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Nov 7, 2011 11:36 AM

Great Tuna Melt!

… at the Colonial Kitchen in San Marino, of all places. Most of what I've gotten there in I think five visits has been good, some things very good, but this was the first thing that's been the best I can remember anywhere. We had some family business in SM on Saturday, with Mrs. O's brother and mom, so we took the occasion to stop in here for lunch. The Eggbeaters green-chile omelet, the corned-beef and Swiss sandwich and the French Dip were all satisfactory, but this sandwich! I picked it because I didn't want anything too heavy, and I hadn't had one of those for a while, and was not expecting anything spectacular. But the buttery grilled sourdough was crisp and tender, and the tuna salad filling had the exactly perfect balance of tuna and other stuff, which included some chopped egg - not sloppy, but not dry, either, so it neither drooled onto the plate nor was in the least bit chewy. Rounding out this splendid meal was the best potato salad I've had that I didn't make: obviously hand-cut, perfectly done potato, good mayonnaise and just a hint of pickle, maybe some onion. Nothing fancy in the least, but perfectly executed; even better than Pie'n'Burger's. $8.45 is the tab for sandwich, potato salad or fries, and an okay pickle spear. The iced tea is a tad expensive, but bottomless and very good.

A while later we were at the Autry Museum and ran into WildSwede, whom I know to be a tuna-melt freak, so I think we ought to be hearing from her before too long …

Colonial Kitchen Restaurant
1110 Huntington Dr, San Marino, CA 91108

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  1. ;-) I will definitely be going and trying it soon! It was great seeing you guys!

    2 Replies
    1. re: WildSwede

      Hamburger Hamlet had a great tuna melt. I may have to go to the Sunset Blvd. location before it closes early December.

      1. re: maudies5

        I am kinda not going to HH in protest that they stopped making my fave, The Hotsburger. The one time I went after they stopped offering it (I was unaware of this) they told me they could still make it, and did, although it was not the same. Also, they charged me something like $17 for it. No more!

    2. Talleyrand in Burbank has shockingly good sandwiches, tuna melts. Yes, it's like stepping into 1959, but it's very popular -- for a reason!!

      1. Jan's on Beverly Blvd near LaCienega has a really good tuna melt. I have always enjoyed. I don't like a lot of things in my tuna, and they just put mayo and a little celery. Served with coleslaw, pickle and fries. They have some other good food, and their portion are worth the money.

        1 Reply
        1. re: paprkutr

          I haven't been to Jan's in decades and don't recall having their tuna melt but I've no doubt it is as good as the other dishes I've had there: their chili and hamburger royale were superb.

        2. Thank you Will for this recommendation! I love tuna melts and have been searching for a selection of places to get my fix. Your experience sounds great and I will certainly give Colonial Kitchen a shot.
          Speaking of tuna melts, I remember Larry Parkers off of Beverly having a great one called the Michael Jackson... juicy, grilled to perfection on sourdough with melted cheese to top it all off. They're closed now but I still have wonderful memories of that sandwich.

          Colonial Kitchen Restaurant
          1110 Huntington Dr, San Marino, CA 91108

          1. I have enjoyed the tuna melt at The Artisan Cheese Gallery several times.

            ITALIAN TUNA MELT - Imported Italian Tuna, Double Crème Gouda, Grilled Artichoke Hearts, Capers, Aioli on Ciabattina, 12.00.

            Artisan Cheese Gallery
            12023 Ventura Blvd, Studio City, CA

            2 Replies
            1. re: Dogbite Williams

              Oooooo, that sounds wonderful.
              I get cravings for a good tuna melt and usually can just make a good one at home. I also like tuna melts on rye bread. So, when there's no rye bread in my basket, I go to Farmer Boys. I ask them to put on tomato and lettuce and change the yellow cheese to Provolone (aka "white cheese" there). As with any chain restaurant, you have to get a location with a good cook there. Murrieta, CA is very good at this time.

              1. re: Dogbite Williams

                that sounds godly....and very doable at home.