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.
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.
- Day 27: Pot Roast Dip at The Kettle
- Day 26: The Farmer at Daily Dose
- Day 25: Breakfast Sandwich at Eggslut
- Day 24: Pastrami at Brent's Deli
- Day 23: Cook's Tortas
- Day 22: Al Pastor at King Torta
- Day 21: Brisket at Gjelina
- Day 20: Banh Mi at Spice Table
- Day 19: Tonkatsu Sandwich at Wako Donkasu
- Day 18: Panini at Angeli Caffe
- Day 17: ink.sack
- Day 16: Tuna Salad at Luca's Fresh Bites
- Day 15: PBJ at Joan's on Third
- Day 14: Larder at Maple Drive
- Day 13: Hot Mamma Pastrama Locali
- Day 12: Pastrami at Langer's vs. Oinkster
- Day 11: The Hat vs. Johnnie's Pastrami
- Day 10: Open-Faced Turkey Sandwich at Pann's
- Day 9: Po'boys at The Gumbo Pot
- Day 8: Waffle Sandwich at Shaky Alibi
- Day 7: Kobb Salad Sandwich at Kokomo
- Day 6: Sotto's Porcetto Sandwich
- Day 5: Attari Sandwich Shop
- Day 4: Godmother Sub at Bay Cities Deli
- Day 3: True Food Kitchen
- Day 2: Porchetta at Mozza2Go
- Day 1: Cole's vs. Philippe's
Elina Shatkin is a staff writer at LA Weekly. Follow her at @elinashatkin or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.