America's Top 10 Regional Sandwiches, as Interpreted by L.A.

Po' boy at the Little Jewel of New Orleans
Po' boy at the Little Jewel of New Orleans
The Little Jewel of New Orleans

New Orleans-Style Po' Boy: The Little Jewel of New Orleans

The Little Jewel of New Orleans is the closest you can get in L.A. to the Big Easy; its owner is a native Louisianan, its bread is flown in fresh from just outside the French Quarter, and its po' boys nail down every element that distinguishes the sandwich as a venerated delicacy. Dressed in proper proportion with pickles, tomatoes, shredded lettuce and spiced mayo, the cornmeal-crusted oyster po' boy is the real deal. Topped with creole seasoning and Crystal hot sauce, every mouthful guarantees equal parts spice, brine and creamy sweetness. And the textural variations are mind-blowing. The grit of the cornmeal crust and silkiness of the underlying oysters are balanced by the crunch of the lettuce and the optimal chewiness of the fresh-baked baguette. The good times, on a roll. 207 Ord St., Chinatown; (213) 620-0461,

Beef on weck at Top Round Roast BeefEXPAND
Beef on weck at Top Round Roast Beef
Top Round Roast Beef

Buffalo-Style Beef on Weck: Top Round Roast Beef

Known for Arctic-like winters and sports teams that seldom seem any hotter, Buffalo, New York, is home to a fair share of pain. As a coping mechanism, residents have developed some legendary dishes, for which we all owe them a debt of gratitude. Though every American is acutely aware of the city's trademark wings, far fewer of us are acquainted with Buffalo's other culinary contribution: the beef on weck. Thinly sliced, rare roast beef with horseradish and a touch of au jus are stuffed inside a salted kummelweck roll. Top Round Roast Beef's $6.25 version drives the heartiness of the meat and its juices into a collision with salt and spice, both from the pungent house-made horseradish and the caraway seeds adorning the weck. 1000 S. La Brea Ave, Mid-Wilshire; (323) 549-9445,

New England–style lobster roll at Nelson'sEXPAND
New England–style lobster roll at Nelson's
Kevin Reid

New England–Style Lobster Roll: Nelson’s

If you're craving a lobster roll outside of New England, it had best be left to a professional. Although its list of ingredients is short and simple, the lobster roll is hard to pull off: The lobster must be fresh, the dose of mayonnaise must not overwhelm, the bun must hold up. At Nelson's, perched atop the majestic Pacific bluffs of Rancho Palos Verdes, all of those potential pitfalls become selling points. At its core, the sandwich offers copious hunks of fresh crustacean flown in from Maine. It's sensibly dressed in a light bath of mayo, negotiating a slightly creamy sweetness with the subtle tones of the seafood. Rather than abandoning this delicate dance in a deluge of celery, the chef opts for a wisp of chopped parsley. An eight-inch bun is soft on the inside, sturdy throughout, a well-conceived delivery mechanism. With as generous a portion of lobster as you're ever likely to receive, the sandwich — plated with a side of crunchy fries — warrants its $24 price tag. And that doesn't even factor in the sweeping panorama, served tableside. 100 Terranea Way, Rancho Palos Verdes; (310) 265-2702,

Italian beef at Taste ChicagoEXPAND
Italian beef at Taste Chicago
Taste Chicago

Chicago-Style Italian Beef: Taste Chicago

Those Chicagoans will put the darnedest things between their bread. They insist on adding a salad bar's worth of toppings to their hot dogs, and when it comes to their famous Italian beef, they stud their native sandwich with pickled carrots, celery, even cauliflower. But these toppings are a mere afterthought to what lies beneath: thinly sliced, slow-roasted beef drenched in its own peppery juices. It's not unlike our own French dip, save for the Italian-style roll and those wacky pickled veggies. For the most authentic re-creation in town, head to Burbank, where the toughest decision you'll have to make is whether to go with sweet or hot peppers on this $8.50 gutbuster. 603 N. Hollywood Way, Burbank; (818) 563-2800,

Pepper steak at Boo's Philly Cheesesteaks
Pepper steak at Boo's Philly Cheesesteaks
Boo's Philly Cheesesteaks

Philly-Style Cheesesteak: Boo’s Philly Cheesesteaks and Hoagies

Few cities are audacious enough to call Velveeta a delicacy. Enter Philadelphia, a place that doesn't give a shit what you think. For as long as Kraft has been misspelling the word, Philly has been dishing out its staple sandwich of sliced, top round steak blanketed under a thick molten film of yellow-dyed cheese product. And in defiance of all reason, it's delicious. The only contentious issue is whether you'll take yours with onions, peppers and/or mushrooms. In any event, Boo's has got your back. The hip Silver Lake "hoagie" shop prides itself on sourcing all ingredients from the City of Brotherly Love. That includes deli meats and the inimitable Amoroso roll that your friends from Philly won't ever shut up about. It sponges up ample loads of meat grease and velvety cheese while somehow maintaining its integrity. Good luck doing the same after devouring Boo's $10 pepper steak. 4501 Fountain Ave., East Hollywood; (213) 661-1955,

A proper Jewish deli sandwich at Wexler'sEXPAND
A proper Jewish deli sandwich at Wexler's
Brad Japhe

New York–Style Jewish Deli: Wexler’s Deli

Finally we arrive at what is surely the most contentious category of them all. New Yorkers take their delis as seriously as they do everything else. When it comes to the Jewish variety, defined by kosher meats such as pastrami and corned beef, oversized sour pickles and fresh-baked rye bread, our East Coast counterparts scoff at the reputable replicants that have become institutions across Los Angeles. Let them. The more they sneer, the less likely they are to lengthen the queue at Wexler's on their next West Coast sojourn. The highly hyped spot in Grand Central Market cures its pastrami on-site, hand-cutting it thick and warm onto specially made rye coated with a layer of spicy brown mustard. Bonus authenticity points for washing it down with a Dr. Brown's soda. 317 S. Broadway, downtown; (213) 624-2378,

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Use Current Location

Related Locations

Wexler's Deli

317 S. Broadway
Los Angeles, CA 90013


Little Jewel

207 Ord St.
Chinatown, Los Angeles, CA 90012


Bludso's Bar-&-Que

609 N. La Brea Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036


Terranea Resort

100 Terranea Way
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275


Salt's Cure

1155 N. Highland Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038


Boneyard Bistro

13539 Ventura Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423


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