restaurant. It used to be on Bristol, but now it's on Dove between MacArthur and Scott Drive.


          2 Replies
          1. re: kc girl

            I'm 99% sure Arnies has closed.

            1. re: OC Mutt

              Did the location on Dove St close? The one on Bristol closed, and has now become Onotria. I thought the one on Dove St, next to the Pleasant Pheasant, was still open, although it's been awhile since I've been there.

          2. I'm actually not surprised. The Fedco is long gone and lots of new restaurants and shops have taken up that area, so I suspect not only the rent is up, but the clientele is down. Just my unfounded suspicion, take it or leave it.

            1. remember when so. coast plaza opened and kaplans was on the left when u exited may co.? went thru chopped liver withdrawls when they closed. then it opened on harbor/405. dt's stabilized. last night i drove past it. i didn't know it had closed. it looked so alone/defeated compared to the warm feeling of books, music and good food. my hands r shaking. i need a liver fix! well, i suppose there's always bristol farms @ facist island...

              1. I went back to Arnie's Manhatten Deli over on Dove, and it's not as good as the location they had on Bristol. I don't think they have a full kitchen anymore. The selection is much more limited, as are the hours. Food was just ok.

                I'm a bit baffled by the sad feelings about Kaplans closing, I ate there twice, and both times it was pretty disappointing, somewhere between a Norms/Dennys and a real Deli.

                It seems all we're left with in the South Coast area is Jerry's Deli, which is wildly erratic.