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Jun 2, 2014 07:38 AM

The Pastrami List 2014

LA Weekly's 10 best Pastrami Sandwiches in Los Angeles. The battle begins now..,
10. The Hat
9. Johnnie's Culver City
8. The Original Rinaldi's El Segundo
7. Brent's
6. Eastside Market and Italian Deli
5. The Oinkster
4. Jeff's Gourmet Kosher Sausage
3. Smoke City Market
2. Langer's
1. Wexler's deli

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  1. It's ridiculous to have both deli / kosher style and non deli / kosher style on the same list.

    5 Replies
    1. re: JAB

      I'm ok w/ that. The real issue, for me, is them using this list and the smoked fish one as methods of washing Wexler's Deli's kosher balls. The timing was way too convenient. That being said, I do like the pastrami (and the smoked fish) at Wexler's. That rye bread though, could use some work.

      1. re: chrishei

        I agree and good point re the smoked fish list too. This reeks of bullshit "journalism." LA Weekly showing itself to be an advertising flyer and/or a platform for the unqualified.

        Related corroborative note: Wexler's pastrami sandwich doesn't even belong in the top ten period.

        Looking at the photo of the author on her twitter page, she weighs less than the sandwich I had at the Carnegie Deli. You do the math.

        Yes, I have a passion for pastrami and this list shows a passion for bullshit and lacking journalistic integrity.

        1. re: jessejames

          Right because someone's appearance is a good criteria to judge their abilities #sarcasm.

          1. re: Jase

            Fair point. So is don't trust a skinny chef or pastrami expert.

          2. re: jessejames

            I'm super skinny but I eat like a football player. All my fat friends are picky eaters lol

      2. I recently read someplace (on a blog I think) that Brent's will hand cut their pastrami "thick" for you. Do you know if that's true? I've never thought to ask. Definitely a different beast when a good quality pastrami is done in that thicker style cut.

        Here was a nice LA based pastrami article from 2012

        2 Replies
        1. re: Servorg

          In my humble opinion Brent's deserved to be near the top. Next time I'm in I will ask for hand cut and see what happens.

          1. re: Servorg

            Maybe it was Chowhound :p I read it 2 days ago on the post 'Brent's cabbage soup' from 'Pitcher' about hand cut and extra thick options.


            I too didn't know that and plan to try both soon :p

            1. re: jessejames

              "What a load of shit."

              That would be a completely different judging contest.

              1. re: jessejames

                seeing OP eat thru the list a few weeks ago, yes, it'd seem there would be loads of it coming out the other end, especially because she did The Hat, Eastside italian and Brent's within 2(?) days.

                1. re: TonyC

                  The exact opposite effect may actually have taken place...

                  Tony, have you noshed on the pastrami at NY Famous Deli in Eagle Rock?

                  1. re: Servorg


                    KNEW this going to bite me in the ass terms of losing foodie cred (not that I had any). Was suppose to Saturday, but got a SWMBO veto. Oddly, they choose to open Saturday, but close Sunday.

                    More feedback would be lovely, and h/t to mst3k ( )

                    1. re: TonyC

                      If you don't have any foodie cred I am so far in the hole I can't even see daylight at the top of that shaft...and the fact that they don't open on Sunday means that my getting there to sample the pastrami hovers somewhere between improbable and highly unlikely.

              2. Has anyone had the Pastrami at Smoke City, if it's anything like the Pastrami at Big Mista BBQ I'm so there.

                30 Replies
                1. re: wienermobile

                  This is some PR bullshit not passing editorial must(ard).

                  1. re: jessejames

                    PR? Pastrami Reuben? Any conversation about pastrami is in "good taste" as far as I'm concerned.

                    1. re: Servorg

                      Public relations. Payment for press. Wexlers and window dressing. That's my hunch. Glorified advertising.

                      1. re: jessejames

                        I've discovered that my taste buds can cut right through all the payments and glorified advertising without even breaking a sweat (although they do break a drool).

                        1. re: jessejames

                          Do you really think that's how it works?

                          1. re: jessejames

                            You can complain all you want about authors not actually knowing what they're talking about. That's more than fair.

                            The one fact I can assure you of is that the editor of the food section at LA Weekly does not give two shits (not even pastrami-constipated shits) about public relations, nor does she have any interest in being paid off for press.

                            I can go on a huge rant about the flaws of top 10 lists in food journalism, but at no point does that rant devolve into accusations of payment for press.

                            1. re: noahbites

                              Hey, don't you know when a food writer/publication doesn't mirror the personal bias of some of those on the Inter Web it can only be explained by an evil conspiracy of payoffs and low down skullduggery?

                              1. re: noahbites

                                whatever --- wexlers was number one with this rag before they even opened. there's lots of other kinds of backscratching and "friending" and promoting and tweeting that are different types of incentives. The relationship between the LAW and Wexlers is suspicious. More significantly to this hound, the pastrami is disappointing

                                1. re: jessejames

                                  Stick with, "the pastrami is disappointing." It is certainly the most compelling part of your argument.

                                  In my opinion, debating the quality of various foods with people who have eaten said foods is the backbone of this board. The quality of the people debating it is what makes this board great.

                                  I kindly encourage you to focus on the food itself and less on speculative accusations.

                                  1. re: noahbites

                                    I'm suspicious. That's reasonable. Crap pastrami rated number one. What's a bigger crime than that?

                                    1. re: jessejames

                                      getting opinions confused with facts?


                                      1. re: ns1

                                        facts: it's two artisanal grassfed organic new breed cooks/chefs friending/promoting each other before the article is published; it's repeated LAW asskissing of Wexlers which started before they were opened and now spans three articles; the pastrami sandwich sucks.

                                          1. re: ns1

                                            in order:

                                            check the relevant twitter pages.

                                            check the three LAW articles

                                            try the sandwich.

                                            1. re: jessejames

                                              It's Pastramigate all over again….

                                              1. re: wienermobile

                                                at least we are focused on the important stuff

                                          2. re: jessejames

                                            Again, if you don't believe noahbites, Squid Ink's editor solely responsible for publishing that piece today is really one of the few remaining players in the non-pay-for-play food writing game.

                                            Trust this: not even free ramen nor Sichuan fried diced chicken would suffice as bribes, much less some PR freebies. it's ok to drop the mic and let this one die.

                                            1. re: TonyC

                                              Feel free. It's a bad article and the author and publication don't deserve praise.

                                              1. re: TonyC

                                                "one of the few remaining players in the non-pay-for-play food writing game." That's not true either, though. Tell me who you think is doing pay for play.

                                          3. re: jessejames

                                            Ha. I haven't actually tried Wexler's yet. Though I'm certainly curious.

                                          4. re: noahbites

                                            I haven't yet tried Wexler's either. But I intend to. From what I've read here, the bread is deficient, esp compared to Langer's. What I'm curious about is how the meat alone - just a pure tasting of pastrami with no condiments or bread - would stack up against each other (Langer's v. Wexler's).

                                            1. re: Wayno

                                              Get some slices of Langer's to go.

                                              Then set up shoppe at Wexler's and get a few slices,

                                              have a slut or two as a palate cleanser.

                                              that's what i'd do.

                                              1. re: kevin

                                                "...have a slut or two as a palate clenser."

                                                I assume you mean sandwiches from Egg Slut, and not the other kind, presumably found outside of the market?

                                                1. re: orythedog

                                                  If it's kevin, it has to be the former after the latter. Is he still on lockdown?

                                2. re: wienermobile

                                  good pastrami. it's cured and smoked. don't think it's steamed. very smokey. i'd put it towards the list. the one time i had big mista's pastrami, thought smoke city had it beat.

                                  1. re: wienermobile

                                    I've had it plenty of times and it is absolutely fantastic (though very much a completely different experience from a deli pastrami--much smokier and fattier).

                                    1. re: wienermobile

                                      Super peppery & smoked, but was rather dry the one time I had it.

                                      1. re: wienermobile

                                        I've had it several times and it is very good but tends to lean towards the drier side compared to most. They do hand cut everything so you can request thicker if you want.

                                        1. re: wienermobile

                                          The pastrami at Smoke City is my "go to" when I'm willing to make my own sandwich. (Their "fixin's" leave something to be desired). But when I have good deli mustard, a loaf of unsliced rye and great dill pickles, I'll pick up a pound of their pastrami and go to town. That said, at $17.70 a lb, it's possibly some of the more expensive pastrami going.

                                          1. re: wienermobile

                                            Have you been to the NY Famous Deli in Eagle Rock to try their pastrami yet? So much pastrami. So little time (probably due to how much pastrami I've been eating my time is shorter than it would be otherwise).

                                            1. re: Servorg

                                              tried to go today. out of pastrami at 1pm...

                                              1. re: cdub

                                                Hopefully that is NOT what they are famous for...

                                            2. re: wienermobile

                                              Why would they want the real competition listed? Only the obvious, langers.

                                              1. re: wienermobile

                                                Agreed. I like Greenblats a lot. Better bread than a Wexler.

                                                We were atWexler thus weekend and enjoyed it was the Ruben that was really really good. My four year old kept screaming stop eating all the sauerkraut!!!!