Archive for 'Sandwiches'

My Bucket List of L.A.’s Best Sandwiches

When Thrillist asked me to make a Bucket List of L.A. sandwiches I took the task very seriously.  Some would say, dead serious.  (Apologies for that. I knew it was terrible the minute I started typing it.) To keep things concise I disqualified pita sandwiches (sorry Dune and Baco Mercat!) and burgers- except for one that’s really a sandwich and not a burger (more on that later).   In the end I keep it to sandwiches I feel like you really need to eat before you die, and in certain cases, only if you want to die.  There are some notable omissions like Mendocino Farms, which I love but couldn’t pick one stand out sandwich you need to eat.  And Larchmont Wine & Cheese, which is a great sandwich shop but also doesn’t compel me to excitement.  After all, it’s not a list of really good L.A. sandwiches.  It’s a list of sandwiches everybody should try at least once if they live here in L.A.

So, there it is… my disclamatory attempt to curb the anger that comes naturally when somebody leaves your favorite sandwich in the universe off of their arbitrary list of favorite sandwiches.  Enjoy!!!


Bread Lounge Serves Up Great Sandwiches on What Could Be L.A.’s Best Bread


Is it really that shocking that it’s a chore to find amazing bread in Los Angeles?  Anytime there is a portion of your restaurant-going population who pretends to have celiac to avoid eating carbs, I’m pretty sure you cede your right to being a hub for great gluten. What makes it even harder for me is that I lived around the corner from the Sullivan St. Bakery factory in NYC for 5 years before moving to L.A.  Not only did they supply bread to well known restaurants all over the city, but they also had a small takeout counter where they peddled sandwiches, breads, and pastries in a relatively industrial part of Hell’s Kitchen.  I miss it.

Or I should say, I missed it.  Bread Lounge in Downtown L.A. has filled my void, serving up sandwiches, breads, and pastries in an industrial part of Downtown (sound familiar?) And the best part is, their sandwiches make it a perfect lunching destination.

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3 New Roast Beef Sandwiches I’d Eat Today

Sick of turkey?  Me too.  But you’ve still got to eat lunch today, so can we recommend… a roast beef sandwich?  Here are 3 new ones that have surfaced in L.A. over the past few months. 


Situated in the shadow of Brentwood’s branch of Lemonade, I probably wouldn’t have ever thought to eat at Roast if it wasn’t for this post on Unemployed Eater.  Despite how good it sounds in theory (deli and meat market FTW!), in actuality it’s kind of a strange lunch place for the neighborhood; with an aesthetic that could only be described as bush league or DIY- depending on how generous you were feeling that day.  In other words, don’t look for Roast to take too much business away from their neighbor anytime soon, or expand into some kind of local chain.  That being said, their roast beef sandwich- which comes in slider or sandwich form- was surprisingly good.  Perfectly rare, and deliciously tender and moist, it only gets better when you use their horseradish sauce and au jus. Not something I’d drive out of my way for, but it’s one of the better lunch options in Brentwood.  The only downside?  The french dip is $12.  Roast, 147 S Barrington. Brentwood Village. 310-476-1100

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Worth It/Not Worth It: 5 Sandwiches I Paid Over $10 For


If you’re a huge fan of Hatfield’s or find yourself lunching around La Brea often you were probably very excited to hear about the opening of Sycamore Kitchen. I’m neither, and yet I found myself kind of interested. Even though the small menu of undoubtedly gourmet sandwiches was relatively unexciting, and nothing is under $10, I still felt compelled to check out the latest “cheaper offshoot” of a famous L.A. restaurant- a trend that seemed to start with Huckleberry, and has continued with places like The Deli at Little Dom’s, Gjelina Take Away, and Ink.Sack.

In fact, it got me thinking. I’ve eaten a lot of over $10 sandwiches in the last year, something I never used to do when I worked in Midtown. I don’t know if it was the $9.75 sandwiches at Mendocino Farms that buttered me up, or the constant sunlight wreaking havoc on my brain, but regardless of the reason I am now a person that is sometimes willing to spend $12 on a sandwich. But for every great sandwich that has me justifying my newfound deep pockets, there is another sandwich that turns me into my Grandfather- grumbling about the days when you could get a sandwich at Langer’s for a nickel! (That probably was never the case, but it sounded like something my grandfather would say.)

So with that in mind, here are 5 kind of worth it sandwiches I have paid over $10 for in the last year…

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Mateo’s Ice Cream & Fruit Bars is Good For More Than Just Paletas and Shakes


Mexican smoothies, shakes, and paletas might be ubiquitous in some parts of Los Angeles, but in Culver City if you want a mamey shake, watermelon liquida, or mezcal & walnut ice cream there’s only one place you’ll ever need to go: Mateo’s Ice Cream & Fruit Bars.  Nestled in the corner of a strip mall on Sepulveda between Jefferson and Culver, Mateo’s is well known for their fruit juices, Mexican popsicles, milk shakes, and ice cream.  (And apparently their coffee ice cream is especially good.) But did you know they also serve sandwiches?

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Gjelina Take Away’s Meatball Sando Will Bankrupt Me


My cheap bastard-ness knows no boundaries… but I will admit something to you, provided you never mention it again.  Once, I had lunch at Gjelina.  *Cue shriek, followed by breaking glass.*  It was my cousin’s birthday, and you can’t get all cheap with birthdays, lord knows I’ve tried. (“Hey sweetheart… what do you say we go to In N Out for your birthday! There’s a free hat and stickers in it for you…”)  Plus, as much as I love Poke Poke and Lemonade, sometimes you want a nice sit down lunch in Venice.  So where else are you going to go?  Cha Cha Chicken?  Uh… thanks, but no thanks.


Long story short, the lunch was great.  So when I heard they were opening Gjelina Take Away, a breakfast and lunchtime annex, I got pretty excited.  Surely the prices would come down a little.  After all there’s no seating, unless you count milk crates in the alley alongside the restaurant.  That’s got to be worth a small discount, right!?

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ink.sack’s Sandwiches Are Getting Bigger Before Our Eyes


When the first photos of Ink.Sack, Michael Voltaggio’s new sandwich shop on Melrose, hit the twittersphere I jumped into cautious hysteria mode-  furiously clicking for any indication of whether or not this place would be cheap enough to qualify as a Midtown Lunch.  The best look I got was this blurry photo, where I could kind of make out a 5 next to each sandwich.  Shit.  Of course the sandwiches are $15 each. This guy is not just a freakin Top Chef, but probably the most famous Top Chef there is.  Oh well.  Fuck it.

And then the greatest, most shocking, news of all time hit the blogosphere.  I was imagining the 1.  The sandwiches were only $4-6.  Is this guy nuts?  What happened to cashing in on your success?  Rent on Melrose ain’t cheap buddy. Buuuuuuuut there was a catch (there always is).  The sandwiches are small.  And the debate, which will likely rage on for years to come, officially began.  Do you need 2 or 3 sandwiches to make a filling lunch?  2 would be fine to keep me under $10, but 3 would be too expensive.  So… how small are they really?  Most of the photos out there have been inconclusive. But let’s put it this way: if the guys-who-have-small-penises-drive-big-cars adage applies to sandwiches, Michael Voltaggio must have a gigantic penis.

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