Finding a good sandwich in Los Angeles is a very, very hard thing to do. Unlike the East coast, this city doesn’t have tons of good sandwich places in every neighborhood–it barely has good sandwich places in the entire city. This may be one of our few complaints about the city: the lack of good, quality sandwich spots in town (or, maybe, the lack of options for good, quality sandwiches). Recently, this notion has started to change because people are creating spaces for the art of the sandwich to shine in Los Angeles. We’ve shared Fundamental’s sandwich delights and, now, want to share another: Simplethings on 3rd Street.
Simplethings markets itself as a pie and sandwiches place, which is certainly what it is. The pies are great and definitely worth a damn–but the sandwiches–the sandwiches, people: they are divinity between two slices of elaborate bread. We’ve tried a few of theirs over the course of the past few months and want to share our favorites, out of their seemingly long list of sandwiches.
The first that will jump off of the menu is their Thanksgiving sandwich, which is truly a product of New England splendor. The sandwich isn’t as heavy as you would think and is actually quite light. However, that doesn’t mean it’s a dainty take on this classic. It balances every element of Thanksgiving quite nicely, taking turkey, cranberry chutney, sage gravy, and jalepeño stuffing all together for a sophisticated romp. This was one of the first sandwiches we’ve had when visiting Simplethings and, really, it’s a surprise we’ve tried anything else because it is so, so, so good.
Two others to note are the Vegan Po Boy and the Pulled Chicken. The Vegan Po Boy is one sandwich we have not tried, but has come onto our radar after it chosen as the Best Vegan Po Boy Sandwich in Los Angeles by LA Weekly. We rarely would steer you to vegan items (no hate to vegans, meat is just delicious!); however, this is one you should bookmark.
The Pulled Chicken is great as well, rivaling that of Fundamental’s Chicken Torta. This version of the sandwich is a bit lighter, as the bread isn’t as decadent as Fundamental’s. This is ironic as the pretzel roll that the pulled chicken is on steals the spotlight…but is best suited for the made-to-order Egg Salad Sandwich.
The Egg Salad Sandwich groups soft boiled hard boiled eggs, a sundried tomato spread, and arugula together. The sandwich is, of course, quite messy like a breakfast sandwich, but prepared in a way that is a clarified, sexy version of the cafeteria classic. As mentioned with the Pulled Chicken, the pretzel bread complicates this sandwich into one of the best in the city because the pretzel bread is just so damn interesting. It’s fluffy while being quite firm and doughy while being pretzely. Imagine you’ve created a giant Auntie Anne’s pretzel and you cut off a piece and made it into a roll while also slicing the sodium saturation in half. That is the pretzel bread, one of Simplethings greatest pleasures.
Our favorite in the restaurant goes to the light-for-what-it-is sandwich, that is a take on the Southern classic: the Fried Chix. This is a fried chicken sandwich with chicken lightly breaded and topped with coleslaw and tomato on onion focaccia. The bread isn’t as magical as the pretzel bread, no, but the chicken combined with a modest spreading of coleslaw punches this sandwich out of control. You will stop at nothing to finish this sandwich and, like the Thanksgiving, will probably never order anything else at Simplethings except for this sandwich. Beware, though: they’ll try to upsell you on adding Buttermilk Bleu Cheese onto it; however, after trying it, the sandwich is fine as it is since the bleu cheese is entirely too overpowering.
Simplethings is a rare slice of East coast sandwich heaven that demands you stop in and grab anything you can. It rivals classic sandwich places like Washington, DC’s Jetties and Le Petit Corner Store, two of the best sandwich secrets in the world. When you go, grab a pie and Intelligentsia coffee while you are there as you will want to sit there and savor your sandwich as soon as it lands in your hands for hours on end.