The sandwiches at Eastside Deli aren't pretty but they get the job done — that task being the ending of hunger one belly at a time. No artisan breads, no chopped fresh basil leaves or choice of mustards — just big ol' minisubs of, say, mortadella, capicollo or turkey, with provolone and shredded iceberg on a French roll. And served for $6.90 a pop in record time by cutters who don't skimp on the meat or act like you've just asked them to jump your car battery. The Eastside Deli's been around since 1929 and from the outside today looks like a slightly jumped-up corner market. Inside, however, cop plaques, photos of Vin Scully and the Rat Pack line the walls as animated chatter at wooden tables bounces off the concrete floor and ceiling beams. The place is dark, cooled by ceiling fans and packed at lunchtime with law enforcement and emergency types, who tend to favor Eastside's gigantic hot sausage sandwiches, or maybe the hot roast beef and pastrami. 1013 Alpine St., between Echo Park and Chinatown. (213) 250-2464 or (800) 964-2464.

—Steven Mikulan

LA Weekly