I mentioned in my last post that after eating at The Hat, I sat down to watch "Cooking Showdown" on KSCI Channel 18. We shared the famous and deadly chili cheese Fries, and I ate half a double dipped pastrami. Let me explain, this is the famous Southern California burger stand pastrami sandwich, not your deli stacked sandwich on rye, which in all fairness is another very good sandwich, just not the same. I've been to a few places outside of So.Cal. and they don't make pastramis anywhere else like they do out here. When Monica comes out to visit, The Hat is first place on her list.
The Hat is one of the oldest burger joints in the area, the original opened in 1951. Chronis on Whittier Blvd. also makes a pretty darn good pastrami, and the best chili dogs, and I must give them credit for still being around. But The Hat is closer to the house, so that's what we chose. My cousin even worked at Chronis through high school. And for the record, Dirty Vegas filmed their video for "Days Go By" at Chronis, the one where the guy starts break dancing out in front of the burger stand. How cool was that to see Chronis on MTV!
Ever since I was a kid, I've enjoyed these juicy dipped pastrami sandwiches, and The Hat makes a good one. They long ago abandoned the denser heavier French roll for a much larger and softer one, and they increased the price to $6.29, but they still serve a very generous sandwich. The freshly sliced French roll is dipped (or not!) into the steaming hot au jus, slathered with mustard, layered with pickle slices, and then thinly sliced lean pastrami is piled on. Anymore, I can only eat half, if I want to enjoy any chili cheese fries and still be able to breathe! I told you this story so you would understand that it really and truly had to be some spectacular food on "Cooking Showdown" for me to even think about any food after a meal from The Hat. It was that good!
locations throughout Southern California
Upland, Temple City, Simi Valley, Brea, Lake Forest and more!
PS---Wouldn't THE HAT pastramis be the perfect ballpark food at Dodger Stadium? It could happen!