Socko's Subs -- Westwood Village
Was driving thru this morn -- my fallback was to pick up a double-double at In'and'Out, when a parking space materialized in front of Socko's Subs, which I'd been meaning to check out. Place was empty just after 11 as I walked in and surveyed the menu. They have "Skinnies" with just meat and some cheese for about $3, simple "super subs" at $4, and "giants" with combos of meats, cheese, and various add-ons and dressings for $5, with a couple of specials for a buck or two more. The tall blond owner was talking about the hot rolls just coming out of the oven as I decided.
He said a lot of people ordered the #14-turkey, provolone, avocado spread, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, sprouts and mayo or the #11 italian, which I ordered. Good Italian sub -- ham, salami, pepperoni, provolone, and lettuce, tomato, mayo, onion, oregano, oil & vinegar. We talked about websites -- he claimed they had one, I hadn't been able to find it -- as another guy made and delivered my sandwich to go.
I liked my sub. A lot of tasty meat, good toppings. The bread was firm and the sub held together. It was definitely bigger than a Sepi's small, and less expensive and easier to handle than their large. Much better quality than Roll Inn. I am really looking forward to trying their selections with roast beef or turkey -- I'm hoping the meat won't be too overprocessed, but I may be dreaming.
On the other hand, I know that I ordered mine without mayo, or at least specified very light. Didn't come that way -- easily a normal shmear of mayo. Not a huge issue, but would have been if I opened my sub later and found mustard, which I won't tolerate. Or if I had stashed the sub in my car or backpack for later consumption and then discovered the mayo -- the only risky ingredient.
I hope this place succeeds -- they deliver for a 50-cent charge per sandwich. But they need to get the orders 100% right. And I worry about their business plan -- sodas are $2, though large, and they don't offer fries, only chips. (Before Skewers, the location was a Hollywood Fries shop -- there is room and a market for really good fries for a college/office clientele.) The owner was nice and enthusiastic but maybe in over his head -- he said they tried to post a picture of their menu online but couldn't post text...
OK, maybe I was just setting myself up for a disappointment. Socko's brags about their fast delivery on their menu and charges $.50 per sandwich -- very reasonable. So I called today before 1 p.m. and ordered a #15 -- roast beef and turkey, with lettuce and tomato. I specified "no mayo" at the beginning and end of my order, but I did ask for onions and peppers. (Their menu says veggies and peppers are free.) I should have opted out when the woman answering the phone encountered delays inputting my phone number and address. I gave my gate code, twice. It took almost an entire hour before, yes you guessed it, I got a phone call that repeated "Socko" several times before explaining he was at the gate, so I repeated the gate code. Against my better judgement I gave him $7 for a five-buck sandwich and fifty-cent delivery charge and a 30% tip. When I opened the sandwich it had no mayo (thankfully) but also no onion, no peppers, and flimsy portions of turkey and roast beef, not like the generous Italian sub I'd had earlier in the week. I added my own provolone cheese and began this report.
When I called Socko's to express my disappointment, they offered to send a replacement sub. I asked if they'd give me a credit, as I'd already received a sub. No dice. But they did send the replacement pretty quickly and the delivery guy tried to refuse an additional tip. I put it in the fridge and I guess it is ok to eat as it would have been easy for them to just blow me off.
..."We talked about websites -- he claimed they had one, I hadn't been able to find it."....
I searched and couldn't find it either, so I just typed in the obvious, and presto:
I tried Socko's roast beef which was o.k., he asked how I liked it, and I said it would be better with some horseradish which he wrote down while saying "good idea". 3 weeks later I stopped by and they still no horseradish, so no order from me. Horseradish will keep for a long time in the fridge and I would be happy to pay a small extra cost ($.25 for a little dab which is all it takes) for. So what's their downside? The exact opposite of my experience with Bella Pita.
Probably because it's right next door to Diddy, hence, you would just go to Diddy Riese if you want it.
I haven't tried this place yet, but the sandwich selection looks decent. To those that have eaten there, can you compare to some other sandwich places you like on the west side to give us an idea of your tastes and how it compares?
Other than the names of the sandwiches, and the hummus one, the menu reads very much like a Jimmy Johns menu. This gives me some hope, as I did love (and do miss) the #11 Beach Club (described on their website as "Fresh baked turkey breast, provolone cheese, avocado spread, sliced cucumber, sprouts, lettuce, tomato, mayo") at Jimmy Johns. It seems to have been replicated at Socko's as the #14 BVO special ("freshly sliced turkey, provolone cheese, avocado spread. lettuce, tomato, sprouts, cucumber, mayo"). If they can substitute oil and vinegar for the mayo, and it tastes anything close to Jimmy John's, I'm there.
Since there's been a few posts on Socko's lately, I decided to give it a try today. The place is certainly clean, and the owner, although slightly valley-dudish, was quite friendly. I noticed large trays of freshly baked rolls in the back, which certainly was encouraging. I decided on a #11, a basic Italian sub with ham, salami, pepperoni, lettuce, mayo, oil & vinegar, tomato, plus a dash of oregano. Since I live relatively close by, I opted to get my sub to go.
It was fairly good sized, although a tad skimpy on meat. The bread was definitely undercooked, as it lacked any noticeable crispness, so it was definitely more doughy than I would have liked. Also, the sub was supposed to come with tomato, but were absent from mine.
The bottom line: It was a decent, respectable sub, and would have been good if the bread had been cooked properly. Overall, I think it has potential, but given that it just opened, may need a bit of time to work out the kinks.
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I was really bummed when they got rid of Skew's. Long Boarder Burrito, substitute tofu for chicken, baked chips on the side... semi-nutritious heaven. Now it's yet another sandwich shop, which in Westwood are only outnumbered by yogurt shops.