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 LAT.com 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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