Cold soups, sushi, and ceviche are surefire ways to catch a breather from the intense heat we’ve experienced the past few days. When it’s triple-digit weather outside, the thought of hulking carnitas burritos or double-decker sandwiches don’t offer the right sort of relief that they normally do. At Andrew’s Cheese Shop, though, substantial yet refreshing sandwiches remain viable options. Take their house cured salmon sandwich, for instance. It’s an item that’s been around for five years, yes, but it gains newfound respect in our current quest to eat while also minimizing sweat stains.
Few may know that the foundation of this sandwich begins with a recipe originally designed by Bucato chef Evan Funke. “He’s an old pal of mine,” says owner Andrew Steiner. “Rustic Canyon is the first restaurant we sold cheese to, and Evan was still working their kitchen when he began helping me out.” Using farm-raised Scottish salmon, Steiner cures the fish for 48 hours in a mixture of salt, sugar, black pepper, and dill. The salmon is hand-cut and a bit thicker than, say, Wexler’s, and holds its own as it’s layered between a crisp French baguette supplied from B1 Breadshop in Boyle Heights. “I really like to sink my teeth into something and feel the texture of the fish,” says Steiner.
An in-house pesto spread is made from roasted pine nuts, fresh basil leaves, garlic, and two cheeses: an extra salty Pecorino Romano from Sardinia and aged 30-month-old Parmigiano-Reggiano. Normally he wouldn’t recommend this particular Pecorino to eat by itself, but the extra salt content brings out a lot of flavor.
The inclusion of Vermont Creamery creme fraiche is Steiner’s small nod to his New York roots and A Sunday tradition of eating bagels and lox from H&H. Smooth, luscious, tangy, and citrusy, the creme fraiche is rich without overpowering the salmon. Steiner tops it off with sliced red onions, capers, and roasted red peppers, a smokier substitute in place of tomato. “If I were to add tomato it’d just get too messy and juicy. On a bagel, it’s a whole different story,” he laughs.
Considering the various bold flavors, the sandwich is light and slightly acidic, a perfect counterpart for a summer session beer.
Andrew’s Cheese Shop, 728 Montana Ave., Santa Monica, 310-393-3308