It's not every day a new purveyor of pastrami opens up, even in Los Angeles, which in recent years seems to be home to more Jewish delicatessens than New York. The Jewish deli is a tough business, perhaps harder to run than any other type of restaurant. (I know because I would have been a fifth-generation deli man had I stayed in the family business.) Tradition is important: Customers who have been eating in delis for years will almost always compare the food to their other favorite delis, or — the most crucial test — how it stacks up to their grandmothers' recipes. You have to be on your game if you're going to enter this arena. Luckily, L.A. has one of the best deli men in the country: Micah Wexler.
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