I believe the first time I used the word counterpoint was when I played Bach as a wee piano player. Something about separate melodies going about their merry ways, and you, the listener, perceiving the beautiful harmony emanating from their simultaneous play.
I digress. This post is, after all, about the Lomo ($10.50), one of many delicious sandwiches from Marcona on Melrose. Stay with me for a second. There's a point to this musical metaphor.
First, there are the obvious, large pieces of fatty pulled pork jammed between slices of crusty, toasted ciabatta. You could eat bite after bite of meat and bread alone. But then comes a tangy date mustard which is so apt a complement to the pork that you wonder whether you've ever really tasted mustard before today. To call it a mere complement would not do it justice. You're tempted to eat this mustard straight out of the jar from whence it came.
Counterpoint, I say.
And what are these? The onions, which taste lightly pickled. A bright, high note above the interplay the pork and mustard have going on. And behind this all, steadily beating its drum, comes the nutty, melted manchego cheese. Did I forget the parsnips and arugula? No matter. Sometimes it's hard to pick out the isolated notes, but you know they're there.
Did I compose a fugue by the end of this sandwich? No. But I left Marcona hearing songs in my head.
7368 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046 (map)
About the author: Sarah Woo is a pasture-raised, California girl paired with slow-grilled Santa Maria tri-tip and piquant Korean kimchi. Check out her kitchen adventures at Winner Celebration Party. You can also follow her on Twitter at @wcpartyparty.