It was more than two years ago when Mendo co-founder Mario had his first bite of the house-cured, house-smoked pastrami at Mile End Delicatessen in Brooklyn. Ever since, he has been obsessed with how we could develop our own hand-crafted, artisan pastrami here at Mendo.
It finally happened when I attended an Ugly Drum pop-up at Chef Bryant Ng’s restaurant The Spice Table. I knew Ugly Drum chefs Joe Marcos and Erik Black from their time at Campanile, Literati II, Osteria Mozza, and Rustic Canyon, and I was blown away by what they were doing with smoked meats. When The Spice Table closed, we invited Erik and Joe into our kitchen to work on ideas for an Ugly Drum restaurant, during which time they perfected the recipe and technique for their pastrami. Back in March, we worked together to host three pastrami-focused pop-up dinners. The pop-ups were such a success that we decided to build a smoke house of our own to supply all the Mendocino Farms locations! We’re hoping to see that happen later this year.
In the meantime, we’re continuing our small batch production in-house and we are serving the limited edition sandwich, called “Our House Smoked Pastrami Project,” at our West Hollywood location only. The sandwich features thick slices of our 12-hour pecan-wood smoked pastrami and creamy apple coleslaw on Drago Bakery rye served with a side of “Moppin’ Mustard Sauce” for $12.95, with the choice to add baby swiss for $1.
The incredible folks behind Life & Thyme tell the whole story behind “Our Pastrami Project” in this stunning video. We hope you’ll check it out to learn about all the love that goes into making this very special sandwich, and that you’ll come in and taste it and let us know what you think!