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Restaurants & Bars 8

Best Corned Beef Hash in Los Angeles

Tom Armitage | Dec 18, 199903:23 PM

One of my favorite breakfasts is corned beef hash with poached eggs. So I am on a quest to find "the best" corned beef hash in Los Angeles. One problem is that many restaurants use canned hash, which, needless to say, leaves much to be desired. I understand that a restaurant that doesn't sell much corned beef might feel financially compelled to use the canned stuff to reduce spoilage costs. So I came up with the theory that restaurants that do a substantial volume of business in corned beef, and therefore have a good supply of ends and pieces that would otherwise be thrown away, would be likely candidates to make a good corned beef hash.

My first test of this theory was at Canter's, the old faithful Los Angeles deli on Fairfax Ave. Having had many a corned beef sandwich at Canter's, my expectations were high. What I was served definitely did not come from a can. The corned beef had been finely ground to the consistency of sawdust. It was served with sliced pan-fried potatoes. The poached eggs, which came in a separate cup, were overcooked. In addition to the dry, sawdusty texture, I found the corned beef, which had no discernable added ingredients or spices, completely lacking in taste. In sum, my experience at Canter's helped to confirm my theory that restaurants with a ready supply of corned beef are not likely to use canned corn beef hash. But it also reminded me that, just because a restaurant makes its own corned beef hash, does not necessarily mean that the hash is going to be good.

My next stop was the Hollywood Hills Coffee Shop on Franklin Ave. I must confess that I went here not because I was aware of a high volume of corned beef sales (other than the corned beef hash), but because I'd previously had some terrific hash here. Like Canter's, the corned beef hash was meat only, with home fries on the side. Unlike Canter's, however, the corned beef hash at Hollywood Hills was moist, flavorful, roughly chopped meat nicely spiked with onion and parsley. The home fries were crispy and satisfying. The poached eggs served atop the hash were perfectly cooked. Along with a glass of good fresh squeezed orange juice, and a giant cup of latte, this was a very, very satisfying breakfast. I was so sated, in fact, that I forgot to check if they had corned beef sandwiches or other corned beef items on their menu. Anyway, the corned beef hash is definitely a thumbs-up, way, way up. I'll be surprised if it isn't among the finalists for "the best" in Los Angeles.

My third stop was at Langer's Delicatessen. Langer's also clearly makes its own corned beef hash. It consisted of finely chopped meat mixed with finely chopped potatoes. The hash was meaty and good, though not as flavorful as the hash at Hollywood Hills Coffee Shop. The three poached eggs, served in a separate dish, were perfectly cooked. The breakfast came with a separate plate of fried sliced potatoes that were terrific. A toasted onion bagel also came with the breakfast. In sum, very good hash and, overall, a very good breakfast, but not as good as Hollywood Hills Coffee Shop.

I need help from all you Los Angeles Chowhounds out there. What are your candidates for the "best corned beef hash in Los Angeles"?

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