HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >

Discussion

Wexler's Deli to Open April 28 at Grand Central Market

Another welcome addition to Grand Central Market!

http://www.latimes.com/food/dailydish...

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
    1. re: wienermobile

      o man, this thread is going to serve as the future pastrami porn bank...

          1. re: wienermobile

            I want.

            For admin assistants day, I drove to Compton for Bludso's.... good lord, that brisket was juicy. Seriously. Like, 10x juicier than the juiciest Langer's pastrami that I've ever had. I don't go often, so I forget how incredible that guy's skills are.

            Mr Taster

            1. re: Mr Taster

              So you went to Bludso's (presumably for your LTA) and then ate all the brisket yourself? lol

              1. re: ns1

                Haha... no, I drove down to bring lunch back for the staff in my department (admin assistants day). We got the large party tray. Although it was all good, the consensus was "next time, just bring back the brisket."

                Mr Taster

              2. re: Mr Taster

                You hiring Mr. Taster? Looks like the perks are pretty good there.

                1. re: chrishei

                  No positions currently open :)

                  I do keep the department well stocked with good food. Today I brought in a yellow cake with coffee buttercream frosting. (made from scratch, naturally :)

                  Mr Taster

                  1. re: Mr Taster

                    Yeah, let me know if you are hiring too.

                    Then I won't have to make the drive to Langer's either.

                1. re: wienermobile

                  taken from Wexler's IG just posted...

                  i think the ba-ba sheeps will approve.

                   
                  1. re: TonyC

                    That looks just like the sandwich he served at Mezze and Umamicatessen.

                      1. re: BacoMan

                        ….The meat was good the bread was terrible.

                          1. re: wienermobile

                            wienermobile, you typed EXACTLY what I was thinking, before I could type it.

                            Mr Taster

                            1. re: wienermobile

                              The bread was a complete joke. The pastrami was good, but not better than Langer's or Greenblatt's. Guess that monster photo was just for the promotion.

                            2. re: BacoMan

                              yes, need at least 2 to 1 meat to bread (or Carnegie deli where about 10 to 1) -- that looks like a swing and miss.

                          2. re: TonyC

                            Eh.

                            Tony, I'll still try it, but it doesn't look nearly as gorgeous as the Langer's photo posted by wienermobile. (Though it looks more realistic than the ridiculous LA magazine photo, which doesn't look appetizing to me at all.)

                            Seriously, just look at Wex & Langers pics side by side. It's no contest.

                            Mr Taster

                            1. re: Mr Taster

                              taster i agree...what kind of bread was that anyways? whole wheat?

                                1. re: wienermobile

                                  well that's the most disappointing thing I've read all day.

                                  1. re: ns1

                                    i hope belcampo lives up to the hype and from the photos looks more a question of price than quality -- so far none of the new spots at the GCM have done it for me....

                                    1. re: jessejames

                                      eh, great meat/shit bread works for katz could work for wexler.

                                      1. re: ns1

                                        katz has a long list of katz-kissers already tho despite being wildly overrated...this place starting from nowhere...in any event, maybe will keep the lines shorter at Langers at peak.

                                        1. re: ns1

                                          More From The Jewish Journal about the bread: Rye bread will come from Etchea Bakery because “they only bake on stone hearth there, so you get that crust,” Wexler said. For sweets and other baked goods, he’s been collaborating with baking pros to develop Wexler’s Deli’s own bagels, babka, and black-and-white cookie recipes.

                                          1. re: wienermobile

                                            I wonder why he wouldn't choose to go with an established, real Jewish bakery? Why Patina group?

                                            Mr Taster

                                        1. re: J.L.

                                          i have a vivid imagination, i lol'd at the url.

                                2. re: TonyC

                                  Damn, Tony. I get more depressed every time I see this photo, yet I can't bring myself to look away.

                                  - The meat is too dry. Nary a whisper of glisten.
                                  - The crumb of the bread is too spongy-looking.
                                  - The crust is underbaked.
                                  - I see no caraway seeds.
                                  - The sandwich appears far too.... I dunno. Neat. Is he really going to be stacking his slabs in perfect Jenga-like fashion?

                                  I do like the thickness of the pastrami. I am a bit scared, though.

                                  Mr Taster

                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                    etchea is a bona fide bakery. their sourdough boule, before bread lounge/Republique launched, was some of the best breads to be found in LA. Really top notch stuff. maybe it's not 100% traditional, but could it be... better?

                                    The LA Mag photo was pchopped and staged. The IG photo was taken w/ an iphone under GCM's crazy lighting. can we all reserve judgement until some non-goy actually puts this thing into his/her mouth?

                                    also, fwiw: i've lived (on someone else's couch) down the street from katz. i have no problem eating that, or 2nd ave deli, any day. The #19, OTOH, is a bit gross.

                                    1. re: TonyC

                                      >> The #19, OTOH, is a bit gross.

                                      Thank you for being one of the few actually willing to admit that. Sometimes I feel like I'm yelling into the void.

                                      >> maybe it's not 100% traditional

                                      But I thought Wexler's whole raison d'etre is to do the traditional exceptionally well? That's why he got my attention.

                                      >> can we all reserve judgement...

                                      I am reserving judgment... after all, I'm still going to give it a shot (or two)

                                      Mr Taster

                                      1. re: TonyC

                                        >> can we all reserve judgement until some non-goy actually puts this thing into his/her mouth? <<

                                        ^^ This.

                                        1. re: J.L.

                                          it's open. where are all you DTLA suits and your bagel+pastrami breakfast?

                                            1. re: chrishei

                                              Line was like 30 deep at around 12:15. I'll try again Wed.

                                            2. re: TonyC

                                              Not a suit but this non-goy along with his non-goy dining companion were both very impressed with the pastrami, rye bread and especially the lox. They are as expected, slow on opening day. Everything hand sliced and made to order.

                                               
                                               
                                               
                                              1. re: JAB

                                                Nice work! The bread looks lightyears better than what they were using at Umamicatessan.

                                                1. re: cacio e pepe

                                                  Looks great. How busy? How long of a wait for their 10 seats?

                                                  1. re: wienermobile

                                                    As with any stand at GCM. You don't have to wait for their seats and you can eat it anywhere in the market...

                                                    --Dommy!

                                                  2. re: cacio e pepe

                                                    Agreed... those are much better photos than the oddball whole wheat bread pic they tweeted.

                                                    Like TonyC, I'm curious about the pickles. As someone who has made lacto pickles at home, it's damned hard to get the spicing just right.

                                                    Mr Taster

                                                  3. re: JAB

                                                    and the lacto pickles? please tell me about them pickles.

                                                    1. re: TonyC

                                                      Nothing special now that you mention them other than being plucked from the "barrel" and sliced to order. The potato salad was unremarkable as well. I'll try the coleslaw next time.

                                            3. re: Mr Taster

                                              The bread is a huge turn off!

                                              When I first tried Langer's I immediately gave credit to exceptional bread as well as killer pastrami sliced right. Katz's has the same problem, blah bread.

                                              1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                                                Just had Wexler's corned beef and mustard on rye at lunch today. Bread and meat were dry, and too much bread. They won't serve bagels and lox past 11 a.m., which is what I was after. Waited 10 minutes for this three ingredient sandwich without a real crowd (2-3 p.m.). I was given a whole pickle, and it was not briney enough, kind of swamp-y tasting, and a bit mushy in the middle. Also they serve something called the MacArthur park which is, i guess, a tribute/copy of the Langer's number 19, which my lunch partner said was good but again, dry. Also, also paid 2+ dollars extra for pickle and slaw which, after paying 11+ for the pretty small sandwich, rankles.

                                                1. re: wurstbear

                                                  They must have changed policy on the fly to speed things up as I was there after 11 and had lox and bagels.

                                                  1. re: JAB

                                                    ahh yeah, the lox denial really stung - the whole reason i went was because i was fiending for lox after seeing a picture of theirs' online. Immediately made beeline for Brooklyn Bagel Bakery after work, shmearing my bagel now.

                                                    1. re: wurstbear

                                                      Of all bagelries in LA, why BBB? I'd have taken the extra few minutes to go to Sam's on Larchmont.

                                                      Mr Taster

                                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                                        Sam's is a little further, and BBB is on the way home. And I love never having to find parking or wait. But I didn't know about Sam's - also pretty close to my house so I will definitely check it out.

                                    2. re: wienermobile

                                      I've gotta say, hipsters or no, I really like what I'm reading about this place. The fact that he's going totally traditional and not trying to put creative spins on classics makes me happy.

                                      Mr Taster

                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                        Agreed.

                                        This place is looking correct.

                                        I've done a deli night a number of times. Home-cured pickles, cured and smoked pastrami, made the rye bread, the mustard, the sauerkraut . . . everything but the cheese from scratch. The biggest difficulty is exercising patience and obtaining consistent results.

                                        No one does all of this so right under one roof. It's pretty ambitious without trying to turn a pastrami sandwich into a "banh mi."

                                    3. Here's what their space looks like..

                                       
                                      1. From The Jewish Journal:
                                        With only 350 square feet of space available in its stall — plus some basement storage — and 10 seats at the counter, Wexler’s Deli simply doesn’t have the room to revisit the entire pantheon of traditional American deli. Instead, a “greatest hits” deli menu will feature a few sandwiches with house-cured meats, house-smoked salmon and sturgeon, and a few side dishes.
                                        Matzah ball soup will appear as a special rather than as an everyday item. A few classic deli sodas and semiobscure carbonated beverages will be on offer, along with egg creams made with U-Bet. (“Of course. You gotta,” Wexler said about the chocolate syrup traditionally associated with the drink.)

                                        1. Here's one really good tid-bit at the end of the article:
                                          The restaurant’s small scale will make it a pilot project of sorts. “We’ll see how it works out, and we’d like to do a larger, full-scale deli,” he said.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: wienermobile

                                            Next time, post that sandwich photo *after* the other information please. I fell out of my chair and passed out before I could read the rest. Looks incredibly tasty.

                                          2. He will cure his pastrami and boil his corned beef on the premises and hand-slice them thickly. He plans to grind the coarse brown mustard himself and brine the house-made pickles. He also spent months developing a rye bread with Etxea Basque Bakery that he says is “really pretty killer.”

                                            20 Replies
                                              1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                                                The Ugly Drum stuff is really, really good too.

                                                1. re: BacoMan

                                                  I'm excited - going to try next Thurs at the Mendo Farms near my work.

                                                  1. re: chrishei

                                                    It's an excellent sandwich. In terms of woody-smokiness I've never had pastrami that quite rivals it.

                                                    The toppings are somewhat unorthodox I guess, but essentially they're amped up versions of coleslaw and mustard. I'd say it was probably the best pastrami sandwich I've ever had actually... the bread could've been a bit better though, that was my only complaint.

                                                    It's not traditional, but god damn if the flavors and textures weren't perfect.

                                                    I would eat one of those over a Langer's sandwich any time, any place.

                                                    1. re: BacoMan

                                                      Oh wow. Will let you know my experience next week.

                                                      1. re: BacoMan

                                                        try smoke city's pastrami. smokier that ugly drum. ugly drum is very good too.

                                                        i've had wexler's pastrami at umami and mezze. very good as well.

                                                        still think langers is the gold standard imo

                                                        1. re: cdub

                                                          Greenblatts juiciest with smoky and very slight clove/sweetness. So tender. Never thought I'd prefer any to langers but now I do. But I gotta try this too. Of course I'd be delighted with a langers sandwich in front of me too.

                                                          1. re: jessejames

                                                            Greenblatt's is my favorite pastrami sandwich probably. Never understood how it gets such little press/praise.

                                                            1. re: BacoMan

                                                              so damn juicy and delicious...also like to get a few lbs of the meat to go...goes just fine by itself!

                                                    1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                                                      I've been dying to hear more about them. Have you tried them yet, SLG?

                                                      1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                        I have yet to try it, DWXO. I do more reading than eating I'm sorry to say.

                                                        I heard good things about Ugly Drum and read speculation about how long and deep their alliance with Mendo Farms will go.

                                                        1. re: SilverlakeGirl

                                                          Hahaha, same here! Well if you go, I'm all ears!

                                                        1. re: wienermobile

                                                          It's popping up for a few days at various ones (at different times/dates). Here's the schedule: http://midtownlunch.com/los-angeles/2...

                                                          1. re: chrishei

                                                            Thanks found it: Mendocino Farms Pastrami Schedule

                                                            7100 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood: April 24-25; 12-3 p.m.
                                                            735. S. Figueroa Ave., Los Angeles: April 28-29; 1-4 p.m.
                                                            444 S. Flower St., Los Angeles: May 1-2; 1-3 p.m.
                                                            300 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles: May 5-6; 1-3 p.m.
                                                            175 S. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles: May 8-17 all day

                                                              1. re: chrishei

                                                                Sigh, wish I knew about this when they were in MDR...

                                                        2. Awesome. Finally someplace better than the Langers location.....

                                                          31 Replies
                                                              1. re: NeverEnough

                                                                I'll be gentle. "Nothing, unless you're there after 4:00 p.m."

                                                              2. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                I quite understand, dear boy...if only they'd have the decency to relocate to someplace like Brentwood. Alas...

                                                                1. re: annagranfors

                                                                  But then the #19 would be $25 and no one would buy it.

                                                                  1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

                                                                    $25 for THE BESTEST PASTRAMI IN DA WORLD1!!!@!3 ?

                                                                    Pretty sure people would still buy it.

                                                                    1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

                                                                      Anyone who reads my many Langer's posts knows that I don't buy the #19 anyway :)

                                                                      Pastrami, rye, Guldens, and MAYBE a schmear of chopped liver, if you're feeling decadent, and a couple of full sours. That's utter perfection.

                                                                      I finally had a proper taste of the infamous #19 (a friend's first time there, and he got suckered in by the "most popular" signage). I couldn't let his first time at Langer's be about Russian dressing and Swiss cheese, so we agreed to trade half of mine for half of his.

                                                                      I took my first full bite and was horrified. All of my Jew-alarms rang at Top #1 Danger Alert Level Alpha. It was grotesque-- that much gloppy sweetness just doesn't belong anywhere near a pastrami on rye. It just doesn't.

                                                                      Don't get me wrong-- I'm glad I finally did it, for the experience. But it'll never, ever happen again.

                                                                      Mr Taster

                                                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                        Pastrami, chopped liver, and egg baby!

                                                                        1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                          Meh. You're nuts. :)

                                                                          Nothing beats the simple pastrami on rye with mustard, but the #19 so totally works. It shouldn't, but it very much does.

                                                                      2. re: annagranfors

                                                                        Thank god Langers isn't in Brentwood.

                                                                        #19 is awesome. Traditional is boring in comparison. Obviously YMMV, but I had no Jewish traditions so I dont have any preconceived notion of what a pastrami sandwich should be.

                                                                        1. re: ns1

                                                                          >> Traditional is boring in comparison.

                                                                          Would you say that a perfectly cooked margherita pizza is boring in comparison to one loaded up with meat and toppings? I wouldn't.

                                                                          There's a lot to be said for simple, traditional things done very well. That message gets lost among the oxtail poutines of the culinary world.

                                                                          Mr Taster

                                                                          1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                            Hey I love originals too, but taste triumphs all. A margherita pizza is an apples to oranges comparison IMO.

                                                                            1. re: ns1

                                                                              >> A margherita pizza is an apples to oranges comparison IMO.

                                                                              Not at all. The moment you start tarting up a perfectly executed but simple thing, the beauty of that marvelous simplicity is lost under a sea of heavily seasoned Italian meats, or Russian dressing. Take your pick.

                                                                              Mr Taster

                                                                              1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                Except a margherita is already a perfect combination of flavors. A pastrami with mustard is not.

                                                                                <dons flame suit>

                                                                                I'm done with this tangent btw. And believe me, I understand your point.

                                                                                1. re: ns1

                                                                                  >> Except a margherita is already a perfect combination of flavors. A pastrami with mustard is not.

                                                                                  Please excuse me while I take a moment to pick my jaw up from off the floor.

                                                                                  Mr Taster

                                                                                  1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                    A pastrami with mustard (whatever kind of mustard) is no more, or less, perfect than a #19. It's all about personal preference. Pick up jaw and move on...

                                                                                    1. re: Servorg

                                                                                      Folks, this discussion got a bit personal and unpleasant, so we've removed some posts. Please head back to discussing local chow. Thanks!

                                                                                      1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                                                                        Thank you, Chowhound Team. I was wondering when you were going to swoop in.

                                                                                        Mr Taster

                                                                              2. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                Stand yer ground, Mr Taster! i think the margherita pizza comparison is absolutely valid...leave all of that garbage off the pastrami! By the way, was at GCM on Sat morning and had a very tasty small pepperoni pizza from OLio, right across from Wexlers...great crust!

                                                                                  1. re: lapizzamaven

                                                                                    He can stand his ground until the cows come home and bring the chickens along with them to roost. Just don't stand on MY ground while doing so...

                                                                                1. re: ns1

                                                                                  I'm Jewish, but I've never understood a sandwich that is just meat and bread (with mustard). You wouldn't have a taco with just meat and salsa. Or a burger with just ketchup. Or a gyro sandwich with just meat and tzatsiki. Well maybe some would, but I wouldn't.

                                                                                  I get that pastrami is a bit of a special case, but I have mine with mustard and onion.

                                                                                  1. re: jesstifer

                                                                                    Actually, often times I would just like those simple combinations of ingredients.

                                                                                    1. re: jesstifer

                                                                                      >> I'm Jewish, but I've never understood a sandwich that is just meat and bread (with mustard).

                                                                                      I don't know where you're from, jesstifer, but I was born and raised in New Jersey, lived in the Midwest for five years, and finally settled out here in LA, where I've lived for the last 17 years. And one of the things I've obvserved living across these three very different American cultures is that New Yorkers (and New Jerseyans, by proxy-- we have a shared culinary heritage), enjoy our staple junk foods adorned simply. A plain slice (cheese only) of pizza is perfectly acceptable; nobody will look at you cockeyed if you order one. A hot dog is perfectly fine eaten with just mustard (and/or relish, and/or sauerkraut), but that's the general extent of the modifications. People will look at you a little sideways if you add ketchup, but it won't get you banned from the country club.

                                                                                      That's a sharp contrast with eating behavior in the Midwest. They suffer from what I call "casserole mentality"-- i.e. pile it on. The more, the better. Think Chicago hot dogs and pizza. And like New York, which has a similarly firm idea about how hot dogs and pizza should be eaten, these ideas trickle down through the neighboring states, creating a common set of expectations.

                                                                                      California's a bit of a free-for-all pizza-wise, what with the loosey goosey ideas about what toppings and crusts are acceptable, and what pizza should taste like. (Whatever Italian-American roots we used to have, they unfortunately never established a distinct, unified LA pizzamaking culture... we have a lot of one-offs like Casa Bianca, Petrillos, Little Toni's, etc. but they're all their own thing.) As a result, I've found people raised here tend to have more of a eat-and-let-eat mentality. Deli culture in LA is more rooted than pizza, with cues taken firmly from NY, but there often seems to be something lost in the translation (particularly with the Langer's #19 fiasco, which is as clear a case of "bumper sticker on a Bentley" syndrome as I can imagine.)

                                                                                      During my exile in the Midwest, I eventually found a halfway decent New York pizza place in Kansas City. I couldn't wait to bring my Midwestern college friends there, and order a plain pie. My friends didn't know how to parse this behavior (plus, they thought pies were supposed to be sweet-- they don't refer to pizzas as 'pies' there). To their minds, pizza was not pizza unless it had pepperoni, onions, ham, pineapple, onions, peppers, etc. That experience made it clear to me that the tradition of Chicago pizza (aka Italian cornbread casserole) is much closer to home in the hearts of Missourians than it is to my people in NJ.

                                                                                      Incidentally, I don't have any further memory of how that visit ended... it's probably repressed, deeply embedded in my subconscious pain, making me the miserable curmudgeon I am today.

                                                                                      Mr Taster

                                                                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                        "Incidentally, I don't have any further memory of how that visit ended... it's probably repressed, deeply embedded in my subconscious pain, making me the miserable curmudgeon I am today."

                                                                                        that explains much.

                                                                                        ;)

                                                                                        1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                          let's leave the midwest out of your psychosis? I mean, Zingerman's is in Ann Arbor, and they seem to be able to sell/enjoy pastrami every which way.

                                                                                          1. re: TonyC

                                                                                            Not sure what you're tying to say-- my argument is that Midwesterners tend to gild the lily on comfort foods that New Yorkers enjoy more simply, and Zingerman's pastrami schmaltzes up 4 of their 6 sandwiches with all manner of treif. (And the quintessential pastrami on rye, listed 5 deep in the menu, specifically lists yellow mustard. A shonda, it is! :)

                                                                                            http://zingermansdeli.com/menus/pastr...

                                                                                            Mr Taster
                                                                                            Who has never been to Ann Arbor, so cannot judge the quality of the food itself-- just the manner in which the food is presented (which appears to be full-on Midwestern casserole style)

                                                                                          2. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                            As you've correctly deduced, I'm a native Californian. I think you're right, and would take it one step further: that difference in attitudes toward sandwiches have less to do with Jew vs. goy than with NY vs. LA.

                                                                                            NY, with a large European immigrant community and little access to fresh vegetables, developed sandwiches and burgers focusing on meat, often cured. I remember my shock at how difficult it was to get even lettuce and tomato for a burger when I first visited NYC. In California on the other hand, sandwiches, burgers, dogs, and pizzas have always been as much about the fresh condiments as the meat itself.

                                                                                            This also explains why Mexican food took such a long time to get done right in NYC (if it even is, yet). Ya gotta have those avocados from your neighbor's tree.

                                                                                            Pineapple on pizza, however, is right out.

                                                                                        2. re: ns1

                                                                                          "Thank god Langers isn't in Brentwood."

                                                                                          Um, yeah. That would have been me responding to the "finally someplace better than the Langers location....." with more than a bit of irony.

                                                                                          There seems to be a certain breed of Angeleno who has never ventured (or doesn't want to venture) into that part of the city. I used to live nearby when I was going to Otis/Parsons Art Institute, and can testify that it's a perfectly fine neighborhood. Is there violence there? Sure–but not appreciably more than the rest of LA and suburbia.

                                                                                          On top of which, if I'd never lived there, I never would've found Langer's, or hundreds of other worthy Chowhound destinations. Hey, look at Gold's old "Counter Intelligence" book...there were and are scads of great places in that area.

                                                                                        3. re: annagranfors

                                                                                          Um, you might not want to make assumptions about posters you don't even know as I'm a woman. And thanks anyway, if they were in Brentwood, I still wouldn't bother.....

                                                                                      2. Ok, here I go on another trip to GCM...not that it's a bad thing!

                                                                                        I'm just finding myself down there every time something new opens up in GCM and end up stuffing my face ALL DAY LONG.

                                                                                            1. re: JAB

                                                                                              The bagel and lox was outstanding. The corned beef was too dry off my taste but the flavor was pretty good. I am a full sour pickle fan but I enjoyed a1/2 sour for the first time ever. Potato salad was a little al dente. It was very dill-y. I would add vinegar to it if I was making it. But back to the bagel and lox...a revelation. Can't wait to try more smoked fish.

                                                                                              1. re: NYCnowLA

                                                                                                I certainly share your opinion on the lox. Silky goodness! I'm looking forward to trying the sturgeon as well.

                                                                                                1. re: JAB

                                                                                                  hmm how much for the smoked fish ????????????????/

                                                                                                      1. re: JAB

                                                                                                        Anyone know the price for a pastrami on rye?

                                                                                                          1. re: cacio e pepe

                                                                                                            Correct and an extra $2 if you want pickles and either potato salad or coleslaw with it.

                                                                                                  1. re: NYCnowLA

                                                                                                    I'm more interested in what you thought about the bagel than the lox. Can you describe it, especially the outer crust, chewiness, and whose bagels are they using?

                                                                                                    1. re: pizzafreak

                                                                                                      there is a baker making the bagels and breads using Wexler's recipes. the bagel was nice and crusty on the out side and light yet chewy on the inside. when you take a bite and the bagel squishes down, it pops right back up! i am very picky about bagels and i really enjoyed this one!

                                                                                              2. Swung by a few minutes ago; completely out food by 2:15.

                                                                                                Soooo ... still some issues to be worked out.

                                                                                                1. Decided to give Wexler's a go before a visit to the dentist to remove a crown. I won't be biting through anything tougher than soup for the next few days.

                                                                                                  I'm going to get the BS out of the way first:

                                                                                                  One, they ran out of rye bread . . . at 1:55 . . . and they weren't telling people. Being the perspicacious fellow (read OCD) I am, I read the information on a small napkin at the register. Needless to day, some customers were quite angry after taking delivery of their sandwich.

                                                                                                  Two, they are only serving half sours.

                                                                                                  Let's get to the sandwich . . . on a kaiser roll (*sigh*). I had the OG which is supposed to be rye, pastrami, mustard.

                                                                                                  Roll -- Not the kaiser roll I know. It has a beautiful, thin crust that had microbubbles all across it. Not shattering like a Viet baguette, not toothsome like an Italian rustic bread. It just added a little extra chew. Dried onions on top were very sparse compared to a typical kaiser. Internal crumb was quite good. All in all, this bread combination should have been a fucking unmitigated disaster and it really wasn't.

                                                                                                  Mustard -- Fine grind, brown, zippy. Did just the right amount without doing to much. A win.

                                                                                                  Pastrami -- Well cured, well smoked, very peppery, marbled, generous, thick sliced. It just wasn't luscious. Don't get me wrong, it was fantastic. But we are all spoiled by Langers and this just isn't going to beat Langers. No way no how.

                                                                                                  Pickles -- Half sours. Very mild spicing. No one will be offended, no one will be wowed. A worthy accompaniment, but I wonder if they are just going for MOR deli pickles, why not just save the hassle and order from A-1 or another specialist?

                                                                                                  Overall -- I love what these guys are doing and they aren't currently ripping anyone off despite their hands-on, housemade everything approach. I'm looking forward to trying the OG as it should be when I finish my dental work. I'll be doing a Langer's/Wexler's side-by-side then.

                                                                                                  Sincerely,
                                                                                                  A non-goy

                                                                                                  15 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: cacio e pepe

                                                                                                    Dude that intel rocks. Thanks!

                                                                                                    Sincerely,
                                                                                                    A goy

                                                                                                    1. re: cacio e pepe

                                                                                                      Great info, cacio. Thanks for checking this out for us. Running out of bread on day 2 is an annoying but ultimately forgivable sin. Give them time to figure out the logistics.

                                                                                                      What bothers me more is that they are following the disturbing (and annoying) ala carte trend which the FancyBurger guys (except for the good fellows at Golden State) pioneered by making you pay extra for what should be automatic sides. Here it's 2 bucks for a pickle, but its the same thing. They're violating the generations-old tradition of an automatic pickle (or an entire tray of pickles) with your deli sandwich.

                                                                                                      Mr Taster
                                                                                                      Non-goy

                                                                                                      1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                        With you, Mr. T.

                                                                                                        No big issue with the bread, other than my personal disappointment. I do feel for the guys that came back with puzzled and miffed looks on their faces when they were surprised with the kaiser rolls. They have upped their order of bread and I suspect that they'll have fewer of these issues in the future.

                                                                                                        Also, I don't mind so much having to pay a little extra for potato salad. But pickles. Pickles! It's my right, right I say, to eat as many pickles as I can stand while eating anywhere that claims to be a Jewish deli. Still . . . a small complaint.

                                                                                                        In the end, it's about the pastrami. Very good, but not a contender for the throne.

                                                                                                        B'Shalom!

                                                                                                        1. re: cacio e pepe

                                                                                                          yeah, i go through plates of that stuff usually too.

                                                                                                        2. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                          Wow, that is unnecessarily greedy to charge for PICKLES! PICKLES! $2 for A PICKLE! that would add probably $20 to every deli bill ive ever had if i were charged $2 for a...PICKLE! maybe i'll bring my own when i go down there...ive seen no mention of fries or knishes...too much to hope for?

                                                                                                          1. re: lapizzamaven

                                                                                                            It's a bit like charging for luggage on airplanes. It just doesn't sit well when companies try to mess with deeply rooted customs, habits and traditions.

                                                                                                            Personally, I'd feel more comfortable if they offered one pickle for free with the sandwich, and then charged more for extras. Its still flipping the bird to tradition, but at least it's an acknowledgment that the tradition existed.

                                                                                                            Mr Taster

                                                                                                            1. re: Mr Taster

                                                                                                              exactly, Mr Taster...at least one pickle on the side!

                                                                                                            2. re: lapizzamaven

                                                                                                              To be clear, it's not $2 for a pickle. It's $2 for a side of X + a pickle.

                                                                                                              It's lame, but I thought we should be clear about what we're yelling over.

                                                                                                              1. re: cacio e pepe

                                                                                                                They serve a side of Ecstasy with a pickle for $2? Sounds like the place to go before hitting the clubs!

                                                                                                                1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                                  Come to think of it. I guess it's a pretty good deal.

                                                                                                                  1. re: cacio e pepe

                                                                                                                    well, thats a bit better, cacio e pepe...thanks for the clarification!

                                                                                                              2. re: cacio e pepe

                                                                                                                Very informative post. Not all kaiser rolls have onions, btw. That would be an onion roll. They make plain kaiser rolls as well. Glad to here the pastrami was decent, and seasoned properly.

                                                                                                                1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                                                                                  Yes, most Kaiser rolls I've enjoyed have poppy seeds, not onion

                                                                                                                  1. re: Ernie

                                                                                                                    Of course, you're right. The delis of my youth, though (California) always had onion on their kaisers along with some the poppy seeds. A bias that's now ingrained in me.

                                                                                                              3. I work right by Grand Central, and I've been three times (yes, once per day). My overall thought, before going into detail, is that this is an excellent deli, and a spectacular addition to downtown LA. Is it perfect? No, but there's no reason in the world to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

                                                                                                                The very best thing here is the smoked salmon. It is almost like a thinly sliced sashimi with a hint of smoke. There's a luscious quality to it--this recipe is something else. The bagel itself is excellent too.

                                                                                                                I've had the O.G. and the tuna sandwich. The pastrami is right away the second best in LA. And there's no telling how high it can climb. Right now, it is not quite as fatty as Langer's. On the other hand, the quality of the meat itself is actually higher--this is better product, and the seasoning is frankly better too.

                                                                                                                Concerns about the bread were overreaction to one photo. This is real deal rye with a big time crunch on the crust.

                                                                                                                I think opinions will be more split on the tuna. Personally, it's right up my alley, with a hint of sweetness, and again, high end product involved. To my tongue, there is a hint of curry in the recipe, but I may just be tasting something else.

                                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                                1. re: Haeldaur

                                                                                                                  I'm glad you like the pastrami so much. I would say that it's good, but it isn't anywhere near as good as Langers in terms of taste, texture, seasoning, flavor, or preparation. There isn't one element about it, to me, that makes it a better product. It may, or may not, be better quality meat to begin with, but Wexler's isn't ending with a better product on the plate. We'll agree to disagree, but I think Brent's and Greenblatt's might quibble with the ascension of Wexler's to #2. It is good. I can agree to that.

                                                                                                                  Can't wait to try the rye. Very excited. I think the sandwich on the kaiser was fine, but the bread to meat ratio was off. This is a very good sandwich, but if in driving across town then I'm going to the king: Langer's.

                                                                                                                2. we just tried Wexler's this weekend, and i'd have to agree with many of the others here:

                                                                                                                  * Not as good as Langer's at all.

                                                                                                                  The quality of the pastrami is noticeable, but it was semi dry, but what ruined it was the bread. The rye bread was indeed VERY DRY, and not even close to Langer's.

                                                                                                                  Also as one Hound astutely put it, you can taste that it was homemade and that they might've started with quality ingredients, but the final *taste* just wasn't there.

                                                                                                                  it doesn't make me want to crave it or blow me away as Langer's does.

                                                                                                                  if i was near GCM and needed something to eat? sure, i wouldn't having it, but not a destination.

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: chowseeker1999

                                                                                                                    Just tried it, and really feel like chowseeker1999 and others have nailed it.

                                                                                                                    Drye™ Bread + Solid Pastrami ≠ Great Sandwich

                                                                                                                    This is not Langers. Very nice people, though.

                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                  2. What a bummer - was looking forward to trying a pastrami on rye this morning at Wexler's but was told they don't serve pastrami sandwiches until 11:00. Did sample a pickle though and thought it was too bitter. Of all the deli's I've tried, love the pickles at Canter's.

                                                                                                                    1. Had a good bagel and lox sandwich today. The lox weren't anything to write home about and lacked the smoky flavor I prefer, but the bagel was fantastic and made up for it. Not worth seeking out, but tasty if in the area. Tried a few slices of the pastrami and it was fantastic. The rye bread looked pretty lackluster from afar though, so I can see what others are saying.