If you’re just looking for a good pastrami sandwich, you can get it at Langer’s Delicatessen and Restaurant (704 S. Alvarado St., 213/483-8050, www.langersdeli.com, Mon.–Sat. 8 a.m.–4 p.m., $10–20). Operating continuously since 1947, the house specialty at Langer’s is a hot pastrami sandwich that some say is the best in the world (yes, they’re including New York).
Whether you’re willing to go that far or not, Langer’s serves both hot and cold dishes in the traditional Jewish deli style to satisfy any appetite level or specific craving. Granted, it’s still California, so you can get fresh avocado on your tongue sandwich if you really want to.
You’ll also find a vast breakfast menu and plenty of desserts (noodle kugel, anyone?). If you don’t have time to sit down for lunch, order in advance and pick up your meal curbside. If you can dine in, be sure to take a few minutes to gaze at the photos on the walls; the family you’ll see has run this deli since its opening in the post-war era.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition