Sandwiches. Perhaps mankind’s simplest yet greatest culinary achievement, sandwiches are as ubiquitous as air. Knowing this, the South Bay is home to some restaurants that do some great things between two slices of bread. Whether you’re a lifelong resident or an incoming visitor, here’s an idea of what distinct South Bay sandwiches, subs, and burgers you ought to try next lunchtime.
1. Memphis Burger
(Joey’s Smokin’ BBQ, Torrance, CA)
In this absurd marriage of a pulled pork sandwich and a hamburger, you will find yourself very, very full. Joey’s Smokin BBQ in Torrance, at the very edge of Rancho Palos Verdes, offers a full range of BBQ options but it’s the Memphis Burger that stands out for its audacity. If having one type of meat in your sandwich seems pedestrian, and if you want to enjoy the sensations of sweet pork and smoky ground beef at the same time, this is pretty much the only game for miles. A time saver for the person that would normally eat two sandwiches separately, I suppose.
(The Original Rinaldi’s, Manhattan Beach, CA)
Rinaldi’s is as special a sandwich place as you can get in the South Bay. The tiny, popular spot uses Boar’s Head brand deli meat, and among their dizzying plethora of sandwich options lies the Iron Man, a hot chicken-and-turkey sub stands out. Think of it as a poultry-based version of the aforementioned Memphis Burger. The marinara sauce and cheddar gives the sandwich a calzone-like taste at first, but little exclamation points of zesty chicken chunks or proscuitto make it a new overall eating experience.
3. The Claunch
(Sacks on the Beach, Redondo Beach, CA)
I understand that many of these options are meat-based. In the interest of vegetarians, Sacks on the Beach in Redondo Beach has several friendly options to eat in the sun. Besides that dramatic name, the appeal of the sandwich is in the mixture of bagel bread and a veritable garden of vegetables. Herbed cream cheese meets cucumbers, lettuce, tomato, red onions, avocados and seasoning. It’s a lot more appetizing than the plain salad with an inch of ranch dressing you were thinking about. It’s good enough to get even a few carnivores to lay off the meat for a meal.
4. Paniolo BBQ Kalua Pork Sandwich
(King’s Hawaiian Restaurant, Torrance, CA)
We like to spotlight the unique small business an area offers, and King’s Hawaiian is hardly a small brand. However, a King’s Hawaiian Restaurant is a rare sight — in fact, Torrance is the only location in the continental United States. It’s worth taking advantage of, and in the sandwich game, their sweet hawaiian bread is tremendous. The titular kalua pork is a Hawaiian spin on traditional pulled pork. The sandwich places a single, gigantic, sweet fried onion ring between two buns of their famous doughy bread. All together, it’s one sweet sandwich, but with enough meatiness to avoid a strange overwhelming sensation.
Joey’s Smokin’ BBQ – (310) 257-1324
25308 Crenshaw Blvd, Torrance, CA 90505
The Original Rinaldi’s – (310) 379-9968
350 N Sepulveda Blvd #1, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
Sacks on the Beach – (310) 540-3770
1611 S Catalina Ave, Redondo Beach, CA 90277
King’s Hawaiian Restaurant – (310) 530-0050
2808 W Sepulveda Blvd, Torrance, CA 90505
The variations of sandwiches are endless and unknowable. What do you like on a sandwich?