3200 California St, San Francisco, CA | Directions 9411537.787265 -122.446788
Neighborhoods: Presidio Heights, North
Mixed quality but overall very nice – I remember real deli when I was a kid in New York. The Corned Beef was warm and crumbly and delicious, pastrami too. Half sour pickles, egg creams, all so delicious.
This place does not replicate that. It's a modern version and it mostly succeeds.
The colors are black and white, kind of a retro hint to deli's of the past. I like it.
The help seem well meaning but not professional. Given that this is housed at a JCC, it seems somehow acceptable if not downright appropriate.
The menu has so many wonderful traditional deli items on it.
Cole Slaw: fantasitic.
Corned Beef: horrendous. Unchewable.
Salami and eggs: sublime.
Coffee: Awesome! They use Peets and they make it right.
Half sour pickles: thank you!
Nicest Touch: They offer three sizes of sandwiches.
Umm, NY-style deli? – After spending a year in NYC last year, I can definitely say that this is NOT a NY style deli. My take-out order included a hot pastrami & egg salad sandwich with potato salad & coleslaw. The pastrami was ok. The problem with the pastrami sandwich was half of the sandwich was grilled with bits of cheese on it (maybe a dejected reuben?). I asked for the standard Russian dressing - which should automatically be included. It was NOT in the bag when I got home. The egg salad was terrible! It was all egg whites (what happened to the yolks) and watery. The potato salad & coleslaw were also very watery. When I go to a deli, I expect some mayo, some fat! I called the restaurant to let them know. Response from the manager was, "Well, since you'll never come back, what can I do for you?"
Hype is a four letter word – I'll start off with the one positive thing I can think of: they give you free pickles. This place was overpriced, had a negative vibe like a republican rave, and my server made me feel like I was the pharoh demanding him to build me a pyramid when I was asking for a refill on my $3.50 iced tea (yes, you read correctly: $3.50!!!). the sandwiches, many of which are named after local neighborhoods, averaged at $10 each and were served with bland, watery red potato salad. do not, i repeat, do not order the presidio (their version of a reuben), the corned beef was as tough as old leather. our server had a terrible attitude and seemed absolutely miserable to be there. just don't go, please. however, if you think $30 is a reasonable price to pay for two iced teas and two nasty sandwiches, go right ahead.
Very Disappointed – I was VERY disappointed by my experience at the California Street Deli. First, the service was terrible and after ordering our meal, we were ignored the whole time. No one came by to check on us or even to refill our sodas and water. My order came out incorrect and I was shocked at how measly the portions were. I ordered matzo ball soup and a 1/2 sandwich. The soup was barely a cup and the matzo ball was like a rock! Plus I was served 2 sad slices of turkey. I expect a full meal when I go to a deli; I left hungry which is a terrible sign. If you want a decent bowl of matzo ball soup then go to East Coast West
Authentic New York-style deli dishes up heaping plates of lovingly prepared Jewish fare in Laurel Heights. – In Short
Checkered floors match the black-and-white photos on the walls of this small, spanking white space. Bustling lunch rushes find young neighborhood moms and Jewish Community Center regulars noshing on high-stacked pastrami and corned beef sandwiches. The extensive menu, overseen by local cookbook author Joyce Goldstein, features such classics as matzo ball soup, brisket, blintzes and chopped liver. For dessert, glass cake platters tempt with moist carrot cake, coconut macaroons and rich chocolate sacher tortes.
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