Mendocino Farms has been making some of LA’s favorite sandwiches since it opened its first sandwich shop on Bunker Hill in 2005. Since then Mendo has opened 15 more locations in Southern California, with four more coming soon, including two in Northern California. The menu, which changes seasonally, currently includes 21 sandwiches. We tried them all, because ranking bougie sandwiches from best to worst based on no clear criteria keeps the dream of the Internet alive for all of us.
1. The Hot Italian
Mendo’s Hot Italian is made with caramelized salami, honey ham, provolone, hot giardiniera, and herb aoli, all on Panini-pressed ciabatta bread. It’s crispy on the outside, and all the fresh, salty, pickled, meaty flavors melt together on the inside. It’s the most underrated sandwich on the menu.
2. Peruvian Steak Sandwich
The juicy steak is marinated in a spicy Peruvian aji and it’s topped with Oaxacan cheese. Those Peruvian and Mexican flavors go well together. You have to eat this sandwich leaning over the table so you don’t get aji steak drippings all over your clothes.
3. Kurobuta Pork Belly Banh Mi
This is the sandwich that put Mendo’s on the map, and deservedly so. It has a perfect combination of salty, tangy, savory, sour, and umami.
4. House-Smoked Summer Cubano (Seasonal)
There are two new house smoked sandwiches on their summer seasonal menu, and when Mendo’s says smoked, they mean it. They slowly smoke the meat in their DTLA smokehouse. This smoky Cubano comes with tender, juicy smoked pork and is covered in cheese, mojo sauce, jalapeño mayo, and housemade pickles.
5. K-Town BBQ Steak Sandwich
All the flavors of KBBQ in a convenient sandwich form.
6. Steak BLT on Pretzel
You can put anything on pretzel bread, and it’s going to be good. The president’s next spokesman should just be pretzel bread. Instant +15% popularity.
7. A Sandwich Study of Heat
This one is specifically for heat lovers, so if you’re not into that, skip to the next one. The Study of Heat allows you to test your heat tolerance. It’s a turkey sandwich that comes with chili aoli and jalapeño relish on the side. Pour it all on, and make sure you have a cold beverage nearby.
8. House-Smoked Chicken Street Corn Torta (Seasonal)
You know that feeling when you get a craving for super cheesy elote. Mendo’s street corn torta will satisfy that craving. This sandwich is bursting (literally — look at that thing) with grilled corn, cojita cheese, and smoked chicken.
9. Billionaire’s Heirloom BLT (Seasonal)
These heirloom tomatoes are muah.
10. “Not So Fried” Mary’s Chicken
Sure, it’s not fried (hence the name) but this sandwich has the elements of a bomb chicken sandwich minus the fried chicken calories.
11. Prosciutto and Mary’s Chicken
There are little chunks of honey-roasted almonds in this sandwich that are a perfect complement to the salty prosciutto.
12. Green Goddess Turkey Avocado Toast
The rare non-basic version of avocado toast!
13. Vegan Banh Mi
This is the best vegan sandwich on the menu. It’s made with tofu instead of pork. This has all the umami flavors of a banh mi without the heaviness of pork.
14. BBQ Tempeh Picnic Sandwich
Tempeh bacon will never come close to actual bacon. With that being said, the BBQ glaze will have you thinking about summer picnics.
15. Modern Tuna “Almost Melt”
The lone pescatarian menu item is not your average canned Bumblebee tuna melt. It’s a better, fresher version of that.
16. Vegan Billionaire’s Heirloom TLT
FYI, the first T stands for tempeh bacon. Although the vegan BLT is not quite the same without the B, it’s still a tasty meatless option.
A fine sandwich, but we really want the inside of the sandwich to be a big salad instead.
18. Chicken MBT
Chicken, fresh mozzarella, aromatic basil pesto, and tomato. Another sandwich that would also be an amazing salad.
19. The Farm Club
Tastes good but might not blow you away. A club sandwich by any other name still tastes like a club sandwich.
20. Vegan Goddess Avocado Toast
Avo toast is always a good choice, but there are much more exciting options on the menu.
21. Enlightened Falafel
Hi, Mendo. Know you put a lot of thought into these sammies, but: Can we substitute this baked falafel for fried instead?
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