30-Minute Lunch: Sweetsalt in Toluca Lake
Place: Sweetsalt in Toluca Lake.
Christine Chiao Pear BLT
Atmosphere: A manageable crowd at 1:40 p.m. with yogis, young studio execs, young moms and tattooed cyclists. Order at the front, at which point you're given a decal with a number; find a table and set up your decal.
Menu: True to its name, a few selections play with the idea of sweet elements mixing with savory in sandwiches and salads: lavender duck confit (sandwich); pear BLT (sandwich); and champagne chicken (as sandwich or as salad). The pear BLT hits an equilibrium with goat cheese and slices of pear countering Applewood bacon, lettuce and tomato, all in a ciabatta on the just-right side of heft. The compact window display of cookies, macarons, heart-shaped strawberry pastries, brownies and a tall cake at the counter will tempt you. It wouldn't harm to give into a slice of the flourless chocolate cake topped with layers of pecans and meringue.
Duration: Sweetsalt is more suitable for the hour-long lunch crowd. Street parking within close proximity can make or break your time budget. The kitchen is bustling and service is prompt, but the sandwiches take time to construct.
Price: Salads and entrees, $5-16; sandwiches, $8-16
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