Photo credit: LA Weekly
I was jogging one night earlier this month (that’s right, I was actually jogging) and wondered to myself what to eat for dinner. Having read about Fundamental LA during that week, I decided to jog a little further east and order some sandwiches to-go. Nothing exactly jumped out at me as being must-haves when I glanced at the menu, so I asked for recommendations. They said that the chicken torta is their most popular item, and the one sandwich that’s always on the menu (they change most of the sandwich selections on a regular basis). I decided to be a fatass and ordered one more sandwich in addition to the chicken torta, which ended up being the breakfast sando.
The chicken torta was very good, but it wasn’t necessarily out-of-this-world good. It was much spicier than I expected, though I enjoyed the heat. I have to say though, that the chicken itself was cooked perfectly, even emulating pulled pork in terms of texture and juiciness. The breakfast sando, however, wasn’t as good. The sandwich as a whole was pretty good, but I thought that the biscuit was way too heavy and dense. Overall, I thought that the sandwiches were good, but not great. Then came the second visit…
Vanilla Cream Soda ($3)
Breakfast Sando ($9) – pork sausage, swiss, fried egg, frisée, roasted garlic aioli, buttermilk biscuit
Chicken Torta ($9) – tomatillo salsa, lettuce, cotija, crema, pickled jalapeño, guac, bolillo bread
So my coworker Nino read about the place in a magazine, and wanted to try the place at lunch a couple of Fridays ago. I had some reservations about joining at first, but I went on the website and saw that they were featuring two new sandwiches: the leg of lamb and the porchetta. I was drooling when I read that, and knew I had to join Nino. I ended up persuading Han and Mike, two other coworkers, into joining us. The fatass in me took over again, and I ordered the leg of lamb to eat there, and the porchetta to-go (which I ate at work around 4pm).
These two sandwiches were a step above the two I tried on my first visit. The lamb was wonderfully cooked, slightly fatty with a hint of gaminess which I enjoyed. The mushroom and the brussels sprouts were nice complements. The porchetta, which I had later, was great as well. While people might think that the porchetta would be my favorite, given that it’s essentially pork belly, I have to give a slight edge to the lamb. I just think that the lamb was a excellently sandwich all-around, while the mustard and sauerkraut in the porchetta was a little overpowering for my taste. Still a pretty awesome sandwich, though.
Housemade Chips ($2) – salt and pepper
Leg of Lamb ($12) – celery root purée, king trumpet mushrooms, fried Brussels sprouts, brioche
Porchetta ($11) – whole-grained mustard, sauerkraut, brioche
Went again for the third time last week with Ben after basketball. I got the brisket, which was a solid sandwich. Ben got the chicken torta, which he seemed to enjoy. We also got an order of the churros, which were pretty damn good. After these three visits, I think it’s safe to say that Fundamental LA is one of my go-to choices for a quick bite in the area. Definitely get the leg of lamb or porchetta when they’re on the menu, but you really can’t go wrong with any of their choices. I look forward to trying more of their sandwiches in the future.
Pulled Brisket ($10) – sriracha BBQ sauce, apple/jalapeno slaw, brioche
Churros with Butterscotch ($4)
Chris Hei grade: B+
1303 Westwood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90024