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Nov 19, 2008 10:09 PM

Is there a better sandwich place than Bay Cities???

Recently I have become obsessed with eating at Bay Cities. I live in Miracle Mile and I drive out there about 1x a week to get a sandwich. I am personally in love with their Chicken Parm and Eggplant Parm (Thursday Special). I know they have the cold sandwiches, but I prefer the hot ones there. I've gone to a bunch of sandwich shops and just haven't found one that compares to the hot or cold sandwiches. Today I went with a friend to Tamarind Deli, which was good (the briscuit wasn't ready when I got there at 12:30pm) so we split the Cappocolo and the Sopressata sandiwches. They were good, but not even close to Bay Cities. I've had a few of the sandwiches at Larchmont Wine & Cheese and still not Bay Cities. I know La Brea Bakery is close, but I had a sandwich there that I was not impressed with.

This weekend I will be going to Venice Beach Wines (motsly because it sounds interesting), but I simply cannot find a place that has the quality of sandwich and especially the amazing bread that bay Cities does.

Any thoughts?

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  1. I actually really like Joan's on Third. It's, IMO, a bit more restrained.

    1. I prefer Victor Junior's in Culver City to Bay Cities when it comes to an Italian Sub. I get mine with double meat...haven't tried the hot subs at Victor Junior's but I am told they are very good.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Moose

        I live in SM and work in the miracle mile. I like La Brea's hot sandwiches a lot--tuna melt, ham and cheese, autostrada.
        Larchmont Wine & Cheese has good sandwiches, but their baguettes lack any flavour.
        I like Joan's as well--their turkey meatloaf is very good. I don't think much of MILK's sandwiches.
        Try the sliced beef on a roll from Phillip's BBQ at Crenshaw and Adams.
        Clementine in Century City has delicious sandwiches as well.

        1. re: Moose

          while they do have some interesting italian products like dop san marzano tomatoes and good dried pasta, the prepared selections are no better then an average long island deli and the "fresh" bread tastes liked it was made by the a & p.

          1. re: josh L

            The bread is so fresh it's often still warm. Really, your hyperbole is just ridiculous.

            1. re: a_and_w

              it may be fresh and warm but it is lousy machine made bread. instead of attacking me, i reccomend you spend a little time trying artisanal bread, stuff you can't find in los angeles. next time you are in new york, head straight to the sullivan street bakery. then tell me what i have to say is "hyperbole."

              1. re: josh L

                I think you mean Grandaisy, but whatever. Either way, it's a totally different beast from the fresh and tasty sandwich bread at Bay Cities -- you are comparing apples with oranges.

                By the way, instead of making gross generalizations based on a mere six months of living in LA, why don't you be specific about which places you've tried. For example, have you tried my recommendation of Amandine?

                1. re: josh L

                  My experience with Bay Cities bread has been a disappointment, as well. I recently picked up two wonderfully warm loaves. Sadly, the bread was far too dense and chewy, with no lightness to it. However, I'm guessing many people like their bread made in this dense style. I find it tough to eat. I like the aroma of Bay Cities bread, though.

                  I recently bought a loaf of lovely Italian bread from a restaurant in Culver City called Ugo. I slipped into Ugo out of sheer horror a the size of the line at Tender Greens. Had a salad at Ugo with the Italian bread. Fell in love with its texture and flavor and asked if they would sell me a loaf. Since they don't sell their bread as a rule, it came to my table oddly wrapped but so warm, just out of the oven. I served it that evening with lentil soup and wild mushroom angnolotti with seared scallops in lemon burnt butter sauce. So comforting.

          2. I'm also a big fan of Bay Cities. Nobody has rolls like theirs -- a good bite and real texture without sawing up the top of your mouth. They also sell them at a very reasonable price, but damn, they get hard and old in a blink. While most of their deli meat is pretty standard (I believe they use Boars Head) I really like their hot and mild pepper relish, and the counter people always seem to get the special orders correct. I also think their hot side is very underrated -- love the meatballs, and their daily hot specials are a generous meal for about $8. I don't even mind the wait on the cold side when it is crowded -- I like looking everything over -- though the parking lot can become pretty vicious.

            I also recommend Victor Jr.'s, which is on the north side of Washington in Culver City across from the big studio. Really good eggplant parm, chopped Italian salads, and subs. Their rolls are much softer and lighter, but still good. Meatballs are smaller and denser than Bay Cities, and their cheesesteak is much more a roast beef hoagie than a Philly-style sandwich. Friendly people and good place.

            7 Replies
            1. re: nosh

              "I'm also a big fan of Bay Cities. Nobody has rolls like theirs -- a good bite and real texture without sawing up the top of your mouth. They also sell them at a very reasonable price, but damn, they get hard and old in a blink."

              So true...there's a loaf growing stale atop my refrigerator as we speak!

              1. re: a_and_w

                i always buy two loaves. one is eaten within hours. the second i cut & put in an air-tight freezer bag so i have bcdeli bread any time i like. of course it's best fresh but this beats wasting it!

                1. re: dotrat

                  Great suggestion -- thanks for the tip!

              2. re: nosh

                i like the hot side of the deli too. we typically get godmothers for lunch & then stock up on pot roast, meatballs, mac n cheese and/or chicken parm for later in the day or the following day. also, their frozen eggplant parm is fantastic! i don't care for their frozen lasagna at all sadly.

                1. re: nosh

                  Nosh, I just went to Victor Jr's and I wanted to ask you if you thought it was good because it was close to where you are or good as in you would drive 2-3 (or maybe more) miles to go there? I enjoyed it, but didn't think it was anything more special than being a good place in a very busy area.

                  And Dommy, I had the eggplant parm at Vito's and also a slice while I was waiting...very good! I will definitely go back for the eggplant parm.

                  1. re: sarcasmsk

                    I feel the same way about Victor's sandwiches. I live nearby and still would prefer to go elsewhere in town for a sandwich, or make the drive to Vitos or Bay Cities if I wanted a particular Italian Sub...

                    That being said... Victors has an AMAZING chopped salad... I DO return for that! :D


                  2. re: nosh

                    All About the Bread on Melrose/La Brea has rolls that are just like Bay Cities.

                  3. langers, but it's a one shot wonder :)

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ns1

                      Langers: one shot wonder, one trick pony... but oh what a shot, what a trick. I agree with your post and I love Langers.

                    2. For Italian subs west of the 405, I doubt you'll find better than Bay Cities. I'm partial to Pinocchio's in Burbank, but mostly because it's a lot closer for me ... if I lived in Santa Monica it'd be Bay Cities for sure ...

                      Pinocchio Restaurant & Monte Carlo Italian Deli
                      3103 W Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: maxzook

                        as an eastsider who craves bay cities if i don't get it enough should i try hot or cold sandwiches from pinocchio's? i'm partial to cold but will do hot if they do that better.

                        1. re: lucygoosey

                          I totally dig Bay Cites, but I too live on the East Side. So my fav place on this side of town is Mario's Italian Deli in Glendale. They have a combo sandwich that is comparable to the Godmother and is very good in a pinch.

                          I also like the Pasadena Sandwich Company. When I can't get to Langer's for a Pastrami, I go here. The owner is really nice and he makes a great sandwich.

                          Never been to Billy's in Glendale, is it any good?

                          1. re: Rheux

                            I like Billy's, it's *very* "old-school" Jewish deli fare -- menu very similar to Canter's but a notch or two better. It ain't Langer's or even Junior's, but it's worth a visit.

                            I tend to forget about Mario's -- it's in a direction I seldom travel towards. For sandwiches it's about on par with Pinocchio, but I'd probably prefer Pinocchio/Monte Carlo* for groceries and hot dishes.

                            As I said, if I lived west of the 405 I would worship at the altar of Bay Cities and probably not bother with any other Italian deli or grocery, but Mario's, Billy's or Pinocchio/Monte Carlo are certainly more than acceptable for the area.

                            *Monte Carlo is the take-out deli/grocery, Pinocchio is the coterminous sit-down restaurant.

                            Pinocchio Restaurant & Monte Carlo Italian Deli
                            3103 W Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505

                            1. re: Rheux


                              Pinocchio Restaurant & Monte Carlo Italian Deli
                              3103 W Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505

                              1. re: Rheux

                                The house-roasted pork at Mario's is a great sandwich-- get it hot! They also make a swell caprese.