Meatball Sub

Golf ball-size orbs of ground beef drenched in sauce and stuffed in a roll—now that’s a meal. All hail the meatball sub. 
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Photograph by Edmund Barr

1. Bay Cities Italian Deli

An impressive meat-to-roll ratio makes this a standout. Sidestep the deli line, head to the hot-food counter to order, and watch the sub get a final sprinkling of Parmesan before it’s swaddled in paper. » 1517 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-395-8279.

2. Fraîche 

On a menu rife with delicate dishes such as farro salad is a walloping meatball sub. Sharp tomato sauce and melted fontina blanket light but mighty meatballs. » 9411 Culver Blvd., Culver City, 310-839-6800.

3. Mario’s 

These meatballs are so dense that we’re tempted to call them sausages, each packed with spices. The puffy roll all but disintegrates in their presence. » 740 E. Broadway, Glendale, 818-242-4114.

4. Jar 

On “Mozzarella Mondays” you can sit at the bar and dig into this open-faced sub. Large meatballs sit atop a layer of burrata in a semolina roll. » 8225 Beverly Blvd., L.A., 323-655-8613.

Photograph by EDMUND BARR