Having taken part in a so-called “Pastrami Palooza” food tour around Los Angeles this past year, local foodie Bruce Critchley thought he had his list of the the best pastrami in LA set in stone. That was, until he visited Wexler’s Deli in Downtown LA’s Grand Central Market on a recent Saturday morning, bellying up to the deli counter for one of the establishment’s signature sandwiches, the “Macarthur Park”: pastrami, cole slaw, Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing on rye.
“This is among the best pastrami in LA, maybe number one. It’s in a whole new category,” said Critchley of the surprise discovery.
And for those not already in the know, Wexler’s Deli, located smack dab in the middle of the bustling Grand Central Market, can be something of a hidden gem itself. Despite its sleek stainless steel and subway tile aesthetic, Wexler’s is a classic Jewish deli at heart, and its food is all soul. The meat, fish, pickles; all hand-made and hand-sliced. Menu items such as lox and bagels and a unique, fizzy chocolate phosphate drink add an East Coast flavor, while names such as “Boyle Heights” and “L.A. Bird” define a distinctly West Coast vibe at Wexler’s Deli.
Open seven days a week, Wexler’s is working hard to revive deli culture for a new generation--and for those who still fondly remember its heydey.
“Delis are sort of an old-fashioned concept, but this is not,” said Critchley. “Wexler’s is modernizing a concept that was pretty much dying. It’s nice to see.”
Janica De Guzman