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Excellent pastrami and/or corned beef sandwich in OC?

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I think it's hopeless, but I'm praying that someone will prove me wrong. I do not think there is anywhere in OC where one can get an excellent (not just ok, or even good...but excellent) kosher style deli sandwich. I'm talking in-house prepared corned beef or pastrami sliced by hand, on freshly baked crusty rye bread. I'm thinking of Katz's or the Carnegie in NYC, or perhaps even Langer's in LA (which is only borderline excellent). It doesn't exist in OC, does it?

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  1. Doubtful. Jerry's is not as good as the one in the Valley, and that one was never a favorite of mine to begin with. Benji's on Tustin is actually pretty good, but I would not call it great.

    My favorite pastrami is actually from the Derby in Mission Viejo. Thick cut peppery pastrami on good rye. I don't know if it NY good, I have not been back to NY in 20 years, but it is my choice for tops in OC.

    -----
    Benjies Restaurant
    1828 N Tustin Ave, Santa Ana, CA 92705

    Derby Deli & Dueling Piano Bar
    27741 Crown Valley Pkwy, Mission Viejo, CA 92691

    1. R&D Cafe in Fashion Island makes a delicious version.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Funwithfood

        I don't consider the corned beef used by R&D to be Kosher deli style.

        1. re: JAB

          Not even close to NY kosher style cb!

          1. re: josephnl

            Sorry, didn't notice 'Kosher deli style'.

            (Although it's better than some Kosher deli style I've had :))

            1. re: Funwithfood

              I agree that the Reuben at R&D is pretty tasty, but when I want a NYC kosher style hand sliced pastrami or corned beef sandwich on rye, it doesn't fill the bill!

              1. re: josephnl

                Probably not. But on a rainy night it's warm deliciousness...mmm. Made even better with the addition of their fab fries & killer coleslaw.

      2. I'll throw out the Katella Deli as having kosher style deli corned beef and pastrami in OC but, probably not "excellent".

        -----
        Katella Deli-Restaurant
        4470 Katella Ave, Los Alamitos, CA 90720

        13 Replies
        1. re: JAB

          Arnie's Manhattan Deli in a Newport Beach office park near John Wayne Airport has fantastic rye bread and very good corned beef and pastrami that are kosher style. I order the corned beef lean. Cole slaw is also passable. Certainly comparable to, if not better than, Katella Deli

          -----
          Katella Deli-Restaurant
          4470 Katella Ave, Los Alamitos, CA 90720

          Arnie's Manhattan Restaurant
          1660 Dove St, B Newport Beach, CA

          1. re: 2intune

            Arnie's is fine for an O.C. deli (not yet been to Katella so can't make that comparison) but would not cut the mustard up in L.A. Arnie's also tends to slice the rye bread too thick unless you specify that you want a thin slice. The soups are quite good and they do have Dr. Brown's, which is a major plus.

            1. re: New Trial

              We used to go to the Arnie's on Bristol on a weekly basis. Now they're only open for lunch IIRC...

              1. re: Funwithfood

                What is IIRC? Please...why do so many posters use cryptic abbreviations such as this? I'm not exactly a newbie, but I haven't a clue what you're referring to!

                1. re: josephnl

                  IIRC - If I Recall Correctly

                  1. re: monku

                    TY...just kidding...thank you!

          2. re: JAB

            Katella's version of Langer's #19 was better than I expected, maybe 5+ out of 10, with Langer's about a 9+. So, not great but decent in a pinch.

            1. re: pharmnerd

              You ate at Katella Deli in Los Alamitos, right? (Love their coleslaw!)
              There's also a Katella Grill in Orange . . .

              -----
              Katella Deli-Restaurant
              4470 Katella Ave, Los Alamitos, CA 90720

              Katella Grill
              1325 W Katella Ave, Orange, CA 92867

              1. re: Joani Macaroni

                Yes- it's on the corner of Katella & Main in Orange Really good pastrami sandwiches there.

                Katella Grill
                katellafamilygrill.com
                (714) 997-9191

                1325 W Katella Ave, Orange, CA

                -----
                Katella Grill
                1325 W Katella Ave, Orange, CA 92867

                1. re: MoreBeerHere

                  Morebeerhere-
                  Try Katella DELI in Los Alamitos (west of the racetrack) and then let us know which one you like better. Das, pharmnerd and I agree that for pastrami, the DELI may be more to your liking. But if you are east of the GRILL, you may not want to make the trek to the DELI due to the gasoline prices. . .

                  BTW, the DELI is now adding an additonal menu to the regular menu, so if you're in the mood for something new, they do have some new selections for dinner. I don't usually do burgers, but the one I had there (on the new menu) was pretty tasty.

                  1. re: Joani Macaroni

                    Will do.I live in Orange and I don't make it out to Los Al too much but I do like good pastrami so I shall make the trek out there to see what the fuss is all about.

                2. re: Joani Macaroni

                  Katella Deli is the place or pastrami. Katella Grill is the place to go when you don't like the people you're dining with very much. Overcooked food made as semi-homemade as they can get away with.

                  -----
                  Katella Deli-Restaurant
                  4470 Katella Ave, Los Alamitos, CA 90720

                  Katella Grill
                  1325 W Katella Ave, Orange, CA 92867

                  1. re: Joani Macaroni

                    Yes, in Los Al.

              2. If Langer's is only borderline to you, then your search in OC is futile... Karelia Deli and Benjie's are fine, but there's no secret hidden Katz's equivalent here or in LA.

                11 Replies
                1. re: Das Ubergeek

                  agreed.

                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                    Unfortunately you are right. I was just hoping that somehow there was something that I was unaware of. Sure Langer's is very good, but compared to some NYC deli's...it's just not the same. I guess it's sort of like trying to find an "appetizing store" in LA like Russ & Daughters on the lower east side. It doesn't exist in LA, or probably anywhere other than NYC!

                    1. re: josephnl

                      Langer's is better than many NYC delis for pastrami. The debate of Langer's vs Katz's is purely academic and debating 9.9 vs perfect 10.

                      You asked for freshly baked crusty rye bread which Katz's doesn't have

                      You also mentioned Carnegie Deli which is only known for the portion size but the pastrami and corned beef are not anywhere on the level of Langer's or Katz.. The turkey is just flat out dry. Carnegie Deli is very similar to Jerry's.

                      1. re: Porthos

                        "Carnegie Deli is very similar to Jerry's."

                        One of the most frightening things I've ever read... ;-D>

                        1. re: Servorg

                          Not to worry...Jerry's isn't even remotely similar to the NYC Carnegie! I've not been, but I've heard that the Las Vegas Carnegie is not terrific.

                          1. re: josephnl

                            "I've heard that the Las Vegas Carnegie is not terrific."
                            ------------------------------------------------------------------

                            It is still better than that slop they serve at Jerry's. I would say Stage Deli in NY is similar to Jerry's.

                            1. re: A5 KOBE

                              Debating Stage vs Carnegie vs Jerry's is like debating who's a 3 or 4 or a 5 out of 10 in the pastrami sandwich game.

                              Stick to Langer's or Katz's.

                              1. re: Porthos

                                Agree. the Carnegie Deli in NYC is bad on all accounts. I don't even like their cheesecake. Might as well be talking about Tommy Pastrami's in this comparison.

                                1. re: adamclyde

                                  Gimme a break...Carnegie is no better than Tommy's!!

                                  1. re: josephnl

                                    yes, carnegies compared to katz's is like Tommy's compared to Langer's. all in all, though, none of this helps the OP get better pastrami in OC, so I'm shutting up. :)

                                2. re: Porthos

                                  I would agree that Langer's or Katz's are the only ones you discuss when talking about excellent pastrami. In fact, Langer's #19 won a competition over Katz's as the best pastrami sandwich in the world.

                                  Katz's has better quality pastrami, though. Katella is passable, but not excellent (though their potato pancakes are about the best I've had). Arnie's is crap. The Hat is crap. Benjie's is barely passable. Carnegie has good corned beef, but I never go there for pastrami, since Katz's is so close.

                    2. Has anyone been to Kosher Bite in Laguna Hills?

                      13 Replies
                      1. re: JAB

                        What about Tommy Pastrami in Santa Ana on South Harbor? They also have an Irvine location near the Spectrum. Their meats are wonderful.

                        1. re: CynAmyn

                          When they first opened, Tommy Pastrami was pretty good. However, the last several times I went, the pastrami was severely dry and tasteless. Portions seemed to have shrunk too. In the OC, I would stick with Arnie's, or make the drive to Langer's.

                          1. re: Youndo

                            I really like the Irvine Tommy Pastrami.The turkey is excellent and my wife ,whom has lived in LA for years and is somewhat of a deli afficionado,loves the corned beef.The turkey,which is what I usually eat at delis,is the best I have found in OC and better then many I have tried in LA.

                          2. re: CynAmyn

                            If that is the one by the courthouse, it is closed for renovation.

                            1. re: CynAmyn

                              I had the Pastrami there today for lunch. It was fair at best. So dry at the edges it was almost stringy. Luckily someone else was paying because it's not cheap. It has always been good in the past so maybe just a bad day.

                              1. re: kerryhb

                                I just looked at the Tommy Pastrami menu for Irvine. Just the fact that they offer their "NY style" deli sandwiches with avocado or cheese tells you that it's not even close to being authentic. I'm not surprised that the food was "fair at best".

                                1. re: josephnl

                                  It's far from authentic,but with a little direction,you can get a decent spread with quality meats from the Irvine store.. We usually order a pound of the turkey,corned beef, a half loaf of rye,good potato salad,a couple of their dills, and a tub of their brown mustard.We take it all home and make our own.Can't k'vetch.

                                  1. re: stormin norman

                                    How about the little Mattern Deli in Orange (4327 E Chapman )?

                                    Only about five chairs in the place. but Willie will make your sandwich "Russian style" - spiced Pastrami layered with sweet coleslaw / hot mustard and half sours. Hand shaved meats; I guarantee that you will leave with some of their homemade sausages to take home with . . . Ice cold imported German beer to boot!

                                    1. re: jbermo

                                      Oh I do love Mattern Deli !! Old World Style German Deli at it's finest !!.If you ever get a chance you have to try their Blood sausage.Going to have to try the Russian style pastrami sandwich the next time I am there ( perhaps this week?).

                                      -----
                                      Old World Restaurant
                                      7561 Center Ave Ste 49, Huntington Beach, CA 92647

                              2. re: CynAmyn

                                In light of the replies here, I just tried Tommy Pastrami. Potato salad was good. Pastrami was horrible. Dry, and sliced waaay too thin. Pickle was eh.

                                I don't know why people in OC seem to think that good pastrami is dry, peppery, salty and otherwise tasteless.

                                1. re: Hoc

                                  I don't really think OC folks think pastrami is supposed to be "dry, peppery, salty and otherwise tasteless" I think we are simply devoid of good purveyors of decent pastrami. As is 99% of the country.

                                  1. re: adamclyde

                                    Except that there are people on this board talking about how great Tommy Pastrami's is, or Arnie's Manhattan Deli. Their Pastrami is dry, peppery, salty and otherwise tasteless. So, if that is referred to as good Pastrami, then it's a taste problem, not a purveyor problem.

                                    1. re: Hoc

                                      or, a purveyor problem again. Because, put Langers or Katz's in Costa Mesa and no one would sing praises for chains like Tommy Pastrami. Chicken and egg I guess...

                            2. Have you tried the Pastrami at Hollingshead Deli in Orange? Don't know if it is Kosher style Deli but I do know it's damn good.

                              Hollingshead's Delicatessen
                              hollingsheadsdeli.com
                              (714) 978-9467

                              368 S Main St, Orange, CA

                              -----
                              Hollingshead's Delicatessen
                              368 S Main St, Orange, CA 92868

                               
                              1 Reply
                              1. re: MoreBeerHere

                                to my recollection, Hollingshead's uses straight up Boar's Head cured meats. their sandwiches are quite decent, but nothing exceptional -- we go for the beers and hospitality.

                              2. Harry's Deli in Irvine makes great sandwiches, some of the very best in OC. The ribeye is outstanding! Has anyone tried his pastrami? Somehow I'd guess that it's not his best...but, maybe I'm wrong. Anyone tried it?

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: josephnl

                                  Pastrami here is good but you are right about it not being the best sandwich. Not my go to sandwich. The pastrami here borders between the Jewish deli type of Langer's and the salty reddish pastrami from the Hat. There is definitely more of a brine Jewish deli flavor to it. but not quite the same as Langer's or Katz. I would recommend about most sandwiches from Harry's. My favorites are the ribeye and chicken di giorgio.

                                  1. re: js76wisco

                                    My tough call is between the ribeye and pulled pork sandwiches. Killer choice.

                                    Always a bowl of chile on the side though. It is outrageously good.

                                    1. re: Porthos

                                      Never been there but I guess that I am going to try it as I work in Irvine and the gauntlet has been thrown down!!