The long-dormant Johnny’s Pastrami space in West Adams returns to life this weekend, albeit in a different fashion than first thought. Originally, the iconic all-night stand was said to be a Travis Lett project, and would carry the moniker Gjohnny’s, in line with Lett’s then-other restaurants Gjelina and Gjusta. Lett has since departed from all of his Venice restaurants, including MTN, and is no longer involved in Johnny’s either.
Instead, the restaurant will reportedly be helmed by Danny Elmaleh of nearby Mizlala, with plans to open as soon as tonight. In an Instagram DM with the restaurant shared to Eater, ownership says that this evening will be a “soft opening” with limited service and hours, beginning at 5 p.m., though the restaurant has not yet confirmed publicly.
As for the menu, expect thick cut pastrami on marbled rye, knishes, matzoh ball soup, a burger, a fried chicken sandwich, loaded fries, and more.
Johnny’s Pastrami is a historic pastrami stand situated on Adams Boulevard, just east of Crenshaw. The restaurant closed conspicuously back in 2015, but with a renewed focus on the West Adams and Jefferson Park neighborhoods for new development and new restaurants, work to restore the property began in 2018. For now, only the takeaway stand and outdoor seating areas will be available; a bar and indoor seating area will come down the line. Matt Winter of M. Winter Designs designed the property.
Johnny’s Pastrami. 4331 W. Adams Blvd., Los Angeles.