Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Izzy's Deli

Izzy's Deli
433 Wilshire Boulevard  
Santa Monica, CA 90403 
(310) 394-1131

Parking: lot on site, plenty of street parking as well.

Crowd: Fairly busy. A large table might face a 10 minute wait on a weekend.

Review: The pastrami club schlepped to Izzy's on a cool Saturday in January 2012. It quickly became the most divisive of all our pastrami jaunts: while some of us rated their pastrami a 4 out of 5, others rated it 2 out of 5 (one person even gave it a 1). Based on a consensus, their pastrami was "boo" and "mediocre", but their pastrami rueben was "excellent" served with "crispy french fries". The rye bread was "nothing to write home about, certainly nothing that would compare to Langer's or Greenblatt's".

The matzoh ball soup was "ok, but not as good as Greenblatt's", while the blintzes were "pretty good, but not spectacular".

The food "took forever to come, but it was ok, because our older European waitress was a character". We received a discount because of how long the food took to arrive and the fact that most of our orders were screwed up.

The decor was "classic Jewish deli. You really feel like you're in New York". The "crowd is mostly on the older side, which adds to the authenticity". Based on previous experience, the "non pastrami food is pretty good, and worth hitting up if you're on the west side and craving classic deli fare".

All in all, probably the least good pastrami we've had so far...

Greenblatt's Deli

Greenblatt's Deli
8017 Sunset Boulevard 
Los Angeles, CA 90046 
(323) 656-0606

Parking: conveniently located in back.

Crowd: never too busy. Half full on weekend afternoon. 


Review: The pastrami club went to Greenblatt's in December of 2011. The pastrami sandwich was "very, very, very good", though at the time "it felt kinda too heavy" but has "gotten better in hindsight". A "suggestion would be to order it extra lean". The rye bread served with the pastrami is "in the top 3-4 of Jewish delis in LA. Fresh, soft and crisp. The perfect compliment to the pastrami".

As for sides: the cole slaw was "good with the perfect amount of mayo", while the potato salad was "delish and hearty. A great side to go with your pastrami.".  The rueben was "excellent and crispy - almost better than the 'strami, if you're in the mood for something hot". The matzoh ball soup was "unrivaled! the perfect amount",  and the potato pancakes were "very tasty, although a little thick and heavy".

The service was "excellent. the wait staff were patient, attentive and cracking a lot of jokes" and "the food came in minutes". Be sure to stop by the downstairs area where excellent wine can be purchased at fantastic prices. If you're in a hurry, their take out is "amazing, fresh and fast".

All in all, highly recommended.

Langer's Delicatessen

Langer's Delicatessen-Restaurant
704 South Alvarado 
Los Angeles, CA 90057

Parking: lot one block east of the restaurant on 7th and Nebraska. Don't forget to get validated!

Crowd: gets very, very busy on the weekends. Arrive before 12:30 to make sure you don't get stuck on a line.


Review: The Pastrami club's first jaunt was to Langer's in November of 2011. We have regretted it ever since because basically nothing else in Los Angeles can compare to their overwhelming pastramaganza. Their "best of the best" Pastrami sandwich was "the greatest pastrami ever, in the world" with "amazing melt-in-your-mouth double baked rye. Crispy and soft at the same time!". 

As for dish choices, most of us selected their famous #19 - double baked rye, juicy pastrami, Russian dressing, cole slaw and swiss cheese. The consensus? "It reigns supreme". Other dishes: The knish with gravy was "excellent", the pickles were "pretty good", while the matzoh ball soup was "better than average, but there are better".

The decor was classic Jewish deli, and the wait staff (who may have been older than the restaurant) were friendly and patient with the group.