Sunday, March 8, 2009

Can the Best Sandwich Really Exist in the West? @ Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery (Santa Monica)

For many years I have heard that the westside has a deli that carried the best sandwiches in all of L.A. This was a little Italian mart that carried many of the imported specialty items, groceries, and other prepared deli meats to take home for that wine tastings or for that perfect sandwich you had been meaning to create.

I guess this place will always be crowded in the weekend at all hours considering the private security guard doubles as traffic controller for their tiny parking lot. You might need to look around for other street parking in this part of the town, especially on weekends.

Walking through the door, I can almost immediately knew that the place was packed like sardines in a can and getting inside to the deli sections where the sandwiches and other hot items (pasta, meatballs, or hot plated items) will be an ordeal because of the sea of masses of people congregated in front of the counter hoping their numbers get to be called.

There was an intriguing part after a 40 minutes wait for my ticket to be call (yeah, I'm not fibbing about the long wait for a simple order or deli sandwiches). Apparently some joker who was a big fan of these sandwiches decided to come up with a sinister plan of buying a roll of ticket that is similar to what the deli was using. My guess was that he/she was tired of waiting for his/her turn to order her items, instead conveniently would have some forged tickets ready to cut in line. I only found this out when the guy behind the deli counter had to examine my ticket to make sure it's the same ticket that they have (small prints of the deli's name on the back perhaps? or some watermarks?).

I guess the sandwiches was that good for some bastards to hatch up that scheme.

The sandwiches that have gotten the raves from many of the die-hards of this deli was a sandwich aptly called the "Godmother". Quite proclaimed as the end all to be all in the land of the sandwiches. This particular sandwich had the ingredients of genoa salami, mortadella, coppacola, ham, prosciutto, and provolone cheese to complete the set with no substitutions on this order. I also put in the "works" where included all of the condiments of mayo, mustard (yellow, honey or dijon), onions, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, Italian dressing & mild or hot pepper salad.

The Godmother with "the works" ($8)

Usually you can order the basic sandwich of bread, cheese, meat, and condiments to your liking. It would started off in the $4 range and goes up quite a bit with each ingredients added on. So, my preference would have been getting one of their creations as it was much cheaper in the long run and the right combination of cheese and meat seemed to be a big deal.

Speaking of which, I decided to also order a large order of Parma/Hamon Serrano sandwich which I decided to get it with a provolone cheese. However, the deli person talked me out of that cheese and recommended a different cheese. He was nice enough to give me test taste with a small piece of bread with sample of the cheese and parma serrano ham on it. I have to hand it to him, he was correct with the choice of the cheese to go along with that ham. Darn it, I wished I remembered the name of that cheese. It went very well with the parma serrano ham.

Parma/Hamon Serrano ($11.55)

I do enjoy both of the sandwiches that Bay Cities deli have proudly carried in their place as the two of the most popular sandwiches propped by their supporters. The sandwiches are well executed to the precisions in that the flavors of the meat and cheese were fresh. More importantly, the preset sandwiches of the combination of the meat, cheese, condiments, and bread all worked out well.

I can easily conclude that the parma serrano sandwich was one of the better ones I ever had. Was it the best in this town? Probably not, but it's right up there. I'll come up with the review for the best deli sandwich very soon.

Of course I probably need to consult with the crazy guy who was able to counterfeit the tickets so that I can cut in line. Oh, in a weird universe, I did had a celebrity sighting in that place when a former "The View" talk show host was in front of me by a few number to get her sandwich fix.

No, it's not Rosie O'Donnell. Think Asian.

Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery
1517 Lincoln Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 395-8279


Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery on Urbanspoon


Mike said...

When I finally scoot my foodie butt over here I'll do what the regulars do. Call my order in an pick it up. I do see the draw however with fighting the crowds for your very first time. It's like "earning your stripes" first.

I don't understand how someone could get away with buying a roll of tickets. Wouldn't that get confusing when they called a number and two people responded? Or suspicious when it was the SAME guy responding as one of the duplicate numbers?

Right Way to Eat said...

Hey Mike,

Yeah, that was the bizarre and never explained thing about the ticket fiasco. One of the counter guy told me that they didn't know about the counterfeit ticket until some lady earlier in the day got the same ticket. It was only until the guy left when they discovered the fake ticket.

To me, to go through the hassle and "buying" an extra prop just to cut in line tells me that cheater loves the place.

I guess it was that good for the guy to come up with that scheme! LOL

Unknown said...

Mmmmmm...I can't help it, I just love sandwiches so much! Those look delicious, and it's cool that he gave you the cheese recommendation; seems like they know their sandwiches!

Have you ever been to Schlotzsky's? Sooo good...they just introduced their three new Big League Clubz sandwiches (Beef n' Bacon seems to be the popular choice) as part of their baseball-themed sweepstakes and promotion (check out You can win all kinds of cool baseball stuff and even a trip to St. Louis in July. Contest ends 5/31/09 so check it out! Pretty sweeeeeet, and I don't know how you'd "cut in line" on this one, haha.

Thanks for the post, I'm intrigued!


Right Way to Eat said...

Hey Sam,

Hope you do check out Bay Cities. Thanks for the tip on Schlotzsky's!

Diana said...

I can't believe that was your first time at Bay Cities! I'm shocked and appalled! And even more appalled that you got me all excited about the Hamon sandwich and you can't remember the cheese!! You're killing me here! ;)

Right Way to Eat said...

Hey D,

I got schooled by the guy behind the counter. He pretty much shucks me off when I told him I wanted provolone cheese with that parma serrano sandwich. He muttered something and said he can find a better cheese than that to go along with that serrano ham. My gosh, he was right and I was too embarrassed to ask him to repeat the name of that sandwich. Hahaha.

Yes, i was belittled. Ha!

Anonymous said...

It was prolly mozzarella cheese i too ordered it with prov but he told me it goes better with mozzarella at home i spread some fig spread it gives it a unique taste the sweet mixed the saltiness an cheesiness.