Archive for 'Sandwiches'

Fundamental L.A.’s Sandwiches Are Small But Delicious


This might come as a shock to some, but I don’t love sandwiches.  Wait.  Scratch that.  Who doesn’t love sandwiches? I love sandwiches. Of course I love sandwiches.  But I will admit to being slightly prejudiced against sandwiches. I hold my lunchtime sandwiches to a higher standard. In other words, I expect more from my sandwiches than I do from… say… shitty Chinese food. You either have to be the very best at what you do (i.e. the chicken parm from Bay Cities), or you’ve got to be doing something really unique (I’m looking at you Mendocino Farms).  Something that makes me look at the menu and think… ok, this is going to be different and awesome.

Fundamental L.A., the new sandwich shop on Westwood Blvd that replaced Alcazar Express, did just that to me last Monday.  I don’t know if it was their sous vide egg topped BLT, or their house made porchetta that did the trick, but either way I found myself there last Thursday eating my way through half their menu.  And it was so good, I went back on Friday.

Read more »

DTLA’s Esaan Thai Gets Me To Eat a Pad Thai Salad!?


Back in January I was pretty excited to read about a new Thai place Downtown called Esaan: A Taste of Thai.  From the sounds of the Squid Ink article (which I now realize I might have only skimmed) it sounded like Essan would be perfect for Downtown lunchers who didn’t want to make the trek up the 101 to Thai Town.  The name didn’t hurt either.  I’m no expert on the regional cuisines of Thailand but “Esaan” sounds pretty authentic- right?  Inclusion in Saveur’s 24 Hours of Thai Food in L.A. sealed the deal- I needed to check this place out.

Sadly, on my first visit I realized the truth.  There is no mistaking Essan for a real taste of Thailand (or even Thai Town.)  It’s a straight up fast casual sandwich and salad place that transforms Thai (and Vietnamese) dishes into yuppified lunches that would be deemed acceptable by the Downtown L.A. lunch crowd.   Case in point?  The “Pad Thai Salad”, a salad featuring “classic pad thai ingredients” tossed with spaghetti (yes, you read that right.)   It could easily be considered an abomination, except for one thing.  I kind of loved it.

Read more »

Angelica’s Cemita Truck is a Westside Gem


If you live and/or work in Culver City you’ve likely noticed the new Westside Food Truck Central lot on Washington and Culver.  In fact it’s become such a popular lunchtime destination that they’ve extended their lunchtime schedule to 5 days a week, 11am to 2:30pm (they also have trucks out there for dinner on Mondays and Wednesdays.)   I’m a huge fan, and whenever I’m in the mood for some gourmet food truck action, near where I live, I now know where to go without even checking twitter (although they do have a twitter account to let you know their daily schedule.)  But that’s not the only place for a truck lunch in the area, and if old school loncheros is more your thing  it turns out one of the best trucks in the city parks on Venice and Jasmine (right in front of Smart & Final.)

Read more »

Spice Table Open For Lunch; Already Serving Best Banh Mi in L.A.


Last month Spice Table launched for dinner in Little Tokyo to a modest bit of hype.  Opened by a former Mozza sous chef, the Vietnamese/Singaporean inspired restaurant seems to share DNA with current popular new places like A-Frame, Lukshon, Night + Market, and Red Medicine, offering up a high quality, Asian-inspired menu in a hip Downtown environment.  The dinner menu, a smallish affair featuring noodle bowls, satay, vegetables and seafood dishes, was reasonable enough to give me hope that their long awaited lunch menu just might be within the ML price range (aka under $10).  So when Brand X announced on Friday that they had finally opened for lunch, I rushed right over.

And not only was everything under $10, from day one Spice Table is already one of the best lunches in Downtown L.A.

Read more »

Best L.A. Sandwiches Under $6

Milanesa Cemita. Photo courtesy of Katie Robbins/Serious Eats

I still haven’t made it through L.A. Magazine’s sandwich list from last year, and here comes some more…  last week Serious Eats posted this great list of 14 sandwiches under $6.  Some are as far west as San Gabriel, and one is in Van Nuys- but there are a bunch right in my lunch’ing wheelhouse (the area between Downtown L.A. and Santa Monica). I’m already a big fan of the churrasco sandwich at Rincon Chileno, and the beef dip at Philippe’s.  But how did I miss the lebni at Falafel Arax!  Also need to try the wada pav at India Sweets and Spices, the basturma from Sahag’s, and the tuna from Larchmont Wine.  But the sandwich that has now vaulted to the top of my wishlist is the milanesa cemita from Angelica’s Cemita Truck on Venice in Culver City. Hot damn that looks good!

Check out the whole list here>>

An Under $10 Lunch From Bottega Louie? It’s Possible.


Being the cheap bastard that I am means not spending more than $10 on lunch.  That’s why I spend so much time sussing out Thai Town, Koreatown, dirty sushi holes, and food trucks.  But I also get excited when an otherwise expensive restaurant provides some kind of Midtown Lunch loophole.  A way for super cheap fatsos to get a “quality” lunch (whatever that means) but still only spend under $10.  You wouldn’t think Bottega Louie, the famously gigantic white marble Italian restaurant with a French patisserie (?) on the corner of 7th and Grand, would fit the bill.  And yet, with some savvy ordering even a fat guy like me can leave satisfied and less than $10 in the hole.

Read more »

Fat Sal’s Brings a Bit of Rutgers Grease to Westwood


As you may or may not know I am a big fan of putting fries on gyros, on falafel sandwiches, or in burritos.  So it’s not to hard to imagine that I would also like a sandwich with… say… onion rings on top.  Makes sense, right?  And if I liked french fries and onion rings on a sandwich, it would also stand to reason that chicken fingers or mozzarella sticks would also be a welcome addition.  I didn’t lose you did I?  Because that’s precisely what you get at the grease trucks, a Rutgers institution that has been serving up over the top, appetizer-samplers-as-a-gigantic-sandwich for almost 15 years.  It doesn’t take much of an imagination to know why a chicken finger + mozzarella stick + french fries + marinara sandwich would appeal to a college student at 2 in the morning, but I don’t see why this can’t be enjoyed during daylight hours!

So when I heard that Fat Sal’s in Westwood was serving up their version of the sandwiches you get at the famous Rutgers grease trucks, I was pretty freakin’ excited.

Read more »