Tag Archives: Ink Sack

10 Best Sub Sandwich Shops in LA


Subs, Grinders, Hoagies, Po-Boys, Heroes, Submarines. Whatever you call them, they’re a central part of the national diet, especially for lunch. A long roll filled with deli meats and/or cheese along with toppings such as lettuce, tomatoes or peppers, and condiments such as mustard and olive oil sounds like a simple thing to make, but discerning eaters know that not all deli sandwiches are created equal.

When I started this blog, I declared the Godmother at Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery the best sandwich in LA. While I still believe this is true today, for other varieties such as a Caprese or Pastrami sub, I prefer All About the Bread on Melrose Ave., which was clearly inspired by Bay Cities but has shorter lines. Both places have unbelievably amazing, crispy and chewy artisan bread which is baked fresh every 20 or 30 minutes, use Boar’s Head meats and fashion extraordinary combos of bread, meat and cheese using the freshest and tastiest ingredients. While these two places are my clear favorites, there are several others in this city worth visiting. After an extensive amount of carb-loading research, here are my top ten favorite sub sandwich joints in LA:

All About the Bread

#1 (tie) All About the Bread (7111 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles near West Hollywood) The name pretty much says it all. I’ve loved every sandwich I’ve had here, but my favorite is the Buratta with Sundried Tomatoes, Fresh Basil, Homemade Pesto, Tomatoes and Roasted Peppers. It’s one of the best things ever.

The Godmother from Bay Cities

#1 (tie). Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery (1517 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica) The insanely good bread is the secret to their huge success. My favorite sub is The Godmother (Genoa Salami, Mortadella, Capicolla, Ham, Prosciutto and Provolone) with “The Works.” I challenge you to find a better sandwich.

Dan’s Super Subs

#3 Dan’s Super Subs (22446 Ventura Blvd, Woodland Hills) It’s one of the only restaurants that I love in the West Valley. Their delicious bread has sesame seeds and is steamed for each order. Subs are completed with Dan’s signature chopped tomatoes and pickle spears. Not open on Sundays.

The Jose Andres aka “The Spanish Godfather” at Ink Sack

#4 Ink Sack (8360 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles in West Hollywood) Celebrity Chef Michael Voltaggio’s sandwich shop serves creative versions of classic subs. My favorite is The Jose Andres aka “The Spanish Godfather,” which is named after Voltaggio’s mentor and former boss at The Bazaar. It’s made with Serrano Ham, Chorizo and Manchego Cheese.

Storefront

#5 Storefront (4624 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles in Los Feliz) This Eastside hipster sandwich shop is the new kid on the block and was opened only a few weeks ago by the chefs of Salt’s Cure. I am already impressed with “The Mousa” (pictured above), their Italian deli meat sub which includes picked cayenne peppers.

The No. 3 from Larchmont Village Wine Spirits & Cheese

#6 Larchmont Village Wine Spirits & Cheese (223 N Larchmont Blvd., Los Angeles in Mid-City) This gourmet wine and cheese shop has some of the city’s best Italian sandwiches, which are served on either a crusty baguette or soft ciabatta. They all come with a nice little side of olives and cornichons.

Mike’s Deli

#7 Mike’s Deli 4859 W Slauson Ave, Los Angeles in South LA) There are very few tables and it’s generic and fast food-esque in appearance, but this simple deli makes simply great subs with top-notch ingredients including Boar’s Head meats and cheeses. A second location opened recently in Little Tokyo.

The Spicy Italian Sub from Mario’s

#8 Mario’s Italian Deli & Market (740 E Broadway in Glendale) A Glendale institution, Mario’s is an old-school Italian market with all sorts of imported goodies and a very popular deli. They cut their sub rolls in thirds lengthwise, so that there is a “mezzanine” layer of bread in your sandwich between two layers of filling.

Busy Bee Market

#9 Busy Bee Market (2413 S Walker Ave, San Pedro) If you’re in the South Bay, it’s the place to go. This unassuming deli counter in a small and rundown-looking neighborhood market turns out excellent subs on super-soft bread. But be warned: it’s cash only, take-out only, and they’re closed on Sundays.

“The Sandwich” from Roma Italian Deli & Grocery

#10 Roma Italian Deli & Grocery (918 N. Lake Ave, Pasadena) Enter this little Italian market, go to the counter on your right and ask diminutive elderly Rosario to make you “The Sandwich.” Watch as he prepares it with fresh meats and cheese and no toppings or condiments other than olive oil. Consume and enjoy.

UPDATE: I’m sad to report that Storefront has closed. If you enjoy Consuming LA, subscribe for free at the top right of this page and you’ll get an email once a week when I post. And please forward this to your friends, repost on facebook and retweet!

All About the Bread on Urbanspoon
Busy Bee on Urbanspoon
Larchmont Village Wine, Spirits & Cheese on Urbanspoon
Roma Italian Deli & Grocery on Urbanspoon
Mario's Italian Deli & Market on Urbanspoon
Dan's Super Subs on Urbanspoon
Mike's Deli on Urbanspoon
Mike's Deli #2 on Urbanspoon

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Filed under Fairfax, Glendale, Inglewood, Ladera Heights, Larchmont, Los Feliz, Mid-City, Pasadena, San Pedro, Santa Monica, South Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Woodland Hills

Indelible Ink


The opening of Ink in West Hollywood two weeks ago has been one of the most eagerly anticipated restaurant openings in the country. Ink is the creation of Michael Voltaggio, the heavily tatted and touted bad-ass winner of season six of Top Chef and former chef at The Dining Room in the venerable Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena. In August, Voltaggio opened a small sandwich shop called ink.sack a few doors down from Ink (read my review here), which I have fallen in love with and frequented over the past several weeks, so I was more excited than ever to try Ink. Against all odds, I was able to score an 8pm reservation for a party of four last Saturday night.

The atmosphere of the restaurant is one of frenetic excitement. The decor is modern and the restaurant is dimly lit. There is an “omakase” bar on one side which accommodates eight people per night. There is a boisterous cocktail bar which serves creative and delicious libations and is presided over by talented mixologist Devon Espinosa, who served as chief wingman to molecular gastronomist Marcel Vigneron on the short-lived Syfy TV series Marcel’s Quatum Kitchen. And most notably, there is an open kitchen were you can see the chefs hard at work, including Voltaggio who works on the line with his staff.

The menu at Ink consists entirely of small plates; American tapas which Voltaggio describes as “modern Los Angeles cuisine” inspired by the myriad of cultures that make up LA. On the waiter’s recommendation, we ordered the whole menu — literally! Over the course of two and half hours, we were treated to a procession of beautiful, creative, cerebral and perfectly executed dishes. The flavor profiles were complex and interesting, although I thought some combinations worked better than others. My favorites were the Beef Tartare (with Horseradish, Hearts of Palm and Sea Bean Chimchurri), the Halibut Cheeks (with Red Pepper Dashi, Shishito Peppers and Kelp Pasta), the Berkshire Pork Tenderloin (with Charcoal Crust, Macaroni & Cheese and Leeks) and the “Spaghetti” (which was actually giant squid prepared to look like spaghetti, accompanied by squash, hazelnut-ink pesto and piment d’Espilette). Each of these were incredible! My least favorite dishes were the Dungeness Crab (with Smoked Mayo and Bok Choy “Kimchi”) and the Quail (with Banana Polenta, Beet Juice and Sorrel Salad), although I thought they were two of the most beautiful dishes. The desserts were equally creative, fun and delicious, with the stand-out being a dessert of Apple, Creme Caramel, Burnt Wood Sabayon and Walnuts, which was unlike anything I have ever had before.

Ink is located at 8360 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles (in West Hollywood).

Beef Tartare with Horseradish, Hearts of Palm and Sea Bean Chimichurri


Dungeness Crab with Smoked Mayo and Bok Choy "Kimchi"


Octopus with Buttered Popcorn, Piquillo Pepper and Spinich


Bay Scallops with Cream of Dehydrated Potato, Potato Skins and Buttermilk-Shellfish Broth


Quail with Banana Polenta, Beet Juice and Sorrel Salad


Berkshire Pork Tenderloin with Charcoal Crus, Macaroni and Cheese and Leeks


Veal Cheek with Red Curry, Nante Carrots Baked in Salt and Fried Sticky Rice


Grapefruit Curd, Avocado, Cilantro Sorbet and Charred Maple-Lime


A boisterous and fun atmosphere



ink. on Urbanspoon

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Filed under West Hollywood

Sack It To Me!


Los Angeles foodies have been eagerly awaiting the opening of ink, the new restaurant by uber-talented, bad-ass Top Chef winner Michael Voltaggio. While ink should finally open next month, Voltaggio surprised everyone recently by opening a gourmet sandwich counter called ink.sack a few doors down from his soon-to-debut fine dining restaurant on Melrose. I’ve been to ink.sack a couple times since it opened less than two weeks ago and I am already a huge fan. The sandwiches are inexpensive but small, so you need to order at least two (I could easily polish off three) to make a meal. This is a great feature because even if you go there alone, you’re able to try different things without making a pig of yourself.

The seven sandwiches on the menu are what you would expect from Voltaggio; they’re inventive, complex and fun. I’ve tried all of them (I have a duty to my blog readers, right?) and I liked all of them, although some more than others. My favorites are the Maple-Pepper Turkey Melt, a sweet and savory sandwich which includes Camembert, Mustarda (candied fruit in a mustard flavored syrup) and arugula, and The Jose Andres aka “The Spanish Godfather,” which is named after the awesome chef of The Bazaar and includes Serrano, Chorizo, Lomo and Manchego. These sandwiches are must-haves. I also loved the messy but yummy, sushi-inspired Spicy Tuna with Miso-Cured Albacore and Sriacha Mayo, as well as Voltaggio’s take on a Vietnamese Bahn Mi, which was made with pork cheeks, chicharrones (fried pork rinds) and pickled vegetables. Ink.sack’s version of a classic Ruben is made with corned beef tongue, so when you taste it, it tastes you back (sorry; I couldn’t resist). The “Ruben” is also made with Appenzeller cheese, kraut and Russian dressing and I thought it was very good. My least favorites were the Cold Fried Chicken with house-made ranch cheese and the C.L.T., which is Voltaggio’s version of a B.L.T., made with chicken liver mousse, curried fried chicken skin, lettuce and tomato.

Whether you eat in (there is very limited seating) or take-out, sandwiches are given to you in a black paper bag with your name written on it. Make sure to order the salt, pepper and vinegar potato chips to go with your sandwich. Also worth getting is the refreshing “Street Fruit” (pineapple, jicama, mango and melon mixed with chile and lemon juice) or the watermelon with sriacha and lime. They also have Mexican chocolate chip cookies and a good selection of gourmet sodas.

Ink.sack is located at 8360 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles (in West Hollywood).

Sack Lunch

Chicken Liver Mousse and Curried Chicken Skin Sandwich

Beef Tongue "Ruben" Sandwich

Cold Fried Chicken Sandwich

Spicy Tuna Sandwich: messy but good

House-made Salt, Pepper & Vinegar Potato Chips


ink sack on Urbanspoon

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Filed under West Hollywood