The Unvegan

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Pitching a Sandwich at Ike’s Place

A challenger?
A challenger?

Since the beginning of time (presumably), there has been one ruler on the throne of sandwiches in LA. This, of course, is Bay Cities. Yet, the rise of Mendocino Farms and success of Fat Sal’s proved LA is open to alternatives. Now, a successful sandwich shop called Ike’s Place has set up shop in Westwood and during my short time in town I felt I should try it out.

This was easier said than done, because I quickly learned that Ike’s Place had far too much to offer. The actual shop isn’t that big, but it felt like every inch of wall space was taken with sandwich options. After much discourse with the cashier, I ended up with the Madison Bumgarner. This sandwich is, of course, named for the Giants pitcher and while I have no love for the team (in fact a burning hatred), the sandwich named for him had everything I could ask for: sliced ribeye, American cheese, habanero sauce, Ike’s Yellow BBQ sauce and pepper jack cheese. All sandwiches also come with Ike’s Dirty Secret sauce, which is some sort of aioli. By request I could have asked for lettuce, tomato and all that crap, but I obviously did no such thing. I also ordered it on their special Dutch Crunch bread.

Just look at that crunch.
Just look at that crunch.

The sandwich was ready relatively quickly, as was the caramel apple lollipop that apparently accompanies every sandwich. I opened it up and looked upon the sandwich with pleasure. The ingredients seemed evenly distributed and the bread looked tasty. In this case, the looks were not deceiving. The blend of ingredients was pretty good, but the bread really tied it together. The Dutch Crunch added a crispy and sweet element to the sandwich that was quite welcome.

Yet, while I liked the sandwich a lot, the bread was the best part. Unfortunately, I felt it was the kind of bread to have here and there instead of every day. This is not a bad thing, as Mastro’s is also not an every day thing, it’s just how I felt. On the other hand, I think I could eat a new sandwich from the place every day for the next 17 years without having the same one twice.