At this stage of human advancement, it seems like we should have transcended the third slice of bread, the carby interloper that gives the club sandwich its identity and its needless heft. Any element that stands between our mouth and bacon is a problem.
With their Kobb Salad sandwich, Kokomo Cafe, once located at the Original Farmers Market and now in a more swank locale on Beverly Boulevard, makes a valiant try to redeem the third slice. They do far better than most. In fact, they almost succeed.
If you're the sort who must be compelled to eat raw greens (that wouldn't be us), the Kobb Salad sandwich is your ticket. Sure it has all the elements of a Cobb salad, but here, "salad" is a euphemistic descriptor not a statement of fact, sort of like the beef in a Taco Bell taco. Between three thick slices of dense, white bread are tomato slices, large lettuce leaves, not too much blue cheese, flayed and smashed hardboiled eggs, avocado, slabs of thoroughly grilled chicken breast and slices of thick, smokey, honey-tinged bacon. The bacon is both a blessing and a curse. Blessing because it's bacon and, therefore, the best thing on the sandwich. Curse, because it's bacon and, therefore, the best thing on the sandwich.
No matter how good everything else tastes, Kokomo's bacon -- and it is delicious -- makes us want to rip out the superfluous slice and return to a simpler era, or at least a simpler sandwich. It's something of an existential dilemma: The experience of being with Kokomo's bacon is also learning to be without Kokomo's bacon.
We're quite fond of Kokomo's catfish and eggs for breakfast, but when it comes to the marriage of bacon, lettuce and tomato, let no impediment be admitted.
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Elina Shatkin is a staff writer at LA Weekly. Follow her at @elinashatkin or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.