Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop is a Cheap Beverly Hills Lunch I Can Get Behind
Everybody I’ve met who works in Beverly Hills has pretty much told me the same thing… it is a wasteland of overpriced power lunches. You want cheap, interesting food- you’re going to have to go out of your way. Cheap and decent ethnic food?! Good luck. But I haven’t given up just yet, and when Los Angeles Magazine put Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop on their list of the best sandwiches in L.A. I couldn’t help but get a little bit excited.
See, I like sandwiches. But not just any sandwich. “The best” roast beef sandwich doesn’t nothing for me. Dip that same sandwich in gravy, or cover it in horseradish and then we’re talking. “The best” turkey sandwich? Snore. Top that turkey with stuffing and cranberry sauce, and serve it in a month other than November… now we’re getting somewhere. Oh, and cole slaw and russian dressing automatically makes any sandwich better. Which brings us to Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop (on Wilshire). They’ve got both.
On the surface Capriotti’s isn’t particularly Midtown Lunch’ish. It’s a sandwich chain that started in Delaware, but now has franchises in 11 states. Their regular menu is fairly standard for a sub shop with mildly Italian roots. There’s turkey, roast beef, ham, and tuna, plus genoa salami, and an “Italian” sub with a combo of fairly standard meats. Plus a list of hot sandwiches that include steak and cheese, meatball, sausage, and eggplant parm. Plus as a bonus, you can any sandwich topped with grilled onions and hot or sweet peppers for free. Every sandwich comes in Small (9″) for around $7, Medium (12″) for around $9, or Large (20″) for around $14- but the small is plenty big enough for lunch. (And if I’m saying that, you know it’s true.) $5 footlongs these are not, but where Capriotti’s really distinguishes themselves is with their 5 “Specials”.
The Bobbie is the first sandwich on their list of “specials”, and is not surprisingly their “best seller”. Homemade turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and mayo on one of their adequate sub rolls. How could I not? Once again, top turkey with stuffing and cranberry sauce and I’m sold- but I was a little disappointed that their sandwich was served cold. And not just the ingredients inside, but also the bread. Almost as if they had been keeping the thing in a fridge before serving it. It was kind of a late lunch, so maybe it was just an anomaly? On the bright side, the turkey was real roast turkey (not sliced Boar’s Head) with a good mixture of shredded white and dark meat. The stuffing was fine, and the cranberry sauce added the contrasting sweetness that I love about a sandwich like this. The bread was a typical sub roll, and didn’t taste fresh out of the oven (after all it was cold), but it had just the kind of texture I like in a sandwich like this. The photos make it look like too much bread, but the whole thing works, although admittedly if it were hot it would be a masterpiece. Either way, it still tasted good (how could it not) and I would probably get it again.
Speaking of hot, I also tried their Capastrami- and instantly saw why it was recommended by L.A. Magazine. This special came hot, and the chipped pastrami came topped with swiss cheese, coleslaw and russian dressing. If you’re expecting a New York Deli style pastrami sandwich, you will most definitely be disappointed.
The flavor of the meat gets a little bit lost under all the coleslaw and dressing, but just enough of that peppery flavor shines through to make it a really satisfying hot sub. They’ll make the same sandwich with turkey or roast beef, but I’m not sure if those are hot sandwiches… and the warmth is really the key to the whole thing. Well, that and cole slaw.
Their Beverly Hills location is the first and only one in L.A. (although there is another in Encino) and it’s definitely the kind of place that seems awesome when there is one location. But if there were 20, it would fall decidedly into the Subway/Quizno’s category… well- except for one thing. Quizno’s doesn’t make “The Bobbie” (or the Capistrami!)
THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say about it)
- I work in Beverly Hills, but am going to throw up if I eat at Subway again
- I love sandwiches topped with coleslaw, swiss, and russian dressing
- Chipped hot pastrami and shredded real roast turkey are a nice change of pace from the standard sliced cold cuts you get at most places
- I like my sub rolls soft with a light dusting of corn meal
- Grilled onions free on any sandwich? I like it…
THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say about it)
- The bobbie would be ten times better if it were hot
- I like my pastrami in thick slices, on rye bread, with mustard
- Cole slaw on a sandwich is not my thing
- Turkey with stuffing and cranberries should only be eaten the day after Thanksgiving
- Subway is right next door and half the price
- Don’t be fooled by the “specials”, this is just another generic sandwich chain. I’ll take Bay Cities thank you.
Capriotti’s, 9683 Wilshire Blvd (just East of Santa Monica Blvd.), 310-858-1383