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Universally lauded chef Josef Centeno’s “bäcos” drive his lunch menu. We love this version, which is made with a combination of pork and beef carnitas and salvitxada (a spicy Catalan sauce), then wrapped in soft, pita-esque bread.
Baco Mercat, 408 S. Main St.; 213-687-8808 or bacomercat.com
It’s big, rich and meaty--the perfect splurge to split with a pal when you’re holiday shopping. The grilled cheese with braised short rib is set off by pickled caramelized onions and arugula. Yum.
8350 W. Third St.; 323-655-2285 or joansonthird.com
This sandwich shop has been serving the beaches since 1925, and the legend of its over-the-top sub is nearly as old. The stack of proteins--Genoa salami, mortadella, capicola, ham, prosciutto and a slice of Provolone--is so flavorful, you need only add a dash of vinegar and oil. Order it with the works and ask them to lay off the “mayostard.”
1517 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica; 310-395-8279 or baycitiesitaliandeli.com
The plain stucco exterior and tiled interior of King Torta isn’t promising, but that all changes once you order this medley of fatty al pastor, shredded lettuce, avocado slivers and tiny chopped onions.
4521 Valley Blvd.; 323-222-7006 or kingtorta.com
Stop in at this combination sandwich joint/specialty grocery store for a little slice of the bayou. The open-face fried shrimp po’boy is made with curry-mayo rémoulade and spicy Louisiana-style hot sauce.
207 Ord St.; 213-620-0461 or littlejewel.la
Hardwood-smoked bacon, over-medium egg, cheddar cheese and chipotle ketchup on cushy brioche are served for breakfast and lunch at this super-cool, open-air counter.
317 S. Broadway; eggslut.com
Vegetarian fare has long been the specialty of the West side, but there’s a standout selection of animal-free bánh mì sandwiches at this East side diner. We love the one made with roasted oyster mushrooms, pickled daikon and Maggi, a soy-sauce-like seasoning popular throughout Asia and Eastern Europe. Order it with spicy fries tossed with chiles, garlic and salt.
110 N. Ave. 56, Highland Park; 323-257-8980 or goodgirlfoods.com
Cali cuisine meets French fare at this airy restaurant and bakery. Opt for the classic French ham, egg and cheese sandwich done up in soft house-baked brioche and topped with a creamy fried egg.
624 S. La Brea Ave.; 310-362-6115 or republiquela.com
Here’s all you need to know: It’s a big handful of smoked barbecue pork belly topped with homemade coleslaw and served on a brioche bun. Extra points if you eat it walking down Abbot Kinney.
1146 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice; 310-450-1533 or chopdaddys.com
Want a chichi sandwich at Subway prices? This cross-city chain has a new $5.50 deal on smaller sizes--which is totally big enough as far as we’re concerned. Here, buttermilk baked chicken, green tomato and Vermont white cheddar.
Lemonade, 12401 Ventura Blvd., Studio City; 818-985-5700 or lemonadela.com
Sure, there’s a sandwich joint on every corner in Los Angeles. But where are the truly great ones? Here’s our cheat sheet to the top ten sandwiches, spanning the city’s hottest neighborhoods.
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