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Best DIRTY Sandwich in LA

A lot has been written on this board about the best sandwich in LA. Yes, I do love the Godmother. I am willing to be labeled a heretic for my obsession with the Langer's Reuben (or Rachel... whatever). But sometimes I want something a little filthy, a little naughty, a lot greasy - yes - I want a DIRTY sandwich.

Below are a few of my favorites.

#1 - Torta Balderas at Metro Balderas - For sheer filth this is hard to beat. Pounded, breaded steak, jamon, a fried egg, chorizo, and.... julienned hot dog?!?! Oh yes. Add some avocado and tomato and you are most definitely in business. No 30 minute shower can get off the raw filth of this sandwich.

#2 - Sausage and Meatball - Eastside Deli - Passable Italian sausage and a very respectable meatball on a rubbery roll slathered in peppers and marinara. A Godmother it ain't - but trust me - you want to stay away from the Italian cold cut here. And don't say nobody didn't warn you about their vaunted "D.A. Special." Sausage and Meatball is the only thing to order here. But that doesn't mean you won't feel bad about it after. Very bad.

#3 Banh Mi Dac Biet at Buu Dien - This is the only banh mi I know of where the bottom of the sandwich drips out a glorious, industrial-looking sludge of mayo and fish sauce every time. Not the clear fish sauce. The grey stuff. That smell won't come of your fingers for days.

#4 Bacon Cheeseburger - Patra Burger. I know it's bad but I keep coming back for more. I've had relationships like this and they always end badly. This is the epitome of the nasty diner burger - a frozen patty topped with shredded lettuce and a thousand-island type sauce. Cheap, dirty and served with fries. I've had relationships like that too.....

Et tu Los Angeles?

Eastside Market
1013 Alpine St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Buu Dien
642 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Patra Burgers On Sunset
1524 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026

Metro Balderas Restaurant
12727 Sherman Way, North Hollywood, CA 91605

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  1. A pulled pork or brisket sandwich from Bludso's, are good and messy!!

    1. Is there anything dirtier than a Tommy burger?

      6 Replies
      1. re: scottca075

        No there isn't. I need at least a dozen or more napkins at Tommy's.

        Tommy's Original World Famous Hamburgers
        14601 Victory Blvd, Van Nuys, CA 91411

        1. re: wienermobile

          How about a pastrami sandwich from Johnny's on Adams? Not Johnnie's on Sepulveda in Culver City. The place on Adams is 24 hour and while I've never had any problems some people are leery of the area. It's a couple of blocks east of Crenshaw on Adams. The sandwich (ask for the "pastrami dip") has a humongous amount of meat cooked in broth in a roll with pack of pickle (pretty nice one or two) and some of those yellow peppers. It's under 9 bucks (a bargain). http://www.johnnyspastrami.com/Site/w...

          1. re: Feed_me

            I had an excellent burger there once, and it's only after I had paid for it I saw another customer with the pastrami sandwich. It looked magnificent, and for the record, I don't even like pastrami. Next time I am ravenous in this area, I'll try it.

          2. re: wienermobile

            To taste the real traditional/historical L.A. urban vibe of Tommy's (as well as the chili, which you'll be tasting for at least the next day or two) you need to go to the original site at Beverly & Rampart.

          3. I'm with you on Eastside Market Deli, but I can't get past the dipped hot roast beef and pastrami, served with cheese and soft peppers. Very unusual for me to find a sandwich I usually can't finish.

            Eastside Market
            1013 Alpine St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

            2 Replies
            1. re: nosh

              Plus one. Love the roast beef and pastrami. Isn't it the number 7?

              1. re: Bruin2

                It is the #7, my favorite. When I used to work just up the street from there I would go there on a rainy day(makes me more hungry-dont know why) and get 2 #7's with some pepronicini peppers and hog out . The best.

            2. I'd never heard of Patra Burgers before...so thanks for that. I found a menu for them online and added it to the place link. Very cool sounding place...

              6 Replies
                1. re: nosh

                  I'm not sure...and when I went back I found out that I can't access any of the food parts of the menu..only the cover shot. Damn I hate when I find that out AFTER posting! And Sporq seems to have gone under as a site, since I get a file not found or some such when trying to get to any of their menus now a days.

                  1. re: Servorg

                    I'm getting it by clicking on the Patra's link in the OP and then the "See Menu" link. Cover page and sections working for me -- but I'd be very happily surprised if the prices are still accurate. Still -- rather have old prices than none.

                    1. re: Servorg

                      and when I went back I found out that I can't access any of the food parts of the menu..only the cover shot.
                      that's because they've changed their website (and menu) since appearing on season 2 of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution.

                      here's the new site, click the "Menu" link on the left.

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        Thanks so much GHG. I added the website and the menu to the place link.

                        1. re: Servorg

                          always happy to help...i should have thought to update the place link - you're so good about that!

                2. It didn't make the cut for J. Gold's list of favorite Ahogada sandwiches, but I like the one at Cook's Tortas.

                  Cook's Tortas
                  1944 S Atlantic Blvd, Monterey Park, CA 91754

                  1. Filthy, naughty, greasy, but delicious? Look that up in the dictionary, and you'll see a picture of the original Oki Dog: Flour tortilla filled with two dogs, pastrami, chili, cabbage if you want it, and cheese. I have struck a deal with the wife and cardiologist that I get to have one a year, but only after a UCLA victory!

                    Oki Dog
                    5056 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Bruin2

                      "I have struck a deal with the wife and cardiologist that I get to have one a year, but only after a UCLA victory!"

                      I'm sure that the basketball team will deliver for you with at least one... ;-D>

                      1. re: Bruin2

                        How could I forget the Oki dog? Don't get much dirtier than that.

                      2. The Roast Beef Dip at the The Hat, with extra gravy.


                        3 Replies
                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          Nice. Pastrami Chili Cheese Fries with that?

                          1. re: wienermobile

                            Only if I bring a defibrillator with me.

                          2. Almost any sandwich at Moscow Deli would satisfy your drip quotient. I am partial to the Odessa.

                            Moscow Deli
                            3015 Harbor Blvd, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

                            1. I practically need a rain pancho and dropcloth to eat the cemita milanese at Don Adrian. I once made the mistake of eating one in the car and the resulting cleanup was horrific. So good, though . . .

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Peripatetic

                                That is one great sandwich and by far my favorite cemita poblana at Don Adrian.

                                Taqueria Don Adrian
                                14902 Victory Blvd, Van Nuys, CA 91411

                              2. How about a 4x4 "Animal-style" from In and Out? (It's a hamburger sandwich.)

                                1. For a dirty sammie, check out one of the gut busting "Fat Sandwiches" at Fat Sal's deli in Westwood:

                                  Fat Sal's Deli

                                  972 Gayley Ave

                                  Los Angeles

                                  310 208-5070




                                  1. Rinaldi's on Main Street in El Segundo reminds me of this topic. A fair amount of their sandwiches fall in this category - most are overly generous on number and amounts of ingredients. My regular sloppy sandwich there is The Godfather.


                                    1. For me, nothing beats the Westwood at Nate n' Als. It's just a turkey sandwich on rye with coleslaw and thousand island dressing, but if you ask them to substitute the 1,000 island dressing with their house dressing (the one they use on the chef salad), it's the messiest, most delicious, most wonderful, and probably most incredibly fattening thing in this city.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: yogachik

                                        What is Nate & Al's "house dressing" a ranch style dressing? Italian style? Nate & Al's is one of the few delis I haven't tried in LA. Looking forward to going, since I've heard good things.

                                        1. re: reality check

                                          It's a russian dressing - sort of like their 1,000 Island (which is also made there), but without the relish. It has a lot of garlic and yet is sweet (probably a lot of sugar). It's a pink, mayo-based, dressing.

                                      2. If you're ever in OC, try the authentic, Chicago-style Italian Beef dipped sandwich with giardiniara relish at Portillo's in Buena Park (the only local branch of the Chi-based hot dog chain).

                                        1. If you ever feel like getting dirty in the Santa Clarita Valley (and why wouldn't you?there is little else to do) I love the hot salami sandwich at Maria's Deli on Lyon's Avenue. Cold sandwich, spicy salami. I find it messy, but that may be more about the number of beers I've had then the actual sandwich.

                                          Maria's Italian-American Deli
                                          22620 Lyons Ave, Newhall, CA 91321

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: LA Buckeye Fan

                                            When I'm in that vicinity and want something my doctor would consider utterly unacceptable, I can't help falling into the Way Station and getting some mess of sausage, hash browns, gravy and eggs. But I will keep Maria's in mind, thanks!

                                            1. re: Will Owen

                                              My pleasure, Will. Mmmm...Way Station hash browns.

                                              1. re: LA Buckeye Fan

                                                Yeah … what's with that place? Half their stuff comes out of Smart & Final cartons, I don't think anything is fresh but the salad greens and the eggs, but it all works. For me, anyway. And those amazing fluffy hashbrowns, yessss …

                                          2. Vegetarian sandwich from Cafe Tropical is a yummy drippy mess. Want meat? I recommend the turkey.

                                            Cafe Tropical
                                            2900 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA