Even though the Los Angeles Jewish Journal will be reviewing my book come its release in October, they’re apparently so excited about what I wrote on LA’s deli scene, that they’ve written it up right now. Makes sense, because I essentially say that LA could be the best deli city in America. Hold onto your hats, and read the article:
Los Angeles: BEST DELI TOWN
Posted by Rob Eshman
I just got a peek inside David Sax’s new book, “Save the Deli,“ due out Oct. 19, and can report that it is official: L.A. is the best deli city in America.
Bite that, New York.
Flip to Chapter 10 of Sax’s fanatically researched, snappily-written tome, whose full title is “Save the Deli: In Search of the Perfect Pastrami, Crusty Rye, and the Heart of the Jewish Delicatessen” (Houghton Mifflin). Right there Sax says it:
“Brace yourself New York, because what I am about to write is definitey going to piss a lot of you off, but it needs to be said: Los Angeles has become America’s premier deli city.“
Sax lives in Brooklyn. He’s traveled the breadth of this country, and to Europe, tasting deli at every stop. He knows what he’s talking about—it’s what WE’VE been talking about for years. In a 2002 cover story on delis in The Jewish Journal, Pulitzer Prize-winning restaurant critic Jonathan Gold told our writer:
I think Los Angeles might be the best deli town in the country right now. I have spent my entire life being sneered at by New Yorkers for living some inferior version of Jewish life here, and then I move to New York and find out that, gosh sakes, it’s right here in Los Angeles.
But, hey, now the world knows. CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE
So there you go folks. A nice preview of the most controversial lines in the book. But yes, I was blown away by deli in LA, and for good reason. It’s fantastic stuff. If you haven’t been out there and tasted it for yourself, please withhold your judgment, vitriol, and harsh words. I went to LA expecting weak deli. How could anything out in California compete with the joys back east in New York, Philly, Detroit, Chicago, or Montreal?
I was blown away. I bet you’ll be too.
But don’t take what Eshman writes too seriously. Take that New York? Not quite. LA deli is great, and New York (not to mention other cities) can learn a lot from it, but I’m never one for one upsmanship and “bests”. It’s different. In some ways much better. In other ways, not as much. But worth eating at, and checking out, and giving a fair shake. LA has a wealth of deli goodness, from the pastrami at Langer’s, to the kishke at Brent’s, to the corned beef at Nate n’ Al’s, to the hush puppy at Pico Kosher. If you live in LA, are going to LA, or have some air miles lying around, get out there and eat. Then write in and tell me what a putz I am.