Buried somewhere near the back of the encyclopedic menu at Brent's Deli is a page dedicated to their "Lite Menu." Good one. No one comes to Brent's for cottage cheese on iceberg lettuce. Brent's anchors a mid-size, 1970s-style shopping mall that seems, after you've lived in Los Angeles long enough, like a quaint relic of suburbia, the sort that boasts a bar for Cleveland Browns fans (The Stovepiper) and the most honest and cleverly named store on the planet: Mr. Stuff. It's the kind of stuff-and-junk-and-things repository where old gardening equipment shares space with a talking, neo-con Dennis Miller doll. (Only $4!) Sadly, Mr. Stuff carried the PG version of the doll, but what kind of stridency and self-righteousness might the PG-13 version display? Aside from the charms of tcotchke farms and abundant parking, Brent's is the kind of place you seek out for its old school deli menu: knishes, heart-stopping chopped liver and egg salad sandwiches, Brobdignagian eclairs and, naturally, pastrami.
Another bonus is the coleslaw, a notch above typical coleslaw, which often tastes like it's been scooped out of an industrial-sized supermarket tub, even at the best delis. Not at Bret's. Whatever they do to gin it up, it works.
Pro Tip: Brent's has one of the best pastry cases of any deli in Los Angeles. It features sky-high towers of chocolate and carrot cake spinning alongside eclairs the size of small footballs. Save room for an eclair, which is at least a two-person job, four if you've taught yourself restraint, not a quality that comes in handy when ogling Brent's massive menu.