August is National Sandwich Month! 31 Sandwiches in Los Angeles To Celebrate
The sandwich: named for John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, because he liked to eat his meat between bread so he could continue playing cribbage. But the sandwich actually dates back much further, to 110 BCE or so, when Jewish sage Hillel the Elder wrapped lamb and herbs in soft matzah. Today in America, we have a National Sandwich month, and that month is August and August begins today. Let's celebrate with a sandwich! Or 31 sandwiches!
A. Scattergood Sotto's porcetto sandwich
That's right, we're bringing you one sandwich for every day of National Sandwich month. These are 31 of our favorites, sandwiches that have achieved legendary status in L.A., or simply sandwiches tucked into corners of the city that we love. Bánh mì, tortas, breakfast sandwiches, Reubens, deli sandwiches and schwarmas. Turn the page.
31. "Sandwich" at Roma Italian Deli and Grocery
G. Snyder Sandwiches at Roma Italian Deli
Thin sheets of provolone, salami, capicola and mortadella on a crusty Italian roll drizzled with olive oil. If you're used to the cold cuts at Bay Cities or Eastside Market, Roma's might seem a bit stark and simplistic. The harmony is unmistakable though -- good, slightly bitter oil, cured pork, soft cheese and a simple roll that allows the quality of the ingredients to shine through. 918 N. Lake Ave., Pasadena; 626-797-7748.
30. Mortadella at Lanza Brothers Market
Lanza's is one of the few remaining Italian delis in Lincoln Heights (it's been around since 1929, where the neighborhood was home to a sizable Italian population) located just over the Main St. bridge east of downtown. For $4.75 you can pick up a rather decent sub, made with Boar's Head meat and a pungent drizzle of Italian dressing. Make a day of it and have them wrap it in butcher paper and walk across the bridge to enjoy the city vistas near L.A. State Historic Park. 1803 N Main St., Lincoln Heights; 323-225-8977.
29. Turkey and Avocado at Sandwich Island
G. Snyder Turkey and Avocado at Sandwich Island
This Trojan-beloved gem is tucked inside a small food court near University Village, but that shouldn't dissuade non-students from dropping by for massive sandwiches made by the Korean husband-and-wife owners. Just under $4 will get you a "regular" sized sandwich -- their large is enough to split among two -- with a stack of white turkey meat as thick as a deck of playing cards. Add on another dollar, and a whole avocado slipped in, putting you just under five bucks. Cash only. 3333 S. Hoover St., L.A.; 213-748-7650.
28. Double BLT-A Sandwich at The Sycamore Kitchen
A. Scattergood Double BLT-A Sandwich at The Sycamore Kitchen
The Sycamore Kitchen's BLT, called a Double BLT-A, is a reminder that, in the hands of excellent chefs, a sandwich can be a very hands-on experience, so to speak -- both for them and for you. The bread is made in Karen Hatfield's excellent pastry kitchen, not a sourdough exactly but a bread built simply with levain and good flour and technique. There is not only bacon, but pork belly -- an ingredient on too many menus in this Era of the Gastropub, but in this case exactly where it should be. There are slices of avocado and perfectly ripe tomatoes -- both in season -- and supple leaves of butter lettuce. There is also a drizzle of reduced balsamic vinegar, which is what puts this sandwich in a different ontological category. Why vinegar? Because Karen Hatfield loves it. Because balsamic vinegar and tomatoes are a sublime combination. And because the vinegar's acidity keeps the utter richness of the other components from becoming overwhelming.
918 N. Lake Ave., Pasadena, CA