24 February 2006
19565 Parthenia Street
Northridge, CA

Atmosphere: Nice. Kitchen and (non-eating-at) high deli counter along one wall, as it should be (as opposed to in a separate, closed-off room). Decor is a little too family-style restaurant (think Coco’s), but not bad. I suppose this is a Valley deli after all.
Attitude: Servers very warm, pleasant and yet downright funny (novel combination). Example: Robin [ordering]: “Tell me if this is too much: two blint— server: “Yup”. Side question: does a Jewish deli have to employ at least one Jewish person to be considered legitimate? Honest question. Don’t know the answer myself, but I’ve never before seen so many non-Jewish servers at a deli.
Food [general]: Fresh rye. Egg salad very good, but oh my lord—the blintzes. The entire weekend, it seemed all we could talk about were those blintzes. Best blintz I’ve ever had in my life. Mention must be made about the matzoh ball Julie ordered. This thing was so gigantic, I couldn’t even see over the table until the top half was eaten. On the upside, Elliot was sitting across from me. Oh, and apparently, the matzoh ball was good. Fries were okay, but could be crispier. Did i mention the blintzes?
Pickles: Gradations of pickles, my friend. Gradations. A veritable God’s spectrum of small wonders brought to your table, seemingly arranged perfectly by sourness, “oldness”, or whatever technical pickle term you wish to use. A beautiful sight. I favor the “quarter-sours” or the “young” pickles and they were fantastic. Crunchy as all get out.
Dr. Brown’s black cherry: Check.
Summary: We were all very impressed. Overall, an incredibly solid showing. The all around package. By far the best deli we’ve been to so far, but then again, we weren’t very surprised, seeing as how we were coming from the wasteland of Jewish delis (Northern CA).

Atmosphere: Not perfect, but quite great. I’m not sure if being located in a strip mall adds or detracts from the experience. Inside, it’s touches of an old-world restaurant, with some modern-Howard Johnson’s-style newishness. Wood paneling in the counters, brick on the wall. It’s weird and brown, and i like it.
Attitude: Just enough attitude to contribute to the experience; not enough to make you cringe as you get shut down for ordering toasted rye (a la Katz’). In true good deli fashion, Brent’s feels almost over-staffed, with waitstaff moving around everywhere, and different employees stopping at your table, as needed. Vibrant and fun.
Food [general]: Outstanding. Truly. The pastrami, though not hand-sliced, was stacked three inches high and was succulent in that way that you feel through to the back of your cheeks. They toasted the rye and put coleslaw and swiss on it per my request, and the proportions were spot-on. Fries were crisp and just the right greasiness, and my decaf was refilled without requiring my usual panicked gesturing. Side note: I can usually give or take a blintz, but the blintzes Robin got were truly special.
Pickles: A polydactyl hand of pickles spanning the green and yellow pickle rainbow. We were all delighted. I stayed to the left, where the pickles were yellower, and sourer.
Summary: The solidest end-to-end deli experience I’ve had in California. The sandwich still doesn’t top the #19 at Langer’s, but Brent’s easily takes the high cumulative score. I can’t wait to go back.