In this great country of ours, one could eat a different sandwich every day of the year—so that's what we'll do. Here's A Sandwich a Day, our daily look at sandwiches around the country. Got a sandwich we should check out? Let us know. —The Mgmt.
Though it's across the street from legendary sandwichery, Cole's, JJ Sandwich Shop in downtown Los Angeles is the sort of nondescript city deli you could easily walk by for years without ever really noticing—but then you'd miss a menu of simple, satisfying, affordable sandwiches, served in a neighborhood that tends more toward tasty-but-pricey lunch eats. Despite its modest storefront digs, the mom-and-pop shop has developed a loyal clientele who stop in not only for the menu of classic deli sandwiches, salads, and a few hot teriyaki dishes, but also for a little TLC from the quiet but affable owners, who will offer you a slice of watermelon or part of an orange while you wait for your lunch.
By far the most popular sandwich in the house is the #5 Grilled Chicken ($6.95), a straightforward assemblage of tender, light meat, sun-dried tomato spread, avocado, and pesto sauce (plus a generous garden of lettuce, tomato, red onion, and cucumber) on toasted sliced sourdough.
The meat is chopped, which keeps it from succumbing to the dry grilled chicken trap; instead it's remarkably moist, made more so by the sweet, earthy tang of the sun dried tomato spread and the rich savory pesto sauce, which also offers a refreshing herbal quality to the sandwich. The veggie toppings are also impressively fresh. The avocado is perfectly creamy and the seedless cucumber adds some cool crunch. The toasted sourdough has subtle tartness, providing a neutral but well textured platform for the concordant flavors inside. It's a light but sizable sandwich that, while nothing fancy, has an addictive quality—the kind of lunch that could easily become part of your regular rotation.
JJ Sandwich Shop
119 East 6th Street, Los Angeles CA 90014 (map)