And ordered a beet salad.

Since LA Times started hiding behind a paywall, it’s hard to see what’s going on over the hedges in the Food Section. After all, every blog entry counts as a click, and every reading gets 15 whopping clicks a month. Apparently Mr. Gold spoke of Umamicatessen’s pastrami, but without Eater’s loose copyright policy, no one would know how exactly he gushed about the pastrami as by mid-month, no one has any clicks left in the purse. [Note: post on bypassing LAT’s paywall coming shortly].

There are a couple of documented praises for Ucatessen’s pastrami, and a Jew who railed against it. Should a pastrami-loving gentile enjoy this “kosher-style” sandwich? Absolutely not. With nary a hint of smoke (liquid, real, or otherwise), this pastrami sammie tasted like Honey Baked ham. As trayf and tasty as a Thanksgiving spiral-cut ham may be, a $14 sugar bombed pastrami sandwich is no one’s idea of a good time. It doesn’t look like anything from Katz, Langer’s or even Greenblatt’s, and it surely doesn’t taste like Second Ave. After all, it’s a designer (read: inauthentic) pastrami sandwich, and only in the “style” of a pastrami. It is, by definition of the menu caption, excused from all judgement. Hey, no one’s actually here for “The Cure” menu. LA loves Umami burgers, screw the pastrami, nevermind the squishy rye. This sandwich, despite the juicy brisket, is an embarrassment to the Jewish-American culinary tradition. Not that I know anything about actual Jewish-American culinary traditions. I just bought a book. This sandwich is as bad as sweetened pad Thai for farangs, and the ticket price makes it even more offensive.

Nonetheless, Umamicatessen is a party favorite. Those not enslaved by foie obsession can chose a nice (and outrageously expensive) “carrot cake” donut to go along with a perfectly artsy latte:

There is no hesitation in recommending Umamicatessen over Baco Mercat, Spice Table, or Mo-Chica as the “IT” restaurant in DTLA. It’s bad, it’s popular, it doesn’t give a shit. Come here to see, to watch, to be seen. If it’s cool enough for Merrill (love you! So good running into you!), it’s cool enough for every goy (or an ironic hipster Chosen one).

Postscript: another Umamicatessen pastrami report was filed by a bona fide New Yorker on the same day as this entry. Despite NY supposedly having shittier delis than LA, it’s safe to assume this gent eats more pastrami than majority of Angelenos. Maybe he received a revised pastrami 2.0. The pastrami sandwich above was eaten on the second day of “soft” opening. Since then, the layering of the meat has changed (to something much more methodical and unappetizing).

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  • People have different opinions about Umamicatessen but everybody agrees on one thing: The foie gras doughnuts are spectacular. They’ll disappear soon, after California’s foie gras ban kicks in.

  • I went for PIGG and not Umami. The  hoof and mouth sandwich was ok, but lacked acidity and maybe a better baquette. The foie doughnut was a let down and not worth the $8 price tag.

  • sinosoul

    BWAHAHAHAHA Doc, see Derek’s comment below? The foe doughnuts, even properly spelled, was a “let down”.

    I do love the energy of this space & had great visits. Now if only one can tell the diff between pastrami & corned beef here. What a travesty!

  • sinosoul

    Apparently no one goes for Cure? PIGG was just too many overpriced hams from out-of-towners. Anyone with a Globe meat slicer can replicate 1/2 of the menu; $15 for pork pate is just ridiculously priced.

    Have you gone back?

  • foodshethought


  • I have not and probably will not return back. My issue with the foie was that the “mousse” was too runny and leaked everywhere. You wanna be able to taste all the components at the same time and not mop it up after.

  • Steve Ury

    Pigg is all about the sandwiches.  The pork liver sandwich is what it’s all about.  The foie doughnut is mostly gimmick.  Agree with the carrot cake doughnut.  Also like the tres leches but don’t understand if it’s fried to order why it’s always cold.

  • sinosoul

    Damnit, so no one ordered anything from “Cure”? I am going to have go to back for the pate sandwiches.

  • sku

    I had a bite of the pastrami (just the meat) and it seemed fine but nothing I’d compare to Langer’s.  The spleen sandwich was also pretty good, but a bit too salty.

  • Just pay for the paywall! Reporters and writers need to get paid, too.

  • sinosoul

    Cute Sophia, cute.

  • Bigmouth

    You’re confusing plagiarism with copyright.

  • sinosoul


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