Wednesday, June 03, 2009

A Really Good Sandwich

I like sandwiches. I also know how to make sandwiches and inevitably my homemade sandwich that costs me 95 cents is 10 times better than the $5 fast food/deli sandwiches out there and at least as good as the $9-$12 "gourmet" sandwiches that white people like.

But as someone who spends his days on the road and frequently finds himself inside businesses that deal in said expensive sandwiches, here's my quick take on a few of LA's standouts. Note that I'm sticking to take-out "gourmet market" sandwiches and panini and not deli sandwiches (kosher or otherwise).

Larchmont Village Wine, Spirits, & Cheese is perhaps the flagship sandwich counter, located on weird Larchmont Ave which is equal parts quaint and Beverly Center--one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Los Angeles, yet the sandwiches at this neighborhood wine shop are your best bet for gourmet dining. The simple set menu (all around $9) of nicely thought-out sandwiches leaves Larchmont with a line out the door most every lunch hour.

Pros? Top quality meats. Well composed sandwiches. Delicious bread. Lots of produce. Half-size sandwiches are a perfect inexpensive light lunch.
Cons? Menu rarely changes. Sandwiches are tough to eat on the road.

Cheese Store of Silverlake has stellar panini and, believe it or not, friendly helpful staff. The selection changes daily and showcases newly arrived cheeses, charcuterie, and condiments. Virtually every ingredient in a panini is available for sale in the store. Go for any sandwich that has muffaleta or a chutney. While the panini are the draw, their un-paninified baguette sandwiches also rock. A recent baguette with brie, arugula, and fresh strawberries basically made me jizz my pants.

Pros? Hot, tasty, portable sandwiches. Fresh ingredients. Great cheeses and chutneys.
Cons? Often light on the fresh veggies. They run out of sandwiches quickly.

Goudas and Vines, a relatively new addition to Santa Monica, has great simple sandwiches. The designs aren't any different from what you'd get at your local Safeway, but the ingredient quality is several steps up.

Pros? Fairly inexpensive. Quick. Friendly.
Cons? Uninspiring combinations.

Venice Beach Wines, fresh from a recent remodel, has added a great selection of cheese, charcuterie, and the inevitable pressed sandwiches that come with that territory. The lamb and manchego sandwich rocks.

Pros? Inspired combinations. Nice indoor/outdoor space to enjoy your sandwich in.
Cons? Limited selection. The small space can get easily overwhelmed.

So yeah, get your sandwich on. The Earl will appreciate it.


56295629 said...

Does Bay City Deli not fit some equation here?

tin said...

Artisan Cheese Gallery in Studio City has superb sandwiches!

Francisco said...

Seriously, the exclusion of Bay Cities completely invalidates this list.

SR said...

I'll second Artisan and third Bay City. And throw in Langer's for good measure.

David J.D. said...

Wow, really? I wasn't making a list. I was just talking about places I've been to that I think are good.

J. Song said...

Ah--I just tried Larchmont Village Wine, Spirits & Cheese yesterday. Their salami sandwich on ciabatta was fantastic. True to their name, they also have great wine selection.

But why didn't you include Bay City Deli? (Kidding. I read your subsequent post. Bravo to you.)

Joon S.