L.A. Deli Photowalk
Updated: Aug 19, 2021
I have a great project for you:
Why not make this a Los Angeles deli weekend?
In the latest #Photowalk video, no. 43, as chronicled above (please watch!) we tour 10 L.A. delis in 2 days, capturing the sights and feel of these iconic local landmarks, with the hope that after watching, you’ll both want to pick up your camera and go out and support your local deli.
How does a nice Hot Pastrami, Corned Beef or Matzoh Ball soup sound? Or perhaps a knish, blintz or egg cream? Sitting in a big red booth, sparring with outgoing waiters and waitresses and topping off the afternoon or evening with a black and white cookie or some bobka cake?
We lost Lenny’s Deli recently, and before that many Jerry’s locations in L.A. and Billy’s, due to higher rents and changing tastes. You love deli’s? Go out and visit Langer’s, Canter’s, Wexler’s, Factor’s, Art’s, Nate N’ Al, Jerry’s, Uncle Bernie’s, Mort’s and Brent’s. Or the ones we missed, like Izzy’s and Fromin’s in Santa Monica.
Here’s what we did: Photowalking ten delis in 2 days. From Langer’s in DTLA to Brent’s in Northridge.
Today’s post is our visual mapping guide companion to the latest #Photowalk video, no. 43, taking you from downtown to the Valley.
To see more photos, check out our gallery here: https://www.jeffersongraham.net/Jefferson-Graham-Portfolio/Travel-Photography/Los-Angeles/Delis/
The walk begins downtown, in the Westlake district at Langer’s, the legendary deli which many people have said makes the best hot Pastrami sandwich in the world. It’s known for the no. 19, Hot Pastrami, cole slaw and Russian dressing on double baked rye bread.
704 S Alvarado St, Los Angeles, CA 90057 (213) 483-8050
We agree! The No. 19, as our booth neighbor explained to us over lunch, “is like candy. It melts in your mouth.”
Langer’s is an neighborhood that at one time was home to local Jews, and is now heavily latino, like a fascinating walk through old Mexico, with most business signs in Spanish. And then, in the shadow of MacArthur Park nearby, a Jewish deli, sticking out like a sore thumb, but that’s okay. A visit is a true destination experience, and there is a free parking lot a block away.
From Langer’s we headed downtown, to the Grand Central Market, where a new, contemporary deli, Wexler’s, attracts a hip crowd, minus the red booths and waiters and waitresses we’ve come to expect at the deli. But the food fare is classic:: meat and egg dishes.
The motto is “OLD SCHOOL DELI SOUL FOOD.”
GRAND CENTRAL MARKET, 317 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013(213) 620-0633
Next it was onto Factor’s Famous Deli, on Pico Blvd, in the heart of L.A.’s most heavily Jewish (orthodox) neighborhood. Factor’s was once a hangout to stars like Humphrey Bogart, who loved Factor’s chili and plays up its history with show-biz types.
Now, in a sign of the times, Factor’s serves vegan corned beef.
9420 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035(310) 278-9175
Continuing to Beverly Hills, Nate N Al was the next stop. The longtime 90210 classic was recently purchased by longtime music manager Irving Azoff (the Eagles) who so far has continued the tradition of big booths and charismatic waiters and waitresses. I had the half turkey sandwich there. Look at the size of this monster! Imagine if I had ordered a complete?
414 N Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210310) 274-0101
The deli that’s most synonymous with Los Angeles is Canter’s, which has seating for 600 people in three separate rooms and a full-service bakery.
The original Canter’s opened in 1931, and stepping into the building is like taking a trip into a different world of nostalgia.
And it still works.Favorite dish: you can’t beat the matzoh ball soup and pickles. How to make sure delis continue to thrive?
“Come in and spend money,” said young Alex Canter, 26, a fourth-generation member of the family that still runs Canter’s. “We all have to band together.”
419 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036323) 651-2030
Next stop: the San Fernando Valley, and Art’s Deli, 61 years young, where every sandwich is “a work of art.”
Art is no longer with us, but the deli lives on, and is known for its sky high sandwiches.
12224 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604(818) 762-1221
Down the road on Ventura Blvd. is one of the last Jerry’s Famous Deli’s, which once had many locations all over L.A., and is now down to 2. This one has a big bowling alley next door.
12655 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA 91604818) 980-4245
From Art’s, we headed to Uncle Bernie’s in Encino, a friendly out of the way location where we shared a delicious knish. Bernie has five different varieties, including kasha and potato.
17615 Ventura Blvd, Encino, CA 91316(818) 990-6346
Afterwards, we headed to our favorite Valley find, the one-two punch of Mort’s Deli and Bea’s Bakery. Bea’s is the largest deli bakery we’ve seen, with everything from black and white cookies, bobka cake, challah bread and all sorts of Jewish delicacies. It’s worth the visit! We had a dynamite pastrami omelette at Mort’s.
18452 Clark St, Tarzana, CA 91356(818) 345-3700
We ended the deli walk at Brent’s in Northridge, a full service deli that’s worth the drive. But unlike Canter’s, which is open 24 hours, Brent’s closes at 9 p.m. sharp, even on weekends. So get in early.
19565 Parthenia St, Northridge, CA 91324(818) 886-5679
So folks, if you love the experience of visiting the local deli and ordering a blintz, latke or even want to send a salami to your boy in the army, go out and support your local deli this weekend!
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