Well, this blog is apparently accepting comments again, not that anyone left any, so let’s go (at least in prose) to Langer’s Deli in L.A.
I’d heard for years that Langer’s has the best pastrami outside of New York, and possibly even inside of New York, and yet Langer’s, even after 60 years at Seventh and Alvarado, across from MacArthur Park, still remains largely unknown compared to Canter’s, Pink’s, the Original Pantry, Philippe’s and other L.A. institutions.
On Saturday I took the plunge, riding Metrolink with a friend to Union Station and the Red Line subway to MacArthur Park; Langer’s is a half-block away, a Jewish restaurant in the heart of a Latino neighborhood.
It’s old but clean, smaller than Canter’s but with a similar stopped-time feeling. I got the No. 44, a hot pastrami with sauerkraut, Russian dressing, and something called nippy cheese, on rye. The pastrami is hand-sliced and thicker than any I’ve had; reputedly it’s steamed for three hours, which makes it so tender it can’t be machine-sliced to the usual thinness. The bread is crunchy on the outside and soft inside. I agree with everyone; it’s a heckuva pastrami sandwich.
My friend got the No. 1, which comes cold and with cole slaw instead of sauerkraut, and it was no worse, and likely even tastier, than my sandwich.
The neighborhood is said to be much improved over a few years ago, although there are still guys on the sidewalk ready to make you a fake ID. The park and its lake are lovely, even if I can’t think of the park without thinking of that awful song about the cake left out in the rain. What about pastrami left out in the rain? Now that would be something to cry about.