Johnnie’s Pastrami Restaurant is a planned destination stop for many flying in to Los Angeles. It has been a landmark in Culver City, California, since 1952. Walk inside and it takes you right back. The counters, the juke boxes on the counters, and the booths are all original. If you don’t want to eat inside there are two outdoor covered patio dining areas.
Johnnie’s has a varied menu with burgers, hot dogs, and other sandwiches, but pastrami is the star attraction. It is first boiled, then transferred to a steamer, from which it is plucked with a tongs, then stuffed into a soft French roll. It’s unlike pastrami served at delicatessens.
The sandwich is so large you could make two or three meals out of it. (If you have any room left after a sandwich, there is fresh pie and coffee.) Served with the pastrami sandwich are some of the best crunchy dill pickle chunks I’ve ever had. I’ve heard that some people go to Johnnie’s just to buy a gallon or more of pickles.
Johnnie’s Pastrami is one of those places where you can say your parents ate there, your grandparents ate there, and maybe even your great grandparents ate there. And if your grandkids have any sense, they’ll be eating there, too.