LA's 10 Best New Sandwiches

By Lesley Balla  |  March 31, 2014
Credit: Lesley Balla

A great sandwich is the sum of its parts: the perfect amount of delicious meats, vegetables, cheeses and spreads and, of course, excellent bread, be it fresh-baked whole grain or a roll double dipped in meaty jus. We have many iconic sandwiches - meaty subs (Bay Cities), pastrami kings (Langer's) and French dips (Philippe's), among others - but here's a new crop of favorites making a name for themselves. Here are 10 new sandwiches to find around town now. 

  • Credit: Ryan Tanaka

    Pho Banh Mi at East Borough
    Forget soup and a sandwich. Here, the ingredients for pho are stuffed inside a baguette. Brilliant. The banh mi has beef brisket, basil, onions, hoisin and Sriracha aioli, plus the requisite cucumber, cilantro, jalapeños and pickled vegetables.
    Price: $13
    Insider Tip: The banh mi is only available at lunch, so you might not be able to partake in the fantastic cocktails. But don’t fret; the nonalcoholic housemade sodas are pretty amazing, including ginger limeade, blood-orange cinnamon soda and pineapple basil soda.

    9810 W. Washington Blvd.; 310-596-8266

  • Credit: Top Round

    Fried Chicken Sandwich at Top Round Roast Beef
    Known for slow-roasted beef sandwiches topped with homemade cheeses and grilled onions that won’t break the bank, there’s now a fried chicken worth going out of your way for. Marinated in buttermilk and pickle juice, hand-breaded and fried to a perfect golden brown, the bird-on-a-bun comes two ways: with pickles and mayo or with lettuce, tomato and avocado - putting anything Chick-fil-A serves to shame.
    Price: $4.95 or $5.95
    Insider Tip: Add a drink and fries to any Top Round sandwich and get $1 off the whole meal. And do not even think about leaving before getting the frozen custard in a cone, as a sundae with your choice of toppings or mixed together for a concrete.

    1000 S. La Brea Ave.; 323-549-9445

  • Prosciutto at Valerie Echo Park
    Always a fan of Gordon's jams, chocolates and crunch cake, the newish Echo Park cafe is a perfect spot for lunch or brunch. In addition to any of the open-faced tartines, the prosciutto sandwich with lemon butter and asparagus pickles is absolutely delightful.
    Price: $4 for “tea-sized,” $10 for a whole sandwich
    Insider Tip: This is the only Valerie location (there’s the original sweet shop in Silver Lake and the counter at Downtown’s Grand Central Market) with tisanes, lovely herb- and fruit-infused waters. They’re perfect accompaniments to the sandwiches and petit fours.

    1665 Echo Park Ave.

  • Marrakesh Cheesesteak at Belcampo Meat Co.
    Cheesesteaks are trending in LA right now, but only this new butcher and sandwich counter at the Grand Central Market makes one with goat. The incredibly tender, thinly sliced meat gets a boost of flavor from harissa aioli, feta and arugula on a soft roll. This is seriously one of the best sandwiches we’ve tasted all year, and it’s even better with a plate of beef-tallow fries.
    Price: $13
    Tip: This being the Grand Central Market, you can grab some dessert and coffee from other vendors for a complete meal. 

    317 S. Broadway

  • Chicken Oyster Po’ Boy at Art’s Table
    This new cafe on Montana Avenue is named for owner Mark Verge’s father, a longtime Santa Monica waterman, educator and historian. Chef Mark Mittleman features New American specialties on the menu, including these mini po’ boys stuffed with cornmeal-coated fried chicken oysters - the little nugget of meat found on the back of the bird - with bacon chips, pickles, Brussels sprout slaw and habanero mayo. It’s a lot of flavor in one little bite.
    Price: $12
    Insider Tip: Don’t pass up the wines on tap - there are always at least four, including some Central Coast favorites like Summerland Pinot Noir and Tangent Sauvignon Blanc from San Luis Obispo.

    1002 Montana Ave.; 310-395-2500

  • Belly Up at Pork Belly’s
    Some people like pork belly when it’s cured (aka bacon); others appreciate the unctuous quality of slabs of rich, fatty pork. The latter is what you’ll find at this Venice sandwich shop, and the signature sandwich is layered up with pork belly in all its glory: smoked, slathered in sauce and topped with coleslaw on a soft brioche bun. Should you need something to cut that rich porky flavor, try the PBLAT with a little lettuce, avocado and tomato.
    Price: $8.95
    Insider Tip: There is no seating in the shop, so be prepared to eat messy on the street or take it home. And if you can’t make it to Abbot Kinney, check out the new Pork Belly’s truck now roaming the streets.

    1146 Abbot Kinney Blvd.; 424-777-8875

  • The Badass Breakfast Sandwich at Locali Venice
    The Locali team opened a new cafe and market across town from its Hollywood original and - while the menu is the same - Venice has yet to discover the delicious vegan breakfast sandwich that even carnivores love. Served all day, the vegan sausage patty, soy-free cheese, vegan chipotle sauce and maple syrup - all smothered together on a multigrain English muffin - will set you Westsiders right.
    Price: $4.50
    Insider Tip: Although it’s known for the vegan sandwiches and salads, you can get roast turkey sandwiches and other non-vegan food for picnics, lunch and breakfast.

    701 Lincoln Blvd.; 310-399-2254

  • Paninis at Ciboteca
    The guys behind Piccolo and Hostaria del Piccolo debut their latest fast-casual concept, a gourmet deli and marketplace in Santa Monica. In addition to coffee, pastries, grab-and-go salads, takeaway dinners and imported goodies from Italy, there are more than 15 different kinds of panini to choose from. Some combinations include bresaola with piave, arugula, olive oil and lemon; veal Milanese with Dijon mustard, shaved Parmesan and mizuna; mortadella with pistachio pesto, kale and saba; and speck with porcini-truffle cream and fontina cheese. 
    Price: $7-$10
    Insider Tip: Consider this a good option if Bay Cities is too crowded, which is always, a couple blocks away.

    606 Broadway; 310-458-3366

  • Porchetta at Bucato
    When chef Evan Funke was waiting for his new kitchen to be finished, he served porchetta sandwiches from a truck. When the Culver City restaurant debuted, he put the porchetta on the menu, but it was so popular, it almost always ran out before you got there. Now he’s serving it on Mondays only, both as a plate or as a sandwich topped with pesto, a fried egg and arugula on homemade rosemary focaccia. It’s so divine, you’ll want to be first in line to get it.
    Price: $15
    Insider Tip: It’s same-day reservations only at Bucato; the reservation line opens at 9:30 AM. You can also try for a walk-in spot, which is actually pretty easy on chillier nights because no one wants to sit outside (and most of the seating is outside).

    3280 Helms Ave.; 310-876-0286

  • Credit: Lesley Balla

    #55 at Sopressata (at Black Hogg)
    Eric Park’s lunch restaurant-within-a-restaurant is home to some very tasty sandwiches. There are only about eight on the menu daily, and most use the same accoutrements (arugula, olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar and artichoke mayo) with different main attractions. The #55 is one of the best tuna sandwiches we’ve tasted: just good pole-caught sustainable tuna with mix-ins like cornichons, plus slices of hard-boiled egg and red onion.
    Price: $8
    Insider Tip: Look for Park’s new sandwich shop, Hero Shop, “a banh mi place,” opening in Downtown LA soon.

    2852 W. Sunset Blvd.; 323-953-2820