the other red meat


Ever since I could remember, a trip to Johnnie’s in Culver City was always a treat.  Either sitting inside at one of the vinyl booths watching the traffic go by on Sepulveda, or being fireside at one of the picnic benches in the patio,  Johnnie’s has been a destination diner for my family for over 45 years.  And it never fails – whenever I’m there with my folks, they ALWAYS meet up with someone they’ve known for 50+ years. The westside community have been loyal pastrami-ites for decades – my mom fondly recalls being pregnant with me while  sitting in one of the booths chowing down a luscious french-dipped, paper-thin sliced pastrami sandwich.  No wonder I, myself, crave their pastrami every time I’m in LA.  The booths, fire pits, Seeburg tabletop jukeboxes playing Dean Martin, red checkered vinyl table clothes covering the outside patio picnic benches, and yes, even the waitresses haven’t changed.  The pickles are as crunchy as the onion rings (served with a cup of ketchup and a squirt of mustard), the bread is fresh and soft enough to absorb the au jus.  My favorite way to order this killer sandwich?  With mayo and swiss cheese, of course.  Oh baby.  Come to mama.

While I absolutely ADORE my Katz’s pastrami, Johnnie’s will always have a special place in my heart.

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