Some sandwiches are mighty and meaty, the jocks of the sandwich world. Others are complex, subtly layered and sloppy — the rockers. At Proof Bakery, they are dainty and petite, like fey literature-obsessed kids. They suit the restrained but faintly decadent vibe of the Atwater Village cafe with the micro-detailed coffee and mouth-watering strata.

Proof: Salami Fennel Chive Butter Sandwich

Served only during the lunchtime window from noon to 3 p.m., the lineup varies, but the key to Proof's sandwiches is in the bread: thin, delicate baguettes with flecks of sea salt that explode like flavor bombs at every third bite. The bread is yeasty and chewy without forcing the teeth to do too much work.

With the filling, too, it's all about the details. The addition of chive butter and sweet, fried fennel crisps makes an otherwise pleasant salami sandwich taste sublime. These aren't the kind of sandwiches that flaunt their stuff like a brassy starlet, they don't burst at the seems begging to be eaten. If The Kettle's pot roast dip is the Fabio of sandwiches, Proof's beet, potato and pesto combo is Zooey Deschanel. The beets are lightly pickled, the potatoes roasted and the dab of walnut basil pesto proves, once and for all, that every vegetarian sandwich is improved by the addition of pesto.

Pair a sandwich with one of Yeekai Lim's carefully pulled cortados and a fennel-spiked biscotti or, perhaps, a creme fraiche tart sprinkled with pomegranate seeds if you're feeling truly decadent, and it would be easy to while away the afternoon in placid dissipation.

Proof Bakery: Creme Fraiche Tart with Pomegranate Seeds


Elina Shatkin is a staff writer at LA Weekly. Follow her at @elinashatkin or contact her at

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