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Langers was good but............

I had always heard so much about Langers Pastrami sandwiches and how good they were. So I finally went with a friend to have one. The sandwich was good, no doubt, but the price.....geez. I don't know if any sandwich is worth that much. It's just a sandwich!

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  1. I'd rather eat 1 #19 than 3 subway 5 dollar foot longs.

    it is pricey , but it is SO worth it ;)

    1. Langers is soooooooo worth it.

      I go on Saturday morning to avoid the crowds. At breakfast time, half the patrons are eating pastrami sammies.

      2 Replies
      1. re: SilverlakeGirl

        curbside pick-up also avoids the crowds!!

        1. re: SilverlakeGirl

          Either between 9 and 10 in the morning or after 2 are the best times to hit Langers. I just wish they would reopen on Sundays!

        2. You must never eat at delis-sandwich price is similar to all the others.

          1. So-, just curious. How much was that "just a sandwich.?" Would love to hear comparisons.

            15 Replies
            1. re: maudies5

              probably $14

              Katz is 14.45
              Jerry's is 10.95 /15.65
              Canter's is around 13-14 bucks too

              therefore, all deli sandwiches are approximately $13 - $16.

              1. re: ns1

                Langer's Prices:
                HOT PASTRAMI
                PASTRAMI and SWISS CHEESE Russian Style Dressing
                PASTRAMI and CHOPPED LIVER Russian Style Dressing
                HOT PASTRAMI Sauerkraut and Nippy Cheese Grilled on Rye
                CORNED BEEF Sauerkraut and Swiss Cheese Grilled on Rye
                PASTRAMI and COLE SLAW Russian Style Dressing
                And worth every penny.

                1. re: wienermobile

                  wiernermobile: for those of us who haven't had the pleasure, can you tell us which of these is the famous #19 I am reading about? TIA!

                  1. re: susancinsf

                    #19 - PASTRAMI, SWISS CHEESE and COLE SLAW Russian Style Dressing on rye...enjoy.

                    1. re: wienermobile

                      And ironically it wasn't on your list that Susan was asking about. According to their latest menu the #19 is now $14.45.

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

                      1. re: Servorg

                        Then I stand corrected Servorg....Brent's now saves you almost $2 per sandwich and you still get a "side" that you would otherwise have to add to the already OUTRAGEOUS bill you will pay at Langer's. The sky high pastrami at Brent's is still only $12.50 and that comes with the coleslaw and russian dressing on it. The regular pastrami sandwich is only $11.95...and that comes with the side...so either way, you still get your side, just either on it, or not. Still 2or more dollars cheaper and tastes BETTER than Langer's. It's been a competition for years between these two deli's...but when the taste is THAT close, yet the prices are vastly different, then throw in great service, a much nicer and cleaner atmosphere...the winner is clear to me!! Enjoy Brent's...totally worth the drive. IMHO

                        1. re: DBoos

                          I like Brent's a lot. I normally have a black pastrami Reuben. But I still think Langer's has better pastrami. Mostly I give Langer's the nod because of the thicker slices of meat. And, while Brent's rye is very good, again Langer's rye is slightly better. But it really all comes down to whether I'm out in the Valley or near downtown and want a great sandwich. YMMV

                          1. re: Servorg

                            That's what makes the world go round...enjoy that sammie from Langer's :-)...I'll be enjoying mine at Brent's

                      2. re: wienermobile

                        thanks...though I am not a big fan of cheese and pastrami together..but I definitely have Langer's on the list for one of my trips to LA. Will probably try it before I try Brent's, just because I've heard so much (and a few $ difference won't really bother me much one way or the other).

                        How is the sauerkraut?

                        1. re: susancinsf

                          Either place is about the same...but make sure you get to Langer's before 3:30 pm. The sauerkraut is about the same in every deli. I miss the plate of pickes and sauerkraut you used to get at Nate N' Al's.

                      3. re: susancinsf

                        Don't care about a number ANYTHING susan...sorry, but I posted what I believed in and have done a LOT of pastrami taste testing in my years, and I promise you that EVERY aspect of Brent's is better than Langers....not to mention that it is still CHEAPER....AND you get a side with it. I stand by my quote. Another glitch in the restaurant biz is that you will ALWAYS at some time, get a NOT SO wonderful sammie...why? That should be obvious....sometimes when you buy those meats in bulk, not all of them will be the same...so yes, the occasional "not so extraordinary" sandwich will appear. Had them at every single deli I've ever been a regular at, and that list is looooooong. BRENT's hands down!!!

                        1. re: DBoos

                          You are aware that taste is very subjective and so promising anything regarding "that EVERY aspect of Brent's is better than Langers" is amusing. Just relax and enjoy your pastrami at Brent's. It's always hard to understand (not only in this discussion) why one person tries to convince other people that something is "the best ever", "far superior" etc. when just a description of a dish without outrageous assessments is much more helpful and credible. And writing that somebody is a chef/restaurateur/foodie etc. doesn't add any credibility (more the opposite) because it doesn't give anybody a higher authority to say what is better or not.

                      4. re: wienermobile

                        Go back and re-read the menu and prices Susan....no longer these prices, yet Brent's STILL remains the same. Alot cheaper and better taste.

                        1. re: DBoos

                          I love Brent's Deli. That black pastrami Rueben is a great sandwitch. Brent's Deli is one of the best in all of LA....but no one can touch Langer's Pastrami. No one. Heaven on rye. Just my opinion.

                          1. re: wienermobile

                            i agree 100%......when i think pastrami....langer's comes to mind first

                  2. I agree that it is definitely worth it. You know how many restaurants' entrees that cost ~$14 and are not even close to the deliciousness that is Langer's? ALOT.

                    Nobody ever said it was a good deal or cheap. If you want a good cheap sandwich, go to the Cemitas Poblana truck on Venice in front of Smart & Final. $5 and filling and delicious.

                    1. Yes, it's worth it. Not debatable. It's one of the best sandwiches you will ever eat. Any decent pastrami costs about that amount with far less quality than Langers.

                      19 Replies
                      1. re: toonoble

                        Wow, lots of responses in a short amount of time. Guess Langers has lots of support around here. Like I said, the sandwich was good, no doubt about it. One of the best pastrami sammies I have ever had. The price is excessive, though, IMO. To each his own.

                        1. re: Illuminatus

                          If it cost $50 or was merely decent, then I could understand criticizing the price. But $12.95 for a sandwich that many of us who have lived all over the country think is the best? That's a steal, Illuminatus. In fact, I'd be willing to pay twice that amount during 4 p.m. - 1 a.m., if they'd only stay open that late!


                          1. re: Harry Niletti

                            Now that's a thought! You think Norm Langer might go for it? I'd pay $28 for a Langer's pastrami on rye if it were open late late late!!!! It's too hard to make it out from Redlands before 4:30 PM!

                            1. re: lottoman7210

                              I'm told they used to be open 24/7, like Canter's, back when MacArthur Park was a tony part of town. It's come back from its depths, but not I think enough to encourage anyone with a cash register to stay open too late. However, I have little patience with anyone who fears parking in the lot and walking the block to Langer's and back. Yes, there are folks you might not want to share an elevator with, but chances of any real danger are pretty damn slim nowadays. Too many families with little kids and old granny ladies.

                          2. re: Illuminatus

                            "price is excessive"

                            At CUT they charge $14 for a bottle of sparkling water. Not really excessive considering the price of most Jewish deli sandwiches though. I would agree with mostly everyone here that Langers price is the median of jewish deli pastrami.

                            1. re: A5 KOBE

                              Well being that I have not frequented any Jewish delis other than Langers, perhaps I am out of touch with what they all charge. I have never been to Canters, Katz's or anywhere like that before. To say I am ignorant about Jewish deli would be an understatement.

                              1. re: Illuminatus

                                Jewish Deli sandwiches are, IMO ,overpriced...at least when I lived in NYC, you could split a $15 sandwich in two...they gave you that much meat!

                                Langers is worth it, IMO, as any other Pastrami sandwich in town costs the same.

                                BTW, the best deal at Dodger Stadium is a Pastrami Sandwich @ Canters in left field/field level...its about $13, which makes it the only item in Dodger Stadium that isn't grossly overpriced

                                1. re: manku

                                  I agree, manku, NY delis would justify the high prices by literally giving you about a pound of meat on the sandwich. They are usually so huge, you cannot open your mouth wide enough to take that first bite, most of the time.

                                  I don't consider Langer's to be overpriced, it's just about right for that type of fare.

                                  What I do have a beef about, (pun intended) is that the #19 is not really like pastrami, it is more like corned beef. Their pastrami is cooked in a way that it's texture is not like that of thinly sliced pastrami, it is one of overcooked corned beef. Brisket that was cooked a very long time, and has a shredded appearance to it, is not the same as pastrami, IMO. Tasty, but it is not the pastrami sandwich I had expected.

                                  1. re: manku

                                    It might be a good deal if Canter's pastrami was worth eating... the last time I had their pastrami it was bland, bland, bland. I can't justify paying $13 for a bland sandwich when the same price will bring me pastrami nirvana. By the way, Canter's is walking distance from where I live, and I rarely eat there.

                                    Mr Taster

                                  2. re: Illuminatus

                                    If you are down in that general neighborhood and want something both delicious and cheap then seek out Dino's Burgers (NOT for the burger) and get a plate of their "El Pollo Maniaco" (Crazy Chicken indeed) with fries for about $5.25. A half of a chicken marinated in their day-glo orange sauce and grilled then laid over their fries with the marinade sauce dripping down on the fries - plus tortillas.

                                    I like the one on Pico Blvd. (linked) but they have other locations in and around downtown LA.

                                    Dino's Chicken and Burgers
                                    2575 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90006, USA

                                2. re: Illuminatus

                                  IMHO, most delis are rip-offs when you stop to think about why you paid $15 for something like roast beef on rye. That said, I think Langers is a fair value compared to other deli's, at worst.

                                  1. re: HastaLaPasta

                                    Price is relative. There is a LOT of meat in most deli sandwiches, and that's the most expensive ingredient. You get almost a pound at the Carnegie. However, Jerry's sucks and a trip to the Carnegie, my other favorite adds airfare and hotel. So Langers is a bargain. Similarly, you can get a fantastic croque monseiur or crouqe madame sandwich in Paris for 4-5 Euro ($6-7) whereas the croque madam at Bouchon in Bev. Hills is $16 and it's fantastic as well, but it's still "only" a ham and cheese sandwich if you go by the auspices of the OP. Add plane fare and hotel and that Paris sandwich costs a heck of a lot more - plus you can't get a terrific one anywhere else in LA, that I know of anyway making that $16 a bargain at Bouchon. Supply and demand, if there is no supply of comparable quality, then it's worth the price to many - including me.

                                    1. re: OC Mutt

                                      Most delis I have been to pile their meat in the center and when cut they look huge but the meat tapers off to almost nothing at the ends, a visual trick but most are still good.

                                      1. re: malibumike

                                        Most delis will weigh the meat before putting it in the sandwich, btw.

                                  2. re: Illuminatus

                                    i have a question for you. what do you think is a fair price for what you admit is one of the best pastrami sandwiches you have ever had?

                                    1. re: Illuminatus

                                      Is this because you don't think it tastes as good as other (non-sandwich) things you can get for $15, or because you think sandwiches by definition are supposed to be cheap, no matter how good they are?

                                      I'll admit, I still kinda expect sandwiches to be in the <$10 range. But I'll gladly pay Langer's prices for something that good.

                                      1. re: Illuminatus

                                        why do you use the term sammies. I have seen it before ( is it term from the U.K. ? ) I get confused. Or is it a slang? Would some one help me here.. Thanks

                                          1. re: Foodandwine

                                            "sammie" = US slang for sandwich
                                            "sarnie" = UK slang for sandwich

                                      2. Judging by the lines and the sustained popularity of the No. 19, I'd say the jury has spoken and the verdict is that it is not overpriced.

                                        Maybe you think the sandwich is not very good (just like me), but I don't think a reasonable argument could be made that the sandwich is overpriced.

                                        1. Fourteen bucks is midrange price for a decent "designer" cheeseburger, and darned cheap for most other lunch entrées I've encountered in these parts. Yes, you can head out into the SGV and spend a heck of a lot less, or go somewhere like Clifton's, but for a sandwich that is both world-class and as much food as a sedentary man of advanced years ever needs to eat at one sitting, I say it's a bargain. And this is coming from someone who still wonders where all the nickel candy bars went...

                                          14 Replies
                                          1. re: Will Owen

                                            Actually for 14 bucks I think that a the Wolfgang's Burger is a much better value than the Langer's No. 19 ... plus you get free parking at Wolfgang's.

                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                              Not arguing the first point, but Langer's validates for the lot on 7th and Westlake.

                                              1. re: Peripatetic

                                                Fair enough, forgot about that. Plus, Langer's has curbside pickup.

                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                  We are also doomed to disagree about any burger and any Langer's sandwich. I do love me some burgers, as I've tried to make clear on numerous occasions, but Langer's pastrami is special as no burger can be, though some come close (I have NOT had Wolfgang's, to be honest). My take on it is: I can make a burger that rivals any in the world, but I can't duplicate Langer's pastrami. Nor the rye bread.

                                                  1. re: Will Owen

                                                    You bring up a good point, Will, and I agree that deli-style pastrami is a near impossibility to make at home.

                                                    However, I will say that I am generally unable to duplicate a good hamburger bun at home, even though I can come pretty close making good deli-style rye bread, if not better than what's found at Langer's.

                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                      I'm not much of a baker, and am insufficiently interested in rye bread generally to try making any. In that one application, however, what Langer's uses is I think divine.

                                                      My favorite bun is a ciabatta or focaccia roll; Mrs. O prefers onion rolls. Each of us tolerates the other's favorite, so our homeburgers alternate between the two. NOT homemade.

                                                      1. re: Will Owen

                                                        I was not much of a baker either, until I tried the no-knead bread. The rye bread variation is similarly spectacular.


                                                        Mr Taster

                                                    2. re: Will Owen

                                                      Will....I hate to disagree with you here. I've been to Langer's recently, and I have to say, that although the pastrami is absolutely devine....the atmosphere and the restaurant itself is just plain depressing. Not to mention that they close by 4pm!! Now...I know it's not downtown, or close to it, but I have to say...without a doubt, that BRENT'S delicatessen in Northridge, has BY FAR...the BEST pastrami sandwich anywhere in the entire L.A. basin!! I'm a foodie, a chef, and a restauranteur, and Brent's has it hands down. Why????....because not only is the pastrami JUST as good....it's better, and the service, the people, and the atmosphere is just hands down 100 times better than Langer's. I think Brent's is the best kept secret in Los Angeles...well not too secret. One of TV's best chefs comes out from NY every single New Year's just to eat a corned beef or pastrami sandwich from Brent's!! That's a hell of a long way to come from the deli capitol of this country to eat a friggin sandwich!! Hell of a testament if you ask me. I eat there at least two times a month. All the staff know me now by name, and they are just wonderful. Even when it's packed on a Saturday or Sunday morning...it moves quickly and the service is amazing!! BTW...their rye bread is twice baked with that wonderful crunch on the crust, yet the bread is soft and warm...just doesn't get any better!! It's also a DOLLAR cheaper than Langer's...AND you get a side with it....PLUS a plate of great kosher dills on the table and as many refills of those as you like. It's KILLER. Highly recommend it to anyone. Sits right at the little strip mall on Parthenia at Corbin. To anyone that loves Langer's I say...go Go...GO to Brent's!!! You won't be disappointed!!

                                                      1. re: DBoos

                                                        As an ex-NYCer, Langer's atmosphere and environs appeal to my Lower-East-Side-loving sensibilities. Admittedly it's not for everyone, as this thread and others amply illustrate.

                                                        FWIW, I love Brent's, too.

                                                        1. re: Peripatetic

                                                          Totally get that Langer's appeals to your sense of being home...but I just don't feel safe there anymore. Like I said...to me, the differences in taste are so minimal that they're almost not worth mentioning, but it's the vibe of Brent's that makes me smile. Nicest people...reminds me of Nate N' Al's back in the 60's and 70's where I went every Saturday morning without fail for years and knew every single person that worked there. Brent's is becoming that for me in my adult years after being gone for almost 30 years All the truly wonderful restaurants of yesteryear are long gone. I still can taste Chasen's chili, and beef soo chow from Ah Fong's, as well as the Cobb salad from the Brown Derby, and the teriyaki steak from the Luau. Long gone are MFK's, and Schwabs...and I could go on and on. Hell...I even miss the Ontra and Clifton's cafeteria's for that matter....but if anyone wants a killer corned beef sandwich or french dip....not in a deli type atmosphere...go to MaGee's in the Farmer's Market. Outstanding...and hasn't changed one bit in over 60 years.

                                                          1. re: DBoos

                                                            hi.. I have been a long time lurker, but this post finally prompted me sign up. I think you and I lived parallel lives.. I remember each and every one of those things, growing up when you did. I still search for the recipe for beef soo chow.. the recipe for the teriyaki sauce from the Luau as well as their house salad dressing.

                                                            Went to all the same places you did.. thank you for the good memories.

                                                          2. re: Peripatetic

                                                            Switching gears....anyone here had a burger from Umami yet? This ought to get some interesting feedback....lol. It is personally my favorite burger in Los Angeles...and was written up recently as maybe the "best" burger in the U.S. Any takers?

                                                            1. re: DBoos

                                                              you should consult the 200+ reply ultimate burger throwdown thread.

                                                  2. re: ipsedixit

                                                    Additionally, Langer's is Red Line friendly!

                                                2. I have never had an expensive good meal, only an expensive bad one. I love Langer's Pastrami and $14 for a large amount of meat is what I would call relative value. Compare this to the beef from New York's Pat La Frieda at LA's Burger Kitchen. 40-day prime aged beef from Pat La Frieda is used in their burger called The Natural ($29). I haven't had it but I want it.

                                                  Burger Kitchen
                                                  8048 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

                                                    1. I always show up at Langer's very hungry.

                                                      I get the sandwich, regular pastrami. None of the unnecessary #19 schmaltz. Just a plain pastrami sandwich with Guldens and coleslaw on the side. I usually split fries with my Lovely Tasting Assistantâ„¢.

                                                      The sandwich always seems a little small. However, after finishing the sandwich, I always feel completely sated. Happens every time.

                                                      Mr Taster

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                                        "The sandwich always seems a little small. However, after finishing the sandwich, I always feel completely sated. Happens every time."

                                                        amen to that.

                                                      2. So, is their brisket any good? I'm not a monster for pastrami.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Akitist

                                                          The brisket, as my compadre Ray will attest to, is also world-class. A finer brisket on rye cannot be found in L.A. GOD eats at Langer's!

                                                        2. On a budget, aye matey? So, howbout a smoked (~ 24 hrs on premises) brisket sandwich or platter from Whole Foods Terra Bella, generous servings for ~ $9 (occasionally $2 less for the sandwich). Intensely smoky, tasty, meaty and juicy alternative to NY style pastrami or brisket. Dead ringer for the product offered by County Line restaurants in Texas, NM & Colorado. And most importantly the costumer rules at the smoked meat counter, you choose the slab and slice exactly as you like it, all right before your own eyes. Removes the element of chance from your precious sandwich.

                                                          6 Replies
                                                          1. re: bernardo

                                                            I'd like to clarify to other confused Chowhounds that I think bernardo is referring to the Whole Foods which is located in the "Bella Terra" shopping center in Huntington Beach.

                                                            I've never seen a smoked meat counter at a Whole Foods-- will have to check it out. Are there any locations with smoked meat counter closer to LA?

                                                            Mr Taster

                                                            1. re: Mr Taster

                                                              I think the smoked meat counters are at the WF that have enough floor space to offer a lot of full service islands/counters. The two that I frequent (El Segundo and Venice) both have the smoked meat counters. The one on Barrington/National is much smaller - a retrofit from its previous incarnation as Mrs. Gooch's - and has no smoked meat counter. Don't expect Bludso's or you'll be disappointed, but it kinda scratches the itch.

                                                              1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                I would think, therefore, that the giant WF on Arroyo in Pasadena might have such a counter. As I have not covered every square foot of that place (who has the TIME??) I haven't noticed one yet, but I'll go look. Thanks for the tip.

                                                                1. re: Will Owen

                                                                  It does. Next to the cheese counter.

                                                                  1. re: Will Owen

                                                                    I've tried the two store's counters mentioned once each. The brisket was somewhat dry and not as smokey as the inner red ring might lead me to believe it to be. I've found WF's offerings in general to be the same in general - great idea, great offering it, but it seems to always fall short of delivering what I'd hoped for.

                                                                    1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                      While my experiences at WF Bella Terra are mostly positive, I would concede there's variability in the product. But being local to Bella Terra, I can and do opt out on occasion sans regrets (other than opportunity risk), namely, one can screen the product in advance -- inspect visually and request samples before committing to purchase. So in my case quality post-screening matters more than variability pre-screening. But for those who insist on certainty and no opting -out, Langer's is undoubtedly worth the extra freight.

                                                            2. I have had the pastrami sandwich at Canter's, Stage, Carnegie, Katz's, and then some. Langer's #19 has an incredible combination of thicker sliced pastrami that nip cheese, the cole slaw and their incredible bread. It's all the elements combined that make it so freakin' good! I say this with every confidence. There are some few contenders but Langer's #19 is the champ.

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: ltseligman

                                                                I'll jump in, adding to the hundreds of all valid opinions. A bit conflicted, but after thinking hard, the sandwich was not worth $14. It was worth it when I ate it, a very tasty sandwich, the pastrami was really good (portion wise just enough, though could have been more), fresh rye bread, and a great package.

                                                                But...would I go there again? No, only if money was not an issue or I wanted to splurge. Although I would rate the #19 an "A-" for taste/package, I would rate it a "B/B-" for value.

                                                                In San Francisco, I tasted Miller's East Coast Deli's pastrami sandwich, and although it's not as good, it's still a very good Pastrami sandwich for only (B+) for only $7.99 for the small and $9.99 for the large. Value wise: A+.


                                                                1. re: badbatzmaru

                                                                  Griping about the price compared to something "almost as good" is ridiculous. A Ford is almost as good as a Bentley yet the Bentley is a wee bit more. The margin between anything that is "the best" and something acceptable is going to be narrow.
                                                                  Price for Langer's #19 is on par with every other deli in contention for this much coveted and contentious title. No matter which you think is the best, by virtue of it being that good, expect to pay more.
                                                                  Langer's has a line durring most hours of the day. These are primarily return customers. They come back for a reason and it's not to overpay for a sandwich.

                                                                  1. re: ltseligman

                                                                    I agree with Itseligman on this Langers issue - griping about a few dollars on the price of Pastrami is absurd. Especially when many consider them to have the best pastrami in the country and few and they have a line around the block. I never begrudge a business, especially one providing a unique hand-made product, the right to make the best profit that they can. And a sandwich, even a $15 sandwich, is hardly considered a luxurious indulgent splurge. But your unfortunately Badbatz has a point when it comes to value in general. Price is always in consideration when determining whether to eat somewhere and there is in fact a price to value ratio for pretty much everyone. Everyone a point on an imaginary graph in their heads where liking something meets price and then crosses it - eg. I really like Pho from my favorite place which charges $7.99 for a huge bowl. If they charged $30 for it, I wouldn't go there - especially knowing that there are other places that make excellent Pho as well.

                                                                    1. re: ltseligman

                                                                      +2 on Itseligman's perspective. We see this a lot when it comes to incremental quality increases v. price. As OC Mutt points out, cars are a classic example in general. Think about wines, beers, and liquor in general as well. Everyone has their own particular tastes and price thresholds, and some are willing to go from say, a 90-point pinot for $20, to a 94-pointer for three times the cost or more, just for that measly few more points. Don't even get into futures on French or Italian wines. A six-pack of Bud cans is what - $7? I'd easily pay two to five more bucks for for a four- or six-pack coming out of Oskar Blues or Avery Brewery - so much more worthy of drinking. Each consumer decides for themselves on what to spend versus what they want or are happy with. When it comes to food and drink, everyone loves a bargain, but at the same time, many Hounds probably would concur that it's worth stepping it up a few bucks to gain the desired effect.