Behind Every Great Sandwich...
...is a great bread. No doubt. Making a great sandwich takes more of a managerial approach rather than a cooking one because it only requires that you assemble a group of ingredients rather than "cooking" the sandwich. This means keeping an critical eye for the best ingredients and controlling the quality of the end product, the great sandwich.
Of course pressing a sandwich in a panini grill is cooking but most of the work is still in assembling. If you take a pile of crappy ingredients and put it between two slices of crappy bread and then press that into a panini it's still gonna be a crappy sandwich, although one with a great texture.
There is one bread in LA that is one of the best candidates for a great sandwich. There are others I'm sure, from the great artisanal La Brea Bakery to hole in the walls to haute boulangeries... but this one has always won my heart over. Even taking it home from the store without practically putting my face into the long paper bag that cradles it for a deep whiff of a fresh bread high is difficult.
This is the Bay Cities loaf. Everytime I've stopped by there, mostly between mid-morning and noon, there are fresh loaves of bread still warm from the oven, intoxicating passerbys with its delicious scent. Everyone knows how difficult it is to get a sandwich at Bay Cities. It takes about 45 minutes or more to get a sandwich during the weekend lunch time. It's a great feat if you can wait it out with the hunger pains and constant checking of time elapsed. But if you get a small container of their ultra creamy tender bococcinis, a jar of sun-dried tomatoes, and a loaf of their still warm bread that will be excellent pocket for the cheese, tomato and the tomato infused olive oil, you will be able to hold out til your sandwich is ready.
This time I thought why go through the trouble of standing and waiting for eternity when I can make a similar sandwich at home with their excellent bread, which is one of the biggest reasons their sandwiches are such a huge success. I stacked up dry salami, red onion, arugula, Bay Cities bococcini into the super fluffy beautifully thin crusted bread. With a pile of pepperoncinis on the side I was pretty happy with the substitute.
1517 Lincoln Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401-2776