Leading up to this year's Best of L.A. issue (due out Oct. 4), we'll be counting down, in no particular order, 100 of our favorite dishes.
61: Going Dutch Panini at Bread Lounge.
There are people who might tell you that all panini are created equal. That putting some bread, meat and cheese inside a hot sandwich press will always yield the same result. These people have not tried the Going Dutch panini at Bread Lounge..
The bread is a country-style loaf perfected by owner Ran Zimon, who used to head up the baking program at Lucques. Before going on the griddle, the slices are slathered in butter, which helps them develop a satisfying crunch. It's not the kind of crust that cuts the roof of your mouth, nor is it the kind that collapses into mush -- it is, by almost any metric, perfectly toasted, which probably speaks more highly of the bread than of the panini press.
Inside are slices of roast turkey, smoked Gouda cheese and a bright red homemade sun-dried tomato pesto. The cheese becomes ooey-gooey, the pesto provides an earthy flavor, and the turkey pulls apart into tender bites. Pair that with a simple salad of baby greens and a house-cured kosher pickle and you have a lunch of pure, delicious simplicity.
Check out the rest of our 100 of our favorite dishes. Suggestion? Write us a comment.
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