Mendocino Farms

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES - It was a risk seven years ago to open a sandwich shop with high-quality ingredients featuring local farming Downtown, but the bet paid off. Mendocino Farms is one of the most popular lunch spots Downtown.

For serious sandwich connoisseurs, the avant garde Mendocino menu reads like a good novel. There’s no boring roast beef here, no bland tuna salad. Everyday standards include the carved steak with applewood bacon and the prosciutto with roasted chicken and honey roasted almonds. There are also rotating seasonal selections ranging from the slow braised lamb with Drake Farms goat cheese to duck confit with a balsamic roasted fig chutney to a vegan shawarma with lentil bean puree and cucumber tzatziki. There’s even a modern take on the traditional Vietnamese bahn mi sandwich that’s made with either pork belly or carved steak.

During lunch, Mendocino customers line up and place their order with a roving employee who makes sandwich creation easy, then hands the order off to the chefs behind the counter. This is a sight to see: Assembly lines aren’t known for their grace and sense of fun, but this one is like a ballet as Chef Judy Han orchestrates a team of bandana-clad masters. Even at high noon, no matter how long the line looks, it moves fast, and after one taste of your sandwich, you’ll see what the praise is all about.

Open weekdays 11 a.m.-3 p.m. The Original at 300 S. Grand Ave., (213) 620-1114 or

mendocinofarms.com. Open weekdays 11 a.m.-7:15 p.m. at 444 Flower St., (213) 627-3262. Open daily 11 a.m.-9 p.m. at 4724 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey. (310) 822-2300. For catering inquiries, email catering@MendocinoFarms.com.

Cuisine: Gourmet Sandwiches

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