Almost every world cuisine has some version of the sandwich – bread surrounding a perfect concoction of meat, cheese, veggies, or perhaps all three. And as a hub international and domestic migration, Los Angeles is home to some of the best global sandwiches around. Here are a few favorites that prove that this is a sandwich town, and we’re just living in it. – Katie Robbins
Attari Sandwich Shop
1388 Westwood Blvd
West Los Angeles, CA 90024
In what appears a tranquil setting, just off the main drag of bustling Westwood, Attari’s pretty outer courtyard belies what can actually be a harrowing experience – waiting with the crowds to order some of the city’s best home-style Persian food at this tiny café. Many come for the Friday special, the rich, gamey lamb ab-goost stew or for the achingly tender tongue sandwich. Some come for brain. All good choices, but the vegetarian kuku stands up to its meaty brethren. It’s a tightly packed sandwich –a kind of Persian omelet cooked with greens and parsley, topped with pungent pickles, lettuce, and tomato, all crammed into a crackly baguette.
Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery
1517 Lincoln Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401
So beloved is the Godmother sandwich at this Santa Monica institution that it seems almost unnecessary to include here. But to leave this two hander — an Italian roll piled high with a smorgasbord of Italian deli meats and provolone, ordered spicy with the works – off this list would be anathema. After all, this sandwich lover’s sandwich shouldn’t be penalized because of its profound popularity.
525 S Flower StSte 120Los Angeles, CA 90071
The panini available for lunch at this sleek downtown Italian eatery fit the restaurant’s cool, sophisticated vibe. They are handsome, well constructed, and made with fine ingredients. Take them to go or eat them at the bar, but don’t miss the best of the bunch, the tramezzino, which presses together prosciutto de parma, savory provolone, a little spicy arugula, and a thin spread of sensual black truffle butter.
Hy Mart Sandwiches
4795 Vineland Ave
North Hollywood, CA 91602
Giving a sandwich a funny name can put its credibility at risk, as it can appear the creativity that went into the naming did not make it into the sandwich-crafting. But at this tiny Mediterranean deli in North Hollywood, the Gyro Gone Wild makes up for the silly name with some serious flavor. This messy wrap combines practically every Middle Eastern sandwich into one, with tender lamb and tzatziki, falafel and hummus, and (for good measure) avocado, jalapeno and olives.
704 South Alvarado
Los Angeles, CA 90057
The hot pastrami sandwich at Langer’s, an L.A. institution since 1947, is really a full range of sandwiches. The most popular version, the #19, is adorned with a slice of Swiss, a dollop of creamy cole slaw, and a heap of tangy Russian dressing. Some take their Langer’s pastrami with cream cheese, others with tomato, or even chopped liver. Purists keep it simple with just a smear of mustard. Whatever your preference, the combination of the smokey, peppery pastrami and chewy, crusty rye, is rightly the stuff of legends.
5183 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027
In a small storefront in a prototypical Hollywood strip mall, this Armenian stalwart toasts a long piece of French bread and piles it high with basturma, a slightly chewy, cured beef, packed with salty, garlicky flavor and a little heat. Onions, pickles and tomato add tang.