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Sep 25, 2013 08:48 PM

First time at Langers Deli

My wife and I finally made it to Langers today. We got there at 2:15 and it was 3/4 full with plenty of tables available. I ordered a #1 pastrami skyhigh (no cheese) and decided to try the kishka as well. My wife attempted to order a patty melt (she wouldn't listen to me-I told her to get pastrami or corned beef) but when she ordered the waitress said " don't wanna order that, don't eat thaaat. Are you new here? Order something with pastrami or corned beef." At that point I knew I was in the right place. The wife then changed her order to a pastrami reuben. The sandwiches came, both on large size bread, large enough to be surprising. The crust on the rye was a baked medium brown, chewy, crusty slice of deliciousness. Who bakes their bread? As far as the meat itself there was far less salt in it which tasted just fine and didn’t give me salt hangover like I usually get later on in the day. Because I had less salt I could really taste the flavor of the meat. The meat was also sliced a bit thicker than I have had at Brent’s. The cole slaw threw me off a bit because I am used to sweet slaw after having that for many years at Brent's but it was still solid. The kishka was not to my liking. It was salty and the flavor was somewhat different than I have had before. My wife’s reuben was very good but I will stick with Brent’s for that sandwich. You cannot beat a black pasrami reuben at Brent's. The sauerkraut at Langer's was a bit too sour but again still pretty solid. I loved being in the city with the people, all sorts of people. The vibe I get at Brent's is at at times snooty. I have seen many of the servers actually run to collect their tips often ignoring food sitting waiting to be served. Langer's was the real deal down to earth vibe and I loved it.

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  1. I still need to try this place. I hear customers can do curbside pickup of to-go orders. Anyone have any experience with it there specifically? Does it work well?

    12 Replies
    1. re: PeterCC

      Call in. Give them your ETA and the make/model/color of your car. The block in front of the restaurant is designated for pickup, and they come out within 30 secs of you pulling to a complete stop. Very easy process.

      1. re: chrishei

        Sometimes restaurants that offer curbside don't actually have enough space set aside to make it work smoothly. Glad to hear that it seems to work well here.

        1. re: PeterCC

          Peter I hear you...They do have a section devoted to straight take out and curbside pickups. With the parking being difficult in that area the curbside pickup has to work well to make the sales they want.

          I wanted to add...I just opened my doggie bad and it was packaged very well by the waitress. I just had a good time down there today...

          1. re: SIMIHOUND

            Glad you liked it. Thanks for the review! I've only had trouble with the curbside pickup once...and that was because charlie beck and about six police officers where leaving from having lunch and blocked up the curb. I guess when you are the police chief you don't have to walk to your car.

            1. re: SIMIHOUND

              Don't forget they have a dedicated secure parking lot only a block away. Validate when you pay.

              1. re: Jase

                Plus they are very close to Metro's MacArthur Park/Langer's Red Line Station

            2. re: PeterCC

              The entire operation works smoothly.

              I'm so impressed with the owner and his philosophy...
              He keeps the place working like a well tuned piece of machinery.
              I also know, for a fact, he has a particular company that keeps the property clean and pest free and has done so for many years.
              Lots of restaurants in LA could take a lesson or two from this restaurant.

              1. re: latindancer

                Langer's is a class act, they are true pros. One of the other great things about their curbside service is how nicely they package everything for you. They keep items separate and even vacuum seal the pickles. Very impressive

                1. re: Ernie

                  He treats his employees well. They are represented by HERE and he provides health insurance. I'm willing to pay a little extra for that.

                  1. re: Kalivs

                    Al Langer died and his son is now running the show. He's a chip off the old block. These are good people.

          2. re: PeterCC

            It's within steps of the Metro (LACMTA) Red/Purple Line Westlake/MacArthur Park Station, if you want to take it from Culver City.

            1. re: J.L.

              Hmm that might be a plan. Though maybe I'll do curbside after taking the kids to Ricky's this weekend.

            1. Brent's snooty? Really? Kind of the last word I would use to describe Brent's. Snooty. Huh.

              4 Replies
              1. re: foodiemahoodie

                Yeah, that seemed kind of odd to me, too.

                Hurried, yes; at times a bit flustered, but not snooty.

                1. re: Jack Flash

                  Brent's is definitely anything but snooty.

                  1. re: Jack Flash

                    OK. I understand your point. It's not the restaurant itself but *some* of the wait staff that can get snooty. They seem to be impressed with perceived wealth of a customer and treat those customers better. Also I have eaten with people who are big tippers and I am treated like I have a new best friend. The next time I come in without the big "machers" (bigshots)I am ignored, even after saying hello. While I understand that that wait staff need tips to live I don't appreciate the fact that tips can become their #1 priority. Service is #1, tips come as a result of #1.

                    1. re: SIMIHOUND

                      "Service is #1, tips come as a result of #1."

                      That's why they serve the whales before they serve you ;)

                2. Fantastic short review, Simihound. Great reading, so well written I could almost taste the food.

                  1. My deli rule:
                    Langer's = anything Pastrami on rye
                    Brent's = everything else

                    38 Replies
                    1. re: wienermobile

                      My one exception to that rule is the Black Pastrami Reuben at Brent's. As much as I love Langers' pastrami, I need that Reuben every now and then.

                      1. re: OCSteve

                        agree. That Black Pastrami Reuben is one great sandwich.

                        1. re: wienermobile

                          I'll second that. The pastrami itself is inferior, but taken as a whole the sandwich is superb.

                          This goes hand-in-hand with my Langer's philosophy of not gilding the lily. While Brent's pastrami needs adornment to reach greatness, Langer's pastrami does not. Just get the pastrami on rye, with a dab of Gulden's mustard. Especially if you're a first timer, just say no to the sacrilicious abomination known as the #19 :) !

                          Mr Taster

                          1. re: Mr Taster

                            My first trip to Langer's, my friend got the plain pastrami, and I got the #19. I actually really like the #19, but I do agree that trying the pastrami in its naked state is a worthwhile endeavor.... Don't forget an order of extra crispy french fries. =)

                            Glad to hear they treat employees well. Both times I went, I had the older lady w/ a vague accent. She was delightful and such a character! =)

                            1. re: ilysla

                              have to say that after the few times ive been to Langer's, the fries strike me as frozen...ugh...

                              1. re: lapizzamaven

                                there is a certain school of thought that believes fries SHOULD be frozen before frying

                                    1. re: ns1

                                      Keller is a master chef who can do no wrong in my book. Alas, it isn't the case with other chefs.
                                      Although I must admit I love the frozen fries at McDonalds. However, I consider McDonald's the exception and not the rule..

                                      1. re: cujo

                                        So now we have two exceptions. Chef Keller and McDonald's. I wonder how many times those two have been paired up? Not many I'll wager...

                                        1. re: Servorg

                                          Imagine if McD and Keller started a chain together...

                                        2. re: cujo

                                          IIRC, the first McDonald's in LA proper was on Pico Blvd. Hamburgers were around 25 cents. They didn't even have double burgers yet. t remember my BF showing me how they throw the potatoes in the tumbler to peel off the skins, then cut and fry in tallow or suet.

                                          Many years later, after Julia Child praised their fries they went downhill. They put something on them before they are fried [cornstarch?] to make them extra crunchy ... actually rigid. They are like shivs now.

                                          1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                                            Actually, IMHO, the fries in the 90's were best because they salted the hell out of em.

                                            1. re: ns1

                                              Revising: the time period I'm referring to is late 1960s ... my best guess.

                                              Still no double burgers.

                                              Factoid: Kroc bought McDonalds for $2.7 million in 1961. Chump change!


                                              1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                                                My first McDonald's experience was on the Mass Turnpike in 1960 en route to Boston. It was love at first bite. I still enjoy their fries, but not their burgers.

                                                1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                                                  Well, before the mid-80s or early 90s, McDOA cooked their fries in a beef tallow-based mix. They use a vegetable oil of some sort now. That (more than anything else) is why they're different today.

                                                  1. re: Jack Flash

                                                    That's why I mention the 60s, It was pretty early on.

                                                    1. re: Jack Flash

                                                      A high school friend worked at McD's in the early 90s and he told me that they cooked the fries in lard. He described having to slice large slabs of white bricks into the fryer. I would guess the beef tallow came later, when they had to replace the flavor that was missing when they switched to vegetable oil

                                                      Mr Taster

                                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                                        It sounds disgusting. But it sure tastes good.

                                              1. re: New Trial

                                                Suzanne makes excellent shoestring fries that are served with fried clams.

                                                1. re: cujo

                                                  I have say, frozen seems to be where it's at. I'm going to have to try this at home with the rendered duck fat I buy in the little plastic tub at Whole Foods one of these days.

                                                  1. re: Servorg

                                                    I meant to write 'match stick' instead of 'shoestring.' fries.

                                                  2. re: Mr Taster

                                                    It was a joke. Some of you got it. The rest of you didn't. Sorry.

                                                    1. re: cujo

                                                      Regular size fries. Had em last night. Crispy goodness.

                                              2. re: lapizzamaven

                                                Sorry, I was attempting to be brief again. I don't think the french fries are amazing, but they are a particularly well-done (figuratively and literally) version of the fries I ate so often as a kid. =)

                                                  1. re: ns1

                                                    Harpoons for wayward pastrami morsels

                                                  2. re: ilysla

                                                    I thought they were basically Ore-Ida crinkle cut.

                                            2. re: wienermobile

                                              That photo! This is pure sandwichporn! You can almost smell it off the screen.

                                              1. re: Tripeler

                                                Isn't that one from the website?

                                                I personally prefer this one.

                                                Mr Taster

                                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                                    Great photo Mr. Taster. It tastes just like it looks.

                                                    1. re: wienermobile

                                                      Look at that little crumb of crust on the top. It's the food equivalent of a beauty mark on a model.

                                                      Mr Taster

                                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                                        Fuck yeah. Beauty mark on a model. :)

                                            3. re: wienermobile

                                              Not corned beef at Langers? Doesn't that go hand in hand with pastrami?

                                              1. re: SIMIHOUND

                                                It's Langer's Pastrami that is untouchable. The corned beef is good but the pastrami is great.