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.
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!
(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.
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). 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!) , and the incredible Double-Baked Rye Bread is a bit of Sandwich Heaven!
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.
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.
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!
#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! (And something I can only order once a year.)
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.
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!
#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.
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.
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.
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.
704 S. Alvarado St.
Los Angeles, CA 90057
Tel: (213) 483-8050