The best hot pastrami sandwiches are piled high with sliced fatty meat, moist and succulent in its own seasoned, beefy juices. What passes for pastrami nowadays in more health-conscious restaurants is revisionist, an abomination to the sandwich, an insult to taste and texture, usually served with lean and chewy slices of meat that bear little resemblance to the real stuff. There is a place for healthy food, but a deli (or burger joint) is not one of them.
In New York City back in 2001, we made sure to have the one at Carnegie Deli. The one-pound sandwich is made with rye bread and served with a bowl of pickles.
In the Los Angeles area where I grew up, Johnnie’s in Culver City has a huge following. The sandwiches in this part of the country are served on French rolls. It is easily one of the best things between two slices of bread in the LA area.