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Well Bread: LA's Best Sandwiches

Jenn Harris |
April 6, 2009 | 3:17 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

I love sandwiches. What with all the varieties of bread, meats, cheeses, veggies and spreads available, the possibilities for a heavenly sandwich seem endless. Lucky for sandwich lovers, Los Angeles County is home to some of the best sandwiches ever, anywhere. Growing up in Los Angeles, I tasted just about every good sandwich in the area. The following is a list of my ten favorites - not in any particular order because each one is that good. Try them all, then rate for yourself!

1. Tra Di Noi Steak $11.95

This sandwich sounds a little on the gourmet side, but you'll look anything but graceful eating it. A crusty over-sized baguette is stuffed with thinly sliced rib-eye steak, shredded lettuce, thick slices of tomato and a dollop of spicy Dijon mustard. Every bite makes you wonder how vegetarians survive. The sandwich comes with a hefty side of Caesar salad.
Tra Di Noi 3835 Cross Creek Road
Malibu, CA 90265
(310) 456-0169 

2. Joan's on Third Prosciutto di Parma, Mozzarella and Roasted Peppers $11.95

Sandwiches should all be this well-balanced in flavor and texture. Perfectly salty prosciutto is complemented by creamy mozzarella cheese, and smoky roasted red peppers add just the right amount of sweetness. These perfectly simple three ingredients are placed on a crispy  baguette then drizzled delicately with extra virgin olive oil.
Joan's on Third
8350 West Third Street
Los Angeles, CA 90048

3. Il Tremezzino Grilled Breast of Chicken Panini $10.95

This sandwich is super-gooey in the best of ways. Grilled chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, avocado and brie or provolone cheese are piled on grilled panini bread with a garlic basil spread. Ask for a side of their creamy balsamic dressing and take a little dip with each bite to add a little tanginess to the sandwich.
Il Tremezzino
454 N. Canon Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 273-0501

4. Claro's Deli Classic Italian $4.95-$5.95

If you're looking for the type of Italian sub that makes you think of something the Godfather himself would have eaten, go to Claro's. One look at the deli case and you're taken to another world - one filled with every salami, cheese, ham, turkey and beef imaginable. The deli will make you a sub on one of their freshly baked rolls with spicy cappicola, salami, mortadella and provolone cheese. Ask for the works, and you'll get all the regular fixings, plus the home-made Italian dressing. For a dollar more, you can pick the meats and cheeses of your choice. Whatever proteins you choose, the sandwich is sure to satisfy the hardest of sub cravings.
Claro's Deli 1003 East Valley Blvd
San Gabriel, CA 91776
(626) 288-2026 

5. The Farm BLT $12.75

Not your average BLT. This kicked-up version features applewood smoked bacon, peppery arugula, avocado, oven-roasted tomatoes and homemade mayonnaise on two thick pieces of country white bread. If you love bacon, the sandwich is basically the BLT of your dreams.
The Farm 439 N Beverly Dr
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(310) 273-5578 

6. Philippe Lamb French Dip $6.50

This place is famous for good reason. Crowds of hungry people pack the place at all hours of the day. The lamb, freshly roasted everyday, like all their meats, is exceptionally good. Two pieces of French bread are dipped in the jus then piled high with thinly sliced lamb. If you want your sandwich a little wetter, ask for a double or triple dip in the jus. Add a side of apple cider vinegar coleslaw and just a dash of the homemade hot mustard on the table and you'll understand the long lines.
Philippe 1001 N. Alameda St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012 

7. Malibu Kitchen "Better Than Mom's" Meatloaf $8.50

The name says it all; this is NOT your mom's meatloaf. The meat is light and not the slightest bit greasy. It's topped with tomato, lettuce and homemade ketchup that tastes like a thick, sweet tomato jam. Get it on the rustic or rosemary roll, and you'll be telling everyone you're a meatloaf fan.
Malibu Kitchen [no site visible] Malibu Kitchen 3900 Cross Creek Rd Ste 3
Malibu, CA 90265
(310) 456-7845

8. Larchmont Village Wine Spirits & Cheese Shop Tuna Salad $8.50

This is hands down, the best tuna sandwich I have ever had. It's good, but it's not always available. The shop's owner makes the tuna salad fresh on certain days, so you need to call ahead. The tuna is topped with smooth Swiss emmenthal cheese, tomato, mixed greens, extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I prefer the ciabatta bread but you can also order your tuna on a great French baguette. Larchmont Village Wine Spirits & Cheese Shop [no site visible] 223 N. Larchmont Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90004
(323) 856-8699

9. Urth Caffe Chicken Curry $11.75

Tender chicken chunks and plump yellow raisins are slathered with tangy yellow curry mayo on toasted white bread. The sweetness of the raisins balances out the curry flavor, making it delicate and anything but overpowering. The chicken salad is refreshing and light, paired with a simple mixed green salad. I'm featuring this sandwich at Urth's downtown Los Angeles location, despite it's appearance in the evil, gentrified, arts district section of the city. In comparison to the locations in Santa Monica and West Hollywood, the downtown restaurant far surpasses its sibling in terms of crowd (no snobby trendsters) and service.
Urth Caffe 451 South Hewitt Street
Los Angeles, CA
(213) 797-4543

10. Vietnam House Bahn Mi Thit Nuong $4.75

If you're looking for something a little more exotic than your average ham and cheese, you need to try this Vietnamese-style sandwich. Charbroiled pork is layered with pickled carrots and radish, jalapeño and cilantro on a buttered, foot-long warm French baguette. It's a little sweet from the pickles, a little salty from the pork and just a tad spicy from the jalapeños. It's everything you could ever want from a sandwich, and it's less than $5!
Vietnam House Bahn Mi Thit Nuong 340 W. Las Tunas Dr.
San Gabriel, CA 91776
Tel. 626.281.5577 



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