The working class, inner-city Los Angeles neighborhood of Westlake is populated by Central-American immigrants and features a growing Korean-American influence from nearby Koreatown. This makes Westlake a somewhat unusual place to go if you were in the mood for Jewish Deli food. Nevertheless, if you want a great deli meal, you definitely want to visit Westlake and head to Langer’s Deli.
Langer’s, which has been in existence since 1947, is atypical of the neighborhood but in many ways is reflective of the true Los Angeles experience. Caddy corner from MacArthur Park, Langer’s is surrounded by stores and restaurants with Spanish language signs and on the corner of two streets where street merchants sell various goods.
The nature of the LA citizenry is that great ethnic food locations are not necessarily located in neighborhoods that are not comprised of that ethnic group. But instead, if the food is good, outsiders embrace it as their own. Langer’s is that good.
New York Times Magazine once ranked Langers’s corned beef and pastrami as the best in America (quite a compliment coming from a New York-based media organization). Indeed, their specialty is corned beef, Swiss, coleslaw, and Russian dressing on toasted rye. I don’t love corned beef or pastrami but even I indulge in both at Langer’s. My favorite is the beef brisket dip sandwich and my second favorite is the turkey and Swiss on toasted rye.
For those seeking an adventure or just a great Jewish deli lunch, I highly recommend Langer’s Deli.