Clyde’s, now playing at the Mark Taper Forum, takes place in a truck-stop diner, where the staff pursues the perfect sandwich. If the show has you hungry for more, we have some of the best sandwiches around Los Angeles—which are all perfect in their own ways.
ROMA MARKET AND DELI, PASADENA
Eighty-three-year-old Rosario Mazzeo has been making “The Sandwich” at Roma Market and Deli every day since 1959—so it’s safe to say that he probably knows what he’s doing. “The Sandwich” is simple: fresh bread, capicola, mortadella, salami, provolone, and olive oil. And, despite being the king of Italian subs, he does not do SUBstitutions.
BUB AND GRANDMA’S, GLASSELL PARK
Bub and Grandma’s is churning out their own sandwiches on their fresh baked bread after years of wholesale sales to restaurants like Dune and Highly Likely, and their own Hollywood Farmers’ Market stand. Owner Andy Kadin hopes to bring together Jewish and Italian cuisine, reminiscent of the New Jersey delis of his youth. They have picks for both breakfast and lunch, ranging from a classic Bacon, Egg, and Cheese to the vegetable filled “Rainbow” sandwich with sprouts, beets, pickles, and more.
MACIEL’S PLANTBASED BUTCHER & DELI, HIGHLAND PARK
Many sandwiches consist of meats and cheeses between bread. But Maciel’s is the first vegan butcher in Los Angeles, offering made-in-house meat free sandwiches, cheeses, and cold cuts to those looking for an animal product-free alternative. Owner Maciel Bañales Luna is influenced by her Mexican heritage as well as her parents’ passion for health and environmentalism by making legume-based, minimally processed meat alternatives that may make meat-eaters do a double take (or double bite). For example, “The Flores” features Mexican inspired adobo ribs made from jackfruit that is spiced and sweetened with Mexican spices and a bit of maple syrup.
KONBI, CULVER CITY
Konbi is a Michelin-rated sandwich shop specializing in sandwiches frequently found in Japanese convenience stores. Their notable sandwiches are neatly cut into thirds, not halves, on thick yet light milk bread that are filled with katsu (a term for meats or vegetables covered in breadcrumbs and fried), egg salad, or tuna salad. The tuna salad is a new addition, with nori, mayonnaise, cucumber, and pickled celery.
HOWLIN’ RAY’S, DTLA, PASADENA
The “Luis Style Sando” at Howlin’ Ray’s proves you don’t need a trip to Tennessee for Tennessee-style hot chicken sandwiches. And they have spice level selections for everyone, ranging from nonexistent to “X-Hot” and “Howlin’!”
Phillipe’s has doled out their signature “French Dip” sandwiches in Los Angeles since 1908. The sandwiches are filled with meat and cheese and dipped into gravy. Located by Dodger Stadium, depending on who you’re rooting for, it might be a good alternative to a Dodger Dog.
LEE’S SANDWICHES, ALHAMBRA
Founder Chieu Le’s parents served banh mi to students in San Jose in the 1980s, and ended up inspiring a chain of restaurants across California and statelines. Now, they’re known for a variety of sandwiches. The “Lee’s Combination” is one of their classic fusions of Asian and European influences: a french baguette with ham, head cheese, paté, pickled daikon and carrot, onion, cilantro, soy sauce, and mustard.
BAY CITIES ITALIAN DELI, SANTA MONICA
Bay Cities opened in 1925 and have had lines for their classic Italian sandwiches and sides ever since. Their fresh-baked bread is the base for “The Grandmother:” prosciutto, ham, capicola, mortadella, genoa salami, provolone cheese, and “the works,” with veggies and mild or hot peppers. And if you’re looking to make your own magic sandwich, take home a bottle or two of their wide arrays of vinegars and olive oils.
MOO’S CRAFT BARBECUE, LINCOLN HEIGHTS
Some of the best barbeque in the country can be found right here in Los Angeles. Snag a “Sloppy Moo,” a loaded brioche bun with their backyard smoked brisket and sausage with pickled peppers, pickles, and onions, from them if you can—they sell out fast.
CEMITAS DON ADRIAN, VAN NUYS
The cemita sandwiches here are named after the sesame seeds that sit atop the browned and crispy bun and are inspired by the iconic flavors of the Mexican city, Puebla. All of the sandwiches are both big in size and flavor—especially the “Cecina Asada,” with cured beef, cilantro, jalapeños, red onion, chipotle sauce, and either panela or Oaxacan cheese.
PERRY’S JOINT, PASADENA
Just outside the Rose Bowl in Pasadena is Perry’s Joint, offering towering sandwiches with a side of jazz inspiration. Not only do they have live jazz music on Tuesday nights, but the sandwiches are named after jazz songs and singers, like “The Egg From Ipanema” egg salad sandwich or the “Tuna Simone” tuna melt.
GRAND CASINO, CULVER CITY
Grand Casino has made their Argentinian baked goods fresh on their Culver City premises since 1987. In addition to their empanadas and pastries, they make sandwiches on homemade bread, like the “choripán,” with grilled sausage and chimichurri.
CHERRY PICK CAFÉ, DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES
If you’re at the Music Center for either the Ahmanson Theatre or the Mark Taper Forum, Cherry Pick Café is a Center Theatre Group staff favorite. This café, run by a husband-and-wife duo, offers a mix of Italian and American sandwiches, with some wildcards, like the wasabi tuna sandwich.