Neighborhood Food Crawl: The Westwood Sandwich Walk
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Who says L.A. isn't a walking town? I mean, sure, we might not be known for our crowded sidewalks, but it's worth mentioning we ended up on the higher rungs of Walk Score's 2011 list of walkable cities in America. (We're number 13! Take that Jacksonville!) With that in mind, we compiled some food-centric walkabouts that will allow you park, ride, or walk to a certain neighborhood and hit up several of our favorite food stops at once. Just make sure to bring a friend or two so you can finish the crawl without being wheeled out on a gurney.
1st Stop: Attari Sandwich Shop
E. Shatkin Tongue Sandwich at Attari
If you've never tried braised beef tongue, this casual Persian deli might be the best place in town to take the plunge. Here, the luscious cut tastes almost identical to a thick slice of tender (but lean) pot roast, layered with diced tomato, shredded lettuce and tart Persian pickles, served on a cottony French bread roll. If it's one of those overcast days, opt for a bowl of the osh, a thick stew of green lentils swirled with sour yogurt and sweet fried onions.
2nd Stop: Fundamental L.A.
A. Froug Chicken Torta at Fundamental LA
There are several strong sandwiches at Fundamental L.A., a blink-and-you-miss-it restaurant along Westwood Boulevard that serves high-quality creations in a minimalist setting. The menu rotates often, but there hasn't been anything between bread that's disappointed us yet -- including a stellar fried egg-topped BLT, a fried calamari and slaw po' boy, and a short rib sandwich slathered with gochujang. The perennial favorite is the chicken torta, a pedestrian looking combination that packs a secret wallop of pickled jalapeño and guacamole.
Zach Brooks/Midtown Lunch The Fat Sal at Fat Sal's
3rd Stop: Fat Sal's Deli
Of all the places to hit "the wall" during the food crawl, this is the most likely candidate. Co-owned by Jerry Ferrara (Turtle on HBO's Entourage) this take-out stand brings the East Coast to Westwood. Here they specialize in Rutgers-style "stuffed sandwiches" like the Fat Jerry, a cheesesteak loaded with chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, bacon, a fried egg, french fries, mayo and ketchup. Let's just say this is a good place to try out your best Adam Richman impression.
E. Courtland Chicken wowshi at Bella Pita
4th Stop: Bella Pita
Located in the heart of Westwood Village, Bella Pita is a perennial favorite of UCLA students for several reasons -- it's quick and obscenely cheap for starters -- more importantly, it's damn tasty, especially the chicken-filled wowshi, a singular type of baked pocket sandwich that's part empanada, part panini, and part calzone. It's split open and stuffed with your choice of tomato-cilantro relish, onions, tahini sauce and shredded cabbage.
Christie Bishop Diddy Riese Ice Cream Sandwich
5th Stop: Diddy Riese
Diddy Riese's famous ice cream cookie sandwiches have become so engrained in Bruin culture, it's surprising that the place hasn't been designated as a final stop on campus tours. For the end of your food tour, though, it's just about perfect. Spend the remnants of your pocket money on two fresh-baked cookies smushed around a scoop of ice cream. Everyone has their favorite combos -- ours is strawberry with Snickerdoodle -- er, or maybe mint chip with double chocolate.
800 Degrees Pizza -- The place for bargain-priced, Neapolitan-style, open-til-late-night pizza.
Café Glace -- Persian café with tasty mini-pizzas (served with ketchup and ranch) and iced coffee floats.
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1388 Westwood Blvd., Westwood, CA