Differences between Brent's locations
Newcomer to LA here, have relied heavily on the sage advice of Chowhounders to find great eats. We are definitely batting well above .500.
A few weeks ago we were up near Northridge, far from our home turf on the westside, and I remembered the Chowhound love for Brent's Deli. As (yet another) NY'er with kosher-style deli roots, I dived right in. (I have not yet been to any other LA delis.)
Suffice it to say, the Brent's in Northridge was a big win. We loved it. In addition to the great pastrami and reubens, there were two delicious surprises: the cup of gravy that accompanies the kasha varnishkes, and the potato salad that can come with most sandwiches.
I haven't actually been served gravy with kasha before, but we tasted it and were instantly addicted. Used most of it for dipping the french fries. Rich, flavorful, nothing like a generic insta-gravy.
The potato salad side was also surprisingly yummy. Again, great flavor and texture, not your standard leaden potato salad.
Not long after that first visit, we again visited the same Brent's location. Ordered some different sandwiches, also great, and enjoyed the same awesome gravy and potato salad.
Fast forward to this past weekend. We were further west and decided to try the Westlake location. It appears to be much newer (and larger), so at least getting a seat on a weekend wasn't a problem.
BUT...although our sandwiches were probably just as good, I have to say that the gravy for the kasha and the potato salad was just not the same. The gravy was the biggest letdown -- it fell far short of the Northridge location. In fact, it seemed more like instant. Gloopy and bland. We left it practically untouched.
The potato salad wasn't quite as big of a miss, but it definitely lacked that special something that elevates the Northridge version. It seemed less fresh and denser, not as fluffy.
Given the high level of CH love for Brent's, which I am not contesting, I am just curious whether there are any general opinions on the differences between the locations and/or these items in particular. As much as I share the hope for a third Brent's on the westside, if it ever happens I really hope it comes with the Northridge version of these dishes!
Very interesting post about the Westlake Village location. I'm going there on Thursday with my girlfriend. We go to the Northridge location all the time and usually get the pastrami and are so full we don't have enough room for much else. I've never had kasha varnishkes before so I'm not sure if we'll try this.