Langer's Delicatessen - The Legendary Pastrami Sandwich, Mouth-Watering Corned Beef & Beef Tongue, Egg Salad, Matzo Ball Soup, Corned Beef Hash and More! [Thoughts + Pics]

For most folks in the City of Angels, Langer’s Delicatessen needs no introduction. Founded in 1947, it has outlived many restaurants multiple times over.

Its claim to fame is proudly proclaimed on its signage, and unlike other places that try to say their product is “World Famous,” for Langer’s it’s probably actually the case (I remember a co-worker a few years back, who had just moved to California from France, and in talking about places to eat, he excitedly mentioned he had heard LA had a place that served “really really good Pastrami, better than New York”). Naturally, I gave him directions to Langer’s and he’s been going back ever since. :smile:

Langer’s is known for its legendary Pastrami Sandwich, but there is so much more beyond the Pastrami that is worth considering. (This post covers our ~18th - 20th visits to Langer’s over the years.)

Barley Mushroom with Giblets Soup:

Langer’s serves a variety of Soups that change daily. They aren’t going to change the world, but they each have a comforting, classic American Diner-quality feel to them. Like this Barley Mushroom with Giblets Soup. Fragrant Mushrooms, earthy, tender Barley and snappy Chicken Giblets.

#54 (Secret) - (Swapped) Beef Tongue and Corned Beef Combo Sandwich:

While world famous for their Pastrami, this “secret” version of the #54 on the menu might be almost as good or better in many ways. The standard #54 comes with Pastrami and Corned Beef, but years ago, one of their longtime servers told us about an off-menu variation: Swap out the Pastrami for Beef Tongue. And just like so many years ago, today’s bite is the same explosion of happiness:

Truly tender, mouth-watering, savory, thin-sliced Beef Tongue pairs beautifully with Langer’s Corned Beef (which is also succulent and outstanding), on their tender, steamed Rye Bread with crusty corners, and dressed simply with Mustard. It is outstanding! :heart:

(Side) Steamed Veggies - Cauliflower:

Pretty straightforward, but it’s always good to get some veggies in as you’re enjoying all the tasty meat dishes here. :wink:

Hot Pastrami Sandwich (on Rye with Mustard) (OG):

And then we get to this. The reason so many folks head over to Langer’s, and what has made it so famous for so long: Their Hot Pastrami Sandwich (don’t get caught up on all the numerical variations of the Pastrami, start here so you can understand the purity and greatness). :slight_smile: Langer’s Pastrami is just this magical confluence of incredibly tender meat, with enough salinity, pepper, spices and smokiness, combined with a bit of Mustard (no other toppings needed!) :wink: :stuck_out_tongue:, and the incredible Double-Baked Rye Bread is a bit of Sandwich Heaven! :heart:

The Rye Bread is soft and pillowy, with a nice outer crust, and it serves to just accentuate that lush moist, tender, meaty Pastrami. This is just a little slice of joy and one of the greatest Pastrami Sandwiches in the U.S.A. :heart: :heart: :heart:

19th (or so) Visit:

Matzo Ball Soup:

Langer’s Matzo Ball Soup is definitely one of the lighter, more delicate Matzo Ball Soups we’ve had in L.A. We’ve enjoyed it more than Canter’s Deli. The light Chicken Broth is quite refreshing being only lightly salted (but enough for our tastes) acting almost like a palate cleanser, and the Matzo Ball was soft with enough density, but not super dense like some versions we’ve had. I’d be glad to order this again. :slight_smile:

Hot Pastrami Sandwich (on Rye with Mustard) (OG):

Langer’s Pastrami Sandwich is so satisfying that even though we’ve been here nearly 20 times or so, it continues to satisfy and bring joy: Once again, it starts with that Double-Baked Rye Bread that is wonderfully soft, which gives way to that perfectly seasoned Pastrami. So many local places’ Pastrami leans on the Salt Bomb side of seasoning, or is dried out, but not here. It’s decadent, a nice balance of lean and fatty Pastrami, just the right level of salinity, pepper and seasonings as before. It sets the bar of what a Pastrami Sandwich could be like.

It is the type of paradigm shift where you take a bite, and you realize you’ve never had Pastrami this good before. You find yourself saying, “So this is what Pastrami should taste like!” SO GOOD! :heart: :heart: :heart:

#33 - Patty Melt (on Sourdough):

For those looking for something more like classic diner fare, the #33 is a wonderful Patty Melt: Juicy, fatty, Melted Cheese, Grilled Onions on a Ground Beef Patty, and the pan-seared Sourdough (or Rye) Bread for a crisped exterior. Delicious! :blush: (And something I can only order once a year.) :stuck_out_tongue:

Their French Fries are standard Crinkle-Cut Fries, but they are fried nicely to a crisped exterior and soft, potatoey interior.

#44 - Hot Pastrami, Sauerkraut and Nippy Cheese Grilled on Rye (+ Russian Dressing):

For those craving a Reuben Sandwich, Langer’s offers 2 entries that comes pretty close: The #88 is Hot Corned Beef, Sauerkraut and Swiss Cheese Grilled on Rye, and you can get Russian Dressing on the side for free to make your own traditional Reuben. It’s delicious. :slight_smile:

The #44 is using their world famous Hot Pastrami instead, and comes with Sauerkraut and uses Nippy Cheese (which our server explains is a variation of American Cheese) Grilled on Rye as well. I love a great Reuben so I like both the #88 and 44. For the #44, the extra fattiness and mouthfeel of their Pastrami really makes this Sandwich sing. Delicious! :heart:

#27 - Chopped Egg and Chopped Liver, Open Face Sandwich:

Full caveat: I do not like Liver, normally. But Langer’s #27, a Chopped Egg and Chopped Liver Sandwich served open face, is a stunner! The natural creaminess of the Chopped Egg Salad quells and elevates the Chopped Liver, and together, on the excellent Rye Bread, combines to make this creamy, rich, “Pate-esque” Egg Salad Sandwich that doesn’t taste iron-y or minerally at all. :blush:

Langer’s Corned Beef Hash:

Nicely spiced, tasting like a great American Diner-style Corned Beef Hash (like a variation off the canned version), not the more recent trendier fresh Corned Beef Hash, which has large rustic chunks of Beef & Potatoes, etc. This was sumptuous, satisfying comfort food for all of us growing up enjoying American Corned Beef Hash, classic-style. :slight_smile:

Their Hash Browns were nicely crisped and seared, delicious!

Langer’s Deli has stayed in business since 1947, and it’s survived the COVID lockdown of 2020 - 2021, continuing to deliver the best Pastrami Sandwich we’ve ever tried. It’s the combination of the great double-baked Rye Bread, soft on the interior and with a crusty edge, the luscious tender hot Pastrami, and a bit of Mustard. Perfection. :blush:

Add to that a great #88, for those that want a “Reuben”-esque Sandwich, I love the Grilled Rye, crunchy and toasty, the melted Swiss, Sauerkraut and Hot Corned Beef. Or the awesome #44 variation with Hot Pastrami, Sauerkraut and Nippy Cheese, a great Eggs & Corned Beef Hash (available all day), that delicious #27 Chopped Egg & Chopped Liver Sandwich, their succulent off-menu #54 Beef Tongue and Corned Beef Sandwich, a comforting Matzo Ball Soup, and a few other standouts and it’s easy to see why we love coming back again and again.

Langer’s Deli
704 S. Alvarado St.
Los Angeles, CA 90057
Tel: (213) 483-8050

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Thanks for making me hungry for lunch 3 hours early @Chowseeker1999

So hard for me to get away from the pastrami there. I’ve not had the tongue but it looks great. I have had the hash and eggs - i like with the fried eggs and the star is the griddled rye toast to shovel it in. I like that there’s pastrami in theirs too not just corned beef. I tend to prefer it really crisped up and substitute fries for the hash browns they have. for frozen crinkle cut fries, theirs are damn good, also with the chili and pastrami and cheese of course. other non pastrami stuff i like to get is the fatty and juicy brisket and the super black au jus sauce. in fact, if you can get away from the rye bread i love the pastrami dip and longer dip roll with that au jus. You can just ask for some au jus on the side to hoss down your sandwich and fries anytime too. Also love doing the dip with the rye bread too. My move is to use some of the raw horseradish they have not mustard and the jus. and some kraut from time to time. And purists be damned i like swiss cheese on my sandwiches too. Folks there are so accomodating to make all your pastrami and deli fantasies come true! Nice reminder to return!

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Such a disappointment!

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Which? New or old style.
They both sound good right about now.

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The recent trendier stuff is a disappointment. I was actually considering buying the canned stuff.

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Hi @shrinkrap ,

Yes!!! Totally agree, right? :grin: Like you, we grew up with the OG classic American Diner / Canned Corned Beef Hash. I remember the first time I had a “chef-ified” trendy fresh Corned Beef Hash… so disappointing. :frowning:

Clearly, they have quality ingredients (the larger, fresh chunks of Beef, the chunky Potatoes, etc.), but the total combination of flavors together? Eh… (We’ve tried the new “fresh / chef” Corned Beef Hash at least ~5 - 7 times since then over the years at different restaurants. All of them feel the same way.

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Hi @chienrouge ,

You’re welcome. :wink: :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks for the thoughts and suggestions as well! :slight_smile: Yes, I totally forgot to take a picture of the Rye Toast to enjoy their Corned Beef Hash & Eggs with. :wink:

We love their frozen Crinkle Cut Fries as well! Crispy, fluffy inside, delicious and satisfying. And yah, the Chili & Pastrami Fries. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the tip on the Brisket with Au Jus Sauce! :open_mouth: I did see the Brisket on the menu, but we never got around to ordering it. Do you like it as a Brisket Plate? Or is there a Brisket Sandwich you like?

I didn’t know you could order Raw Horseradish at Langer’s! :open_mouth: Thanks. :slight_smile: That sounds delicious as well - Raw Horseradish, Au Jus Sauce for dipping with the Pastrami / Brisket.

Definitely give their Beef Tongue a try next time. :wink: Tender, beefy, delicious. The #54 swap Beef Tongue (for the normal Pastrami) & Corned Beef Sandwich is a great texture combination. Enjoy! :slight_smile:

Lots of ways – a solid order is just getting a pound or two of various meats and a loaf of bread to go. There’s a sandwich there where you can get two meats, maybe like your tongue/cb 54 one, and i like brisket and pastrami. brisket dip is solid too. ask for the cap/fatty part. very juicy. challenge your server on that point. don’t want the drier leaner part. i have friends that prefer this to the pastrami there. also works great on a kaiser roll with cheese, raw onion, and au jus.

fishing the bits of pastrami and brisket that fall into the au jus with a fry there is a delight.

you know, the horseradish, it’s not raw per se my bad, but not the creamy kind, its like a white paste. Just the pure horseradish stuff.

i will get the tongue next time. diversification. but hedge with pastrami!

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And you can’t get that crust!

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yeah i always feel that stuff has a soggy, mushy leftover st patty’s day feel to it…

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Good call; I love beef tongue!

Looks like there’s a lot more of the menu for me to explore. Out of convenience I actually only really get Daughter’s Deli now, which is pretty good but has a different feel than Langer’s. Their chicken schnitzel sandwich is all the rage (I believe it went popular on TikTok), but I stick with the “Noi” hot pastrami and mustard, which is basically the Langer’s “OG.”

I need to make it to Langer’s more often; thanks for the inspiration.

I never got around to trying Greenblatt’s, but I do love a Jewish deli. Growing up I’d frequent a Jewish deli in Norcal where we’d all get soups before summer art classes - borscht, beef barley, and sometimes split a “Chicken in the Pot” with kreplach…I digress, but those were comforting soups and emblematic of fond times.

Agreed, all. Diner style is the only way to go! It’s that crust and how it works with well-done hash browns for me. (Not at Langer’s, but at a diner in Norcal) many a late-night meal for me during high school years was corned beef hash, well-done hash browns, an over-easy fried egg, buttered rye toast, and later a slice of peach or boysenberry pie warmed up and a Lipton BRISK Iced Tea to drink (which is way too sweet for me now).

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What’s the diner in Nor Cal? Is it still here?

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Heidi’s Pies in San Mateo is still there. It’s going strong every Thanksgiving season because of their pies (someone usually brings their pumpkin pie to Thanksgiving, and I usually make my own apple pie for fun but get ice cream from Tin Pot Creamery - Earl Grey, Four Barrel Coffee with Cocoa Nibs, and Salted Butterscotch; and Mitchell’s - Macapuno).

Brother’s Deli in Burlingame closed a while back (after several concept changes).

I’ve heard that Royal Donut Cafe in Burlingame may be a spot to get the diner style corned beef hash as well.

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Hi @chienrouge ,

Thanks for the tip! I will definitely try the Brisket Dip next time. :wink:

No worries about the Horseradish, that’s still good (the fresh stuff like a paste). :slight_smile:

You can always convince your family / friends to split stuff, so you try something new and then always have a Pastrami Sandwich as part of the meal. :wink:

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Hi @BradFord ,

Nice! :slight_smile: Yes, I agree. I like Daughter’s Deli as well, but it’s slightly different from Langer’s (just a touch). Still very good and if we were close by, we’d just go to Daughter’s for convenience. But Langer’s has more interesting menu items, their Pastrami (even though their daughter did get from the same source, it tastes just slightly different (not bad, just a bit different (very subtle)) is more enjoyable at Langer’s for us, and other items.

I liked Greenblatt’s but it wasn’t the same as Langer’s. Those soups you mention! I love those, but haven’t found a good source here locally (that we frequent, I’m sure there are places that have all of them on the menu at the same time).

Corned Beef Hash: Nice! @BradFord 's part of the Canned / American Diner-style Corned Beef Hash Club. :wink: Yah it’s classic.

Your meal at that Nor Cal place sounds delicious, almost like what I had growing up, but we never had diners with nice homemade pies as well. But Lipton Iced Tea, oh yes! :grin:

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If you ever find yourself at the ray Charles cafeteria at cedars ask for a breakfast burrito with that kind of corned beef hash, fried eggs, cheese, whatever you like. Close to the cardiac unit !

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The cafe at Cedars Sinai is named after Ray Charles?

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Yep

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Intriguing! I had to find more;

Philanthropy Digest in 2019
“Fifteen years ago , legendary singer-songwriter Ray Charles (1930–2004) gave a gift in support of the Ray Charles Cafeteria and Conference Center at Cedars-Sinai in appreciation for the care he received at the hospital.”

Ray Charles in 2000’s
2007
"Ray Charles was honored by Cedars-Sinai Medical Center when they re-named the Cafeteria and the Conference Center “The Ray Charles Cafeteria.”

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Nice writeup and photos.

My friends and I were in LA in March 2020, so right before everything shut down. One hadn’t really been to LA besides a music festival once, but I lived there for 5 years so took them around to some old-school LA spots mixed in with the new places.

So of course Langer’s was on the menu. He’s born and raised in SF so doesn’t really know deli, but had somehow heard of the “world famous #19” so he got that and I got pastrami with mustard. We half shared since I told him the pastrami on rye with mustard is how you judge a deli which claims to have good pastrami (and that Langer’s beats most if not all). I think he did end up liking the regular over the 19 at the end.

And good looking on that egg salad and liver sandwich. I lived down there for school and had that sandwich a few times on some rough mornings.

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