The Skinny: Yesterday for my older brother’s birthday, we went to The New York Deli in Torrance that has been around since 1985. It’s pretty much the only Jewish style Deli in the South Bay that I know of and they are known for classics like Matzo Ball Soup, Kosher style meats, Chopped Liver, and hot and cold cured cut sandwiches. The restaurant itself has the eclectic vibe of that “Harry Met Sally” movie and the walls are covered with black and white photos of legendary actors from the past 70 years. Pictures of the sandwiches on the menus are reminiscent of the stuff Dagwood would make in his comic strips. It would be my first time here.
I ordered the Hot Beef Tongue New York High Sandwich which comes stuffed with Cole Slaw, Swiss Cheese, Russian Dressing, and your choice of bread; I got the Sourdough. On the side, I got pickles and a choice of Salad, like Macaroni and more Cole Slaw; I got the latter. My brother got the New Yorker, which comes with Hot Corned Beef, Pastrami, Swiss Cheese, Cole Slaw, and Russian Dressing stacked inside 2 pieces of grilled bread. My mom got a large Matzo Ball Soup and we all shared some French Fries and Red Wine.
The Good: The Hot Beef Tongue in my sandwich was super beefy and tender, maybe a little bit too tender. The Russian Dressing certainly gave the sandwich some more depth and the Cole Slaw in it helped bring all 3 components together into one delicious bit. I also liked the Macaroni Salad and even though it took me a while, the Kosher Pickle flavors grew on me. I did try the Matzo Ball Soup my mom ordered and I liked how it had real pieces of Roasted Chicken, freshly cooked Noodles and Vegetables. Not exactly sure what a Matzo Ball is suppose to taste like, but it tasted fine to me.
The Bad: My only complaint about my sandwich is that the Tongue was too tender, therefore it just felt too mushy in my mouth. Other than that, everything was okay.
Would you come back again? Yeah, sure, why not!…I would like to try their other hot sandwiches, like the Corned Beef and Pastrami.
More Info: www.thenewyorkdeli.com | Torrance: 2424 Sepulveda Blvd | Torrance, CA 90501 | 310-891-1229 | Pasadena: 25 North Raymond Ave | Old Town Pasadena, CA 91103 | 626-578-0010 | Not the cheapest sandwich in the world.
The Skinny: In one night, I went to a gastropub in Eagle Rock called The Oinkster and stopped by The Black Boar, a no frills bar. Then on whim, I ended my evening at The Pitfire Pizza Company that’s located in between Culver City and Venice Beach.
Oinkster is popular hipster-ish restaurant that got spotlighted by Guy Fieri on his show Drives, Dives, and Diners. The establishment is known for their Pastrami and BBQ Pulled Pork sandwiches.
The Black Boar is an Irish style pub I Yelped and went to after eating at the Oinkster.
The Pitfire Pizza Company is a relatively new and trendy place that had a live DJ, wooden decor, Sangrias, and really good Pizza Bread.
The Oinkster: Since I went here with some friends, I was able to trade one half of my BBQ Pulled Pork for his “Oinkster Pastrami.” The sandwiches came as a combo with Belgian Fries, a nice dill pickle, and my choice of a hoppy Eagle Rock beer on tap. The BBQ Pulled Pork is described as being brined in Soy and Honey and then slowly roasted and smoked. It came packaged with a Red Cabbage Slaw, Caramelized Onions and BBQ Sauce. While my friend preferred the Pastrami that came pretty much built the same way, except without the BBQ Sauce and with Gruyere Cheese, I liked the Pork more. It could have been because it was the first thing I ate while it was still hot, so all the flavors just felt that much more comforting. When I got to the Pastrami, it was cold and falling apart and it didn’t have the same flavor impact as the Pulled Pork did. It was still good, peppery and full of fatty goodness with the Slaw complimenting everything else. The Belgian style Fries came with Garlic Aioli, and they were pretty addictive. I also love the fact they have an outdoor seating area where I can drink beer openly during a nice Spring evening.
The Black Boar: The Black Boar is a pub not too far from The Oinkster. Inside it the interior and vibe is that of an Irish bar, with dart boards, a Foosball table, old Celtic letterings everywhere, and left over St. Patty’s Day whiskey promos still hanging from the ceilings. I liked the place and the indie rock music they had playing on the jukebox. It’s the kind of bar I wish I had near my house so I can be a regular. However their mixed drinks were watered down, but it’s forgivable because my friend had ordered a girly one in a seemingly no frills kind of bar. Plus, the dark haired bartender girl with a nose ring was hot!
The Pitfire Pizza Company: I wasn’t really expecting to go here, but my friend decided on a whim to try it out for the first time after we talked about pizzas we had and loved in Los Angeles. When we got there, the atmosphere reminded me of my design school years with the interior being in a big open area and the kitchen in plain view sight. While we were waiting in line to order, the DJ was playing Foster The People’s “Pumped Up Kicks” as industrial lights guided us to the cashier lady. It was cool, the atmosphere made me feel young again.
My friend and I ordered a pitcher of Sangria and two small Pizzas, one with Wild Arugula and the other with Pumpkin Squash. Both were delicious. The Arugula pizza seemed to have very few ingredients, even with the haystack size greens on top. The Burrata Cheese, Tomato Sauce, Caramelized Onio, Hazelnut , and Pesto Drizzle that were on it, all worked well together (or at least I thought since I was kind buzzed) on the light and airy Pizza Bread. The Pumpkin Squash Farmers Market special had the good kind of cheese that actually stretched as you pull away from a bite. These days, in order for Pizza chains to deliver 5 dollar specials, they opt for the cottage cheese kind that is texturely mushy even when hot. Pitfire Pizza’s seems to be doing it right, with their fresh hippie like ingredients, that delicious pizza dough formula, and their art student music playing in the background. Oh…and the Sangria was a bit too fruit punchy, but good enough to make me stumble as I walked out.
The Oinkster: None really.
The Black Boar: The only thing that doesn’t really bother me is the watered down mixed drinks. No biggy though, since all I was drinking was Jameson.
The Pitfire Pizza Company: While the Pumpkin Squash Pizza was tasty, the special ingredient was hardly noticeable. It was a bit too subtle. I think maybe if they caramelized the pieces of Squash a bit before cooking the pie in the oven, it would’ve tasted just a little bit better.
Would you come back again? Sure x 3.
More Info: TheOinkster: 2005 Colorado Blvd. Eagle Rock, CA 90041 | Expect to pay about 15 bucks for a Sandwich with a Beer and Fries. | The Black Boar: 1630 Colorado Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90041 | The Jameson cost me 7 bucks per order | The Pitfire Pizza Company: 2018 Westwood Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90035 | Expect to pay 10 bucks for a Small Pie & 15 for a pitcher of Sangria.