I love pastrami and I love sauerkraut, but I’ve never really been a fan of Jewish delis because I’ve always thought they were overpriced. I ended up at Canter’s against my will the other night, but approached it as an opportunity to give the place another chance. I’ve been to Canter’s a few times before and was never really impressed by the food, but honestly, I don’t think my palette or my food knowledge was very good back then. Plus, I was usually poor, so any sandwich that cost over $10 was a big problem for me.
My wife and I split the Reuben sandwich. We got it with pastrami and it was really good. Not melt-in-your-mouth pastrami like at Katz’s Delicatessen in New York, but still very good. The sauerkraut was excellent and was easily my favorite part of the meal. For dessert, my wife ordered the blueberry pie a la mode, which she thought was just okay because the filling was more like a blueberry jelly than actual whole blueberries.
If you like pickles, they’re free at Canter’s, and they bring you a plate of them when you’re seated. If you’re in a drinking mood, you can order most mixed drinks at your table and i think they come from the bar next door. If there’s a band playing at the bar, then it can get a little loud, so you may want to sit in the room near the main entrance if you want to have a conversation. Our waitress was cool and very accommodating of our group of 10 and had no problem handling separate checks.
The one thing I really hate about Canter’s is the parking, especially in the evening. There’s a small lot adjacent to the restaurant that’s usually full, so unless you’re going to hunting for street parking, you’ll have to wait till someone leaves before you can park. Luckily this process moves fairly quickly since people are always coming and going, and while you wait, you can admire the mural that’s painted on the side of the building chronicling the Jewish struggle in Los Angeles.