A true New York-style deli is a thing to be cherished, but that doesn’t mean you need to get on a red-eye to enjoy a proper Reuben sandwich. LA isn’t the Lower East Side, but it’s hardly a delicatessen desert, either. If you’re itching for a classic deli meal with all the trimmings, grab a friend and drop by one of these inviting eateries, where you can taste the authenticity in every bite.
New York City Deli
Though the name may be a bit too on-the-nose to you, you take a whiff and acknowledge that New York City Deli has all the savory aromas you’re looking for in a deli. All lingering doubts are laid to rest the minute you take a bite of hot pastrami, tasting the tender beef, perfumed by black peppercorn, in every bite. Or, dare to try the satisfying blazing chicken sandwich, whose secret ingredient — spoiler alert, it’s spicy barbecue sauce — sizzles on your tongue.
Plenty of critics have crowned Brent’s Deli as the best NYC deli in Los Angeles. Even The Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate shockingly decreed that its corned-beef sandwich was superior to all others — even better than anything in New York. Clearly, you have no choice but to find out for yourself. Though the intoxicating aroma of cayenne pepper, fennel, and garlic from its homemade salami–that’s right, homemade salami–practically grabs you by the collar and pulls you through the door, the sight of old-world latkes are what keep you lingering long after you’ve loosened your belt a notch. Savor these flaky potato pancakes, fried to a rich, golden brown and served with cool sour cream on top. Save Make room for a serving of the cinnamon egg noodles and creamy cottage cheese goodness of Grandma Eva’s noodle kugel, a dish that could easily become your new obsession.
You enter Art’s Delicatessen (est. 1957) and warily size up one of Art’s famous Sky-High sandwiches, whose stack of savory meat and fresh vegetables is almost too big for your hands, much less your mouth. And you probably shouldn’t have ordered that bowl of chicken noodle soup with matzo balls, either, but it smelled far too good to pass up. You and your friends banter about the gloriously huge sandwiches for awhile, but once you dig in, you’ll be thankful for the generous portions. Tender, perfectly seasoned meat on toasted bread; if you didn’t know any better, you’d assume you were back east.