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An Italian sub can be a glorious thing, but cold cuts aren’t for everyone. If you’re a vegetarian, or if you just prefer a meatless lunch now and again, finding a good veggie sandwich can be a task. Sometimes all you get is lettuce, tomato and cheese. Talk about blah. Still, there are some satisfying veggie sandwiches out there that demonstrate real deliberation and craftsmanship. Here are three good ones:
The Trails Cafe: The Avocado Sandwich and The Trails in Griffith Park is one of the best citywide. Thick chunks of ripe avocado, tomato, red onions, alfalfa sprouts and cheddar cheese are stacked high between two slices of sweet squaw bread. Mayo and soy bacon bits complement each bite. It’s the kind of sandwich that you miss when it’s gone, but the lavender shortbread cookies they sell are will console you. 2333 Fern Dell Dr Los Angeles, 90068
Sure, Griffith Park is one of LA’s most majestic treasures. The Central Park of LA, it’s truly an outstanding public space with lots of fantastic attractions—Travel Town, the Carousel, pony rides, hiking trails, baby swings…you name it. But, something it also has, though rarely acknowledged, is one of the best veggie sandwiches in LA.
The avocado sandwich at The Trails Cafe, a cute little outside eatery at the base of the Griffith Observatory trail, is a lunchtime triumph, stacked high on dark, sweet bread with at least half an avocado, tomatoes, red onion, cheddar and mayo. It’s even sprinkled with soy bacon bits, which would normally scare me, but on this sandwich it works very well, adding salty crunch.
I could eat the thing everyday.
And as if that weren’t enough, Trails also makes a bevy of baked goods, vegan and otherwise, all from scratch. This cheddar and chive scone is buttery, flaky, dense, and draped in cheddar that once bubbled and dripped. Other savory options include quiches, hand pies, cheesy tarts and even some fancy pigs in a blanket called “Snakedogs”.
As I type, I am basking in the afterglow of burgers and brats from McCall’s Meat and Seafood Company in Los Feliz. The small, “chef-driven” butcher shop has ruined me for all grocery store meat. All I added to their Fresh Ground Burger Blend was a little salt and pepper before forming the patties and throwing them on our new-to-us Weber grill (thanks, Craigslist). Some beautiful little burgers was the result. As for their house-made sausages—they were some of the best I’ve ever had, with a snappy casing and a loose (as opposed to creepily fused) filling that dripped with smokey, balanced flavor.
Ruined, I tell you! Ruined! But, on the bright side, I now have a favorite butcher, and that makes me feel cool.
McCall’s Meat and Fish Company
2117 Hillhurst Ave.
Los Angeles, 90027
I was invited to attend Taste of the Eastside, which I sadly had to miss last year. The whole shebang took place last Sunday at Barnsdall Park in Los Feliz. I got there right on time, so I was able to try everything relatively unmolested. Here are some of the things I tried. Those up there? Pavlovas with blackberry and lemon meyer preserves from Atwater Village’s Proof Bakery.
Here’s the rest:
Conchinita pibil taco from Yuca’s in Los Feliz. Very tender.
Buffalo-style cauliflower with vegan blue cheese from Mohawk Bend in Echo Park. I hardly missed the chicken.
Cinnamon rolls and red velvet cupcakes from Auntie Em’s in Eagle Rock.They were nice enough to turn over two rolls for me.
Truffle Burger from Umami Burger in Los Feliz
Here’s what I read and liked this week:
- The Teenage Gluster writes from Puebla, Mexico and makes me want a Cemita in the worst way.
- Peanut Butter cookies, anyone? The Gastronomer shows us how to make some à la Bouchon.
- Street Gourmet LA illustrates the talent of Baja California’s best chefs in 39 dishes.
- Table Conversation tells us where to get the best shrimp taco, outside of Mazatlan. I was there for this taco, so I can vouch for the veracity of this claim.
- New beer store from the minds at Colorado Wine Company! The Eastsider has the sudsy details.
- In more drink news, Echo Park Now lists the best margaritas in the neighborhood. Cheers!
Have a great weekend, and eat good stuff!
I’d only been to Desert Rose once before, and just for drinks, so I was excited when I got an invitation to try it out for lunch. I’d heard good things about their Mediterranean menu and remembered their big patio, a nice refuge from the bustling Hillhurst Ave., feeling very vacation-y.
We started with the Blue Crab Cakes. Crisply fried and super crabby (down with bready filler!), they were served with an addictive citrusy dressing and had a delicious hint of curry. The grapefruit chunks were a nice touch. We paired the appetizer with the Lucid Whiskey Sour, a Maker’s Mark/Cointreau cocktail served in an absinthe-rinsed glass.
I have a major burger compulsion, so I was extra happy when I heard they were serving a Lamb Burger. The patty was very juicy and perfectly pink inside with a healthy slab of feta cheese. I love a brioche bun, and this one had a flaky texture that put the focus on the meat and cheese, which is how I like it.