Eating at Greenblatt’s is like going over to hang at Grandma’s house as a kid and spending the entire day doing chores. You know you’re probably going to get a good meal at the end of it, but it’s unclear why you had to go through all of that to get it.
Greenblatt’s is good, nobody’s denying that. You can still walk into this iconic 90-year-old Jewish deli, order a hot pastrami sandwich, and feel pretty good about it. But unfortunately, somewhere along the way Greenblatt’s lost a touch of that magical hominess only a 90-year-old Jewish deli could possess.
For one thing, Greenblatt’s is secretly upscale these days. The ground floor is as much a high-end wine shop as it as deli counter. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s certainly something to keep in mind on a late Saturday night when your balance is at best a liability. It’s also expensive. We understand that comes with the territory of being on the Sunset Strip, but spending $27 on a pastrami sandwich and matzo ball soup is aggressive no matter where you fall on the sobriety scale.
But perhaps most surprising are the Greenblatt's workers themselves. It’s not that they aren’t nice, it’s that they’re all completely doubled-over with stress. Greenblatt’s is a popular place no doubt, but it’s no Bay Cities. We’ve never once been here when it’s particularly crowded, and yet everyone behind the counter is in Black Friday Walmart Supercenter crisis mode. Can someone please fix this? We honestly just feel bad for them. And that’s the last thing you want out of an old school deli.
Now, if you’re in the area and stumble into Greenblatt’s late night with friends or drop by for a quick solo lunch midweek, Greenblatt’s is of use. You will eventually get the food you wanted and all will be well. But frankly, better all-around experiences await at Canter’s (around the corner), Langer’s, Wexler’s, Brent’s, and the like.
Because let’s all remember – the best part of Grandma’s house is Grandma.
This is certainly not far behind some of the other great pastrami in town, but it’s actually the bread that just lacks a little bit for us. A touch too dry most of the time. Otherwise, this is a Greenblatt’s must-order.
ATTENTION: this mac salad is REALLY good. Not exactly sure why, but it probably has something to do with mayonnaise.
The soup standard and sick-day remedy is great here. $9 great? Maybe not.
This sandwich tends to get lost in the shuffle at Greenblatt’s, but it’s a true behemoth and delicious and just maybe worth paying the $16 to eat it.