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Restaurants & Bars 28

Johnnie’s Pastrami – Culver City (Los Angeles)

Sweet Willie | Mar 16, 200409:53 AM

This was a wandering trip during my personal time in LA for me this past week and as usual wandering pays off.

I was looking for a hearty lunch, not chili or stew hearty, but sandwich or burrito hearty. I’m driving down Sepulveda from the LAX airport hotels where I normally stay when I spy Johnnie’s Pastrami. Definitely looked like it had been there a long time, turns out since 1952.

There is a small outdoor seating area around a gas firepit, but it is packed, so being a single diner, I head into Johnnie’s and sit at one of the counter stools. Inside is not large either; I guess 6-8 booths and 6 counter stools.

As soon as I sit down I’m greeted by “hey honey, can I get you something to drink?” Sure ice tea it is.

The cook is going nuts stacking large tins of thinly sliced pastrami & corned beef over the steam vents to keep it warm and moist.

When an order comes up, he would take the bun off the grill, and stuff tong full after tong full of pastrami or corned beef into a sliced 6” hoagie roll.

Looked too good so I order the pastrami.

A bowl of big chunks of pickles is served while you wait for your meal. Not bad, not overly sweet.

My lunch plate comes with fries and the sandwich. Fries are ok, sandwich is very good and I say this after being at Katz’ in New York City the weekend before. Sure Katz’ is better, but Johnnie’s was a really good sandwich, very different from a New York City pastrami.

My “hey honey” waitress is proceeding to make a young boy blush by pinching his cheek saying how cute he is, the husband and wife are laughing and ribbing their son. I lean over to the husband and say, “I wish I would get that kind of attention” he laughs and asks if I’m enjoying the sandwich. Sure I am. He states that this is a local icon and everytime his family is in town they eat at Johnnie’s. We chat some more about local BBQ joints. A nice way to end the meal.

Johnnie’s Pastrami
4017 Sepulveda Blvd
Culver City, CA

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