Anna Harari of LAist.com has a great new article up on “The 11 Best Classic And Quintessentially Los Angeles Dishes,” and she includes the Langer’s #19 hot pastrami sandwich – with special attention paid to RC Provision, provider of pastrami (and more) to Langer’s Delicatessen.
In 2002, my aunt, Nora Ephron, wrote an article in The New Yorker, awarding Langer’s the trophy of “the finest hot pastrami sandwich in the world.” For a Los Angeles institution to have beaten out New York, in The New Yorker, by the ultimate “New Yorker,” was no small feat. Langer’s gets its pastrami from distributor RC Provisions, a relationship that began with the late Al Langer, who founded the deli in 1947, and Bill Giamela, the now-75-year old founder of RC Provisions. The tradition of hand-selecting the cuts was perfected by their fathers and passed down to sons Norm Langer (Langer’s) and Matt Giamela (RC Provisions). This method of hand selection is apparent in the pastrami’s flavor. While the #19 is the classic, and includes cole slaw, Russian dressing and swiss cheese, there are traditionalists that believe the pastrami is so good it only needs mustard and the rye bread.