The bike ride started with a statement. My good friend and editor Will told me that Wexler’s Deli in the Grand Central Market in Downtown LA made the best pastrami sandwich that he had ever let trickle down his arm. […]
The bike ride started with a statement. My good friend and editor Will told me that Wexler’s Deli in the Grand Central Market in Downtown LA made the best pastrami sandwich that he had ever let trickle down his arm. While Will has an on-point palate, he isn’t a Yid and this ain’t New York so I was suspect. But I love a good bike ride and I love a Food Trip, so we were off.
My gripe about LA bike paths is that they are hardly that. They are a weak example of the required check on a Google map. They put you close enough to the zooming German automobiles that you could play duck, duck death. It’s unfortunate because the weather, terrain and distances here are so bike friendly. We rode the long way past kimchi laced Koreatown, the aging art deco buildings and tent strewn streets of downtown.
As we locked up we saw the line of Egg Sluts waiting to get busy with some egg goo. There were no fewer than 100 tourists all dutifully waiting. Suckers. Tourists. We headed straight to our Jew booth. It was tastefully decorated with a mix of old world and clean cosmopolitan lines. We ordered a Pastrami Sandwich and a bagel with lox. I was still yet to be convinced of Will’s claim. Our tastebuds were under siege. It was too much to handle, so mine fled to the Western Front to go get a coffee from G&B.
Upon my return our cured delectables were waiting on baked and boiled bread. Time to dig in. Before I divulge the results, a note: good lox are more similar to sashimi than any other fish dish. The cure should be light and “fishiness” nil. As for pastrami, the flavor should be full and the meat tender. The kind of tender that surrenders under the duress of a wooden spoon. Good pastrami and good lox is a scientific and culinary wonder. It’s soul food. You know when you get the real deal. And I must admit, Wexler’s is exactly that. It is every bit as good as the NYC greats. Even their bagels were next level. I asked one of the team members where they were from. She proudly told me that they and everything else, except for the beverages, were made onsite. Damn. Bagels, lox and pastrami all made at the Grand Central Market. It’s a new LA. And I just found my new Russ & Daughters and Mile End under one roof.