Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Chow Time: Langer's Delicatessen

If Hollywood storytelling is as historically accurate as I like to believe, then Sean Penn Mickey Cohen (holed-up in the Park Plaza Hotel before a knock-down, drag-out fight culminating in his arrest) just had to have become a regular patron of the neighborhood's oldest and most-authentic outlet of oh-so-delicate, Jewish essen, Langer's Delicatessen (est. 1947).  Nearly seventy years after both the landmark restaurant's opening and the heyday of Los Angeles' most celebrated hoodlum/murderer/racketeer, only one of the two remains; as the saying goes, "Only the strong survive."  Langer's not only survives, it thrives in its original location at the corner of 7th and Alvarado, across from the famous (infamous?) cinematic location of Cohen's downfall, MacArthur Park.

Langer's Delicatessen - Los Angeles, CA

If Mickey Cohen himself never partook of Langer's fine menu offerings, then I like to think that at the very least, Sean Penn's and Josh Brolin's assistants made time to run across the park and pick up some sandwiches from Langer's reliable curbside service during the filming of Gangster Squad.

Langer's is not necessarily a visual show-stopper.  Nevertheless, it makes the most of its '60s-era
expansion by way of terrazzo floors, tufted booths, colorful subway tile, and dramatic light fixtures.
The place is seriously legit -they've got their own t-shirts!

Missing perhaps some of the stylistic splendor of other wacky tacky eateries, what Langer's might lack in form, it more than makes up for in function - delicious food.  To describe the food as delicious, delectable, delightful is merely to practice understatement in the extreme (not to mention alliteration).  Dedicated noshers travel far and wide just to get a taste of MacArthur Park's sole recipient of The James Beard Foundation Award.

It takes first-timers a few minutes to peruse the substantial
menu, but for Mr. Tiny, the choice is always premeditated...

The No. 1 - Pastrami, Coleslaw, and Russian Dressing on Rye
It wouldn't be difficult to outdo Meg Ryan's Katz's Deli performance when eating this sandwich -
it's that good.  The rye bread is double-baked to ensure a tender center and crispy crust.

Sure, all the usual delicatessen suspects are present and accounted for: tongue and egg salad,
pastrami and pickles, ruggalach and knishes, sister-in-law and liverwurst, but let's be real Langer's...

You had me at radish rose!

And our compliments to Langer's; it's well known that
any meal that ends with a "wet one" is a good one!

Carrying on the same traditions of quality and service, as so beautifully rendered in this painting, it's dollars
to donuts (or maybe dill pickles) that Langer's will continue to make some of the best food in Los Angeles.

And with the way that they make [coffee] cake, there is very little chance
that it would ever get left out in the rain.  Even if it did, the recipe is well
secured and will continue to be made again and again.

"MacArthur Park" - Richard Harris

Whatever you do, don't make like the cake made famous in song, getting left out in the metaphorical rain; get thee to Langer's ASAP!

Langer's Delicatessen
704 S Alvarado St
Los Angeles, CA


Mr. Tiny

Take that, James Beard Foundation Award!!!


  1. Love this! My favourite LA activity (besides the vintage shopping) is checking out all the original eateries... I'll have to add Langer's to the list for next time!

    1. Next time you're in town we should get the whole gang together at Langer's to celebrate!

    2. I would love that! I am seriously looking at airfares right now!

  2. Replies
    1. It is!!! Next time there's a fancy soirée at the Park Plaza, you should pre-party at Langer's!