Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Comfort food

Dear Posh and Becks,

It isn't easy moving, and I'm sure you must be stressed at times. I've had a couple of stressful days lately myself.

Anyway, that's actually when it's the perfect time to hit up the next joint on the list of 99.

Don't worry about the neighborhood around Langer's, (unless Vicki perhaps has a need for an extra identity card - Victoria Bardeles? - that can be bought on the cheap) just jump from the limo right into the time warp that is the actual restaurant.

There's something soothing about the clean, yet utterly un-hip interior of the place, a monotony of brown on brown. It's too staid to even be campy retro, and there's something really honest about that.

No one comes to Langer's to be "seen".

What they do come for is the pastrami. It's divine pastrami; it's pastrami that makes vegans give up their religion and take up Atkins instead. It's pastrami that redefines what pastrami is and renders other versions so inferior you'll wonder how you ever ingested that stuff before. It's tender, flavorful, served up on thick slices of hearty rye bread that is the perfect consistency to handle the weight of an ample pastrami serving without falling apart.

The menu is devoted to different versions of the pastrami sandwich, and some are named after movie stars of the Golden age. At Langer's one can easily believe that those versions were really the favorite combinations of those actual stars.

Langer's is a Los Angeles institution. With the recent passing of beloved founder Al Langer, who always refused to move his restaurant to someplace trendier, one can only hope it remains so.

My favorite combination isn't actually on the menu, but it's easily ordered. I get pastrami on rye with Swiss cheese, and I ask for them to grill the sandwich. They make it perfectly every time.

I love the pastrami, but other touches are nice: the Coke refills in the old-style glasses, and the potato pancakes (it's a Jewish deli, and they know their latkes) are my preferred side order, though the thick, crispy fries are excellent.

Final recommendation: Go. If you're ever feeling blue, Langer's is like chicken soup for the tummy.

1 comment:

Ben said...

So True. Langers rocks.