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Any better subs than the ones at Giamela's?

Gormand Sep 9, 2004 09:17 PM

For years my favorite standby has been my local, Giamela's on Magnolia/Victory, in Burbank. I love the generous portions of meat put on their submarine sandwiches. I'm curious, are there any restaurants out there that serve a submarine sandwich on the scale of Giamela's? Or, better?


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    brucelis RE: Gormand Sep 9, 2004 11:37 PM

    Way, way better than Giamelli's is Santoro's on Burbank, between Victory and Buena Vista on the north side of the street. They are real live, honest-to-god, East coast subs. For those of you from the North Shore of Boston, it's a touch of home literally, as the mother of this sandwich shop is the Santoro's in Lynn, MA. It seems that some family members moved to LA years ago and happily carried on the sub tradition. On a rare occassion, some high school kid behind the counter slightly flubs the sandwich, but 99 % of the time they're spot on. Try the Italian with everything on it, or if you're a real carnivore, the hot pastrami is a fat tinged wonderment.

    1 Reply
    1. re: brucelis
      brwencino RE: brucelis Sep 10, 2004 12:07 PM

      Santoro's is absolutely better than Giamella's and Dans, both of which I find very bland. Also try Bay Cities Deli in Santa Monica which has the best bread by far.

    2. l
      Lucky17 RE: Gormand Sep 10, 2004 01:43 AM

      Dan's Super Subs on Ventura Blvd. way the heck out in the west valley by Fallbrook and Shoup Ave. but worth the drive.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Lucky17
        elbee3890 RE: Lucky17 Aug 21, 2012 07:03 PM

        As a long-time (circa 1967) Santoro's devotee, I was cautious about a friend's recommendation of Dan's. Splendid! Large, packed with quality ingredients, served quickly. Parking is a problem, but it's worth it!

        1. re: Lucky17
          ozhead RE: Lucky17 Aug 22, 2012 03:08 AM

          In the same general area is Cricca's, on Topanga Canyon Blvd. at Dumetz (south of Ventura Blvd.) It went radically downhill after the long-time owner, Ron Cricca, retired and sold the store, but the folks who are running it now have restored it to its former glory. Having compared Cricca's to Dan's (many times), I have no doubt that Cricca's is better across the board. Easier parking, too.

          1. re: ozhead
            elbee3890 RE: ozhead Dec 1, 2012 07:50 PM

            I've eaten at Cricca's three times since first reading this thread, and I've been pleased each time. They offer the toasted option; on a hot day the second half of the splendid well-provisioned sandwich became the next day's lunch. Beware: it's easy to miss the chalkboard specials on the north wall. My only gripe is the simultaneous TV and radio creating cacaphony. Please lose the GD TV; I don't watch it at home, and I sure as hell don't want it crammed at me whilst I sup.

            1. re: ozhead
              CharlesKochel RE: ozhead Dec 15, 2012 04:45 PM

              I took your advice and now frequent Cricca's. The Italian sub on flakey, sturdy bread with the works and deli Mortadella to go is a dream come true. As good as any I've had in the states.

          2. s
            Sam D. RE: Gormand Sep 10, 2004 03:39 AM

            Well I like Giamela's too but for a change you might also try Mario's Deli in Glendale or Eastside Italian Deli near Chinatown. And then there is also Pinnochio's in Burbank.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Sam D.
              malibumike RE: Sam D. Dec 16, 2012 09:39 AM

              Yes, John's, Eastside market and italian deli, is great especially the #7 and #21. Dan's Super subs in woodland hills is also very good.

            2. n
              Norm RE: Gormand Sep 10, 2004 03:49 AM

              I am a fan of the subs at Mario's Italian Deli in Glendale.

              Mario's Italian Deli & Market
              740 East Broadway
              (818) 242-4114

              If you are ever in Santa Monica, check out Bay Cities Italian Deli on Lincoln Blvd.

              Link: http://www.mariosdeli.com

              1. m
                markn RE: Gormand Sep 10, 2004 04:32 PM

                Cavaretta's Italian Deli, Sherman Way & Topanga

                DeFranko's, Woodley & Vanowen

                My Hero, Reseda Blvd & Plummer

                All better than Giamela's IMO.

                1 Reply
                1. re: markn
                  Wes RE: markn Sep 10, 2004 07:12 PM

                  I really like the Sub Queen in Sylmar on Foothill.

                  Tasty filling and amazing bread.


                2. r
                  rob RE: Gormand Sep 11, 2004 02:15 PM

                  Giamela! Nice Italian name, right? I figured the food should be great so I went into the one near me and wlaked right out again. The place was run by an Asian couple. Don't get me wrong; I love ethnic foods when prepared by those who are of the same ethnic background.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: rob
                    SilverlakeGirl RE: rob Aug 21, 2012 07:43 PM

                    I recently moved to Atwater Village where Giamela is a fixture. So I tried it.

                    The loaf they use to make the sub is very similar to a loofah. I watched and they put the chosen meat on said loofah, then another worker in the kitchen gets a big ladle of pre-made pickle relish and puts it in the sandwich. I do not know what the appeal is, but the separate ingredients are subpar.

                    I can highly recommend Mario's in nearby Glendale. Ambrosial Italian sandwiches on par with Bay Cities IMO.

                    1. re: rob
                      terwilliger RE: rob Aug 22, 2012 02:13 PM

                      I know it's about 8 years later and maybe you've moved to Arizona by now, but this thread just got resurrected and I have to say, your comment that you "love ethnic foods when prepared by those who are of the same ethnic background" is completely ridiculous.

                      I don't really know what you mean by "ethic food," but I'd certainly rather eat good Thai food prepared by Mexicans that shit Mexican food prepared by Mexicans.

                      1. re: terwilliger
                        blackbookali RE: terwilliger Dec 10, 2012 03:08 PM


                        1. re: terwilliger
                          mucho gordo RE: terwilliger Dec 16, 2012 12:35 PM

                          Actually, I have moved but, to Vegas, not AZ. Let me clarify my position; Franchise versions of ethnic foods are 'americanized' and bear little resemblance to the real dish as prepared by someone who knows how it should be made.

                        2. re: rob
                          cfylong RE: rob Aug 22, 2012 04:02 PM

                          Boy, you better not eat at any American coffee shops in NYC, because the American food there have been prepared by Greeks for the last 40 years. Your statement is ridiculous.

                        3. Mr Taster RE: Gormand Aug 22, 2012 06:46 AM

                          I love it when these old threads are resurrected. It's a little time warp window into our collective Chowhound consciousness.

                          The obvious answer to this question in 2012 is "the sandwich" at Roma Deli in Pasadena. But in 2004, even though the little Sicilian man with the rosy cheeks was there doing his thing as he has been for 50 years, nobody here knew the wiser (or they were keeping the secret to themselves).

                          To think of all the good years (and sandwiches) we lost.

                          Mr Taster

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Mr Taster
                            Will Owen RE: Mr Taster Aug 22, 2012 05:59 PM

                            Poor Rosario has been making sandwiches by the hundreds lately - came in to buy one the other day and he had a big pile in front of him. "Take one!" he said. "I just thought I'd make a lot this morning - I'm gettin' tired of making sandwiches all day!"

                            For those whose sub requirements call for softer rolls and stuff like lettuce and tomato, the standard sub at Claro's is my old favorite, and I still have one now and then. I go to the one in Arcadia, though there are I think five other locations. Check their website. Still $5 for the big one, $3 for the smaller.

                          2. CharlesKochel RE: Gormand Dec 15, 2012 04:43 PM

                            Cricca's on Topanga in Woodland Hills in a True sub. Stout bread, crisp and flakey. Ask for the works and a double if your feeling like midnight leftovers. Fabulous deli also with paper thin mortadella.

                            1. Servorg RE: Gormand Dec 16, 2012 09:47 AM

                              I got a kick out of Michael Connelly's latest Harry Bosh novel, "The Black Box" when Detective Bosh basically pays off a police firearms expert to work through his lunch on restoring a filed off serial number on a gun by bribing him with a sandwich from Giamela's.

                              Several other LA area restaurants are mentioned as well, one of them, (Birds on Franklin) where Detective Bosh picks up take out dinner for him and his daughter on the way home, was unknown to me before reading about it in this novel: http://www.birdshollywood.com/

                              1. b
                                Burger Boy RE: Gormand Dec 16, 2012 05:27 PM

                                DeFranko's by the Van Nuys Fly Away. Roma Deli in Pasadena but that is a very specific thing, like chef's choice at a sushi restaurant. Eagle Rock Italian Deli is better than Giamela's. Tony's on Magnolia near Victory, I think does a good job.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Burger Boy
                                  kevin RE: Burger Boy Dec 16, 2012 11:31 PM

                                  It's been a while since I've been to DeFranko's. But I remember the atmosphere being very correct.

                                  Btw, what's new on the burger scene ?

                                  1. re: Burger Boy
                                    oldusedcop RE: Burger Boy Dec 17, 2012 06:43 PM

                                    Tony's is good, but the garlic dressing can be a little strong at times. Also try having them remove the center slice of bread.

                                  2. mucho gordo RE: Gormand Dec 17, 2012 10:35 AM

                                    I haven't been there in a while but Mat and Tony's used to be #1 for me.
                                    One of the worst subs is Art's on Desoto and Ventura.

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