"Too few people understand a really good sandwich" James Beard

I've walked past Gaby's Express so many times, and apparently didn't know what I was missing until last week! If you are in the Venice or Culver City area you must stop in for a fabulous Garlic Chicken Panini. This little Mediterranean Cafe serves healthy fare with big taste! For $5 you get Rotisserie chicken, garlic sauce (to die for garlic fans), and pickles served on a toasted French roll. For $5, this is one of the best sandwiches I've enjoyed all summer. But that's not where it ends! Kabob Plates (chicken, beef, kafta) ($9.50) are all served with hummus, rice, salad, and pita. Gaby's is famous for their Lemon Salmon ($12.75), Mahi- Mahi ($12.75), and Chicken ($10.75) served with rice and salad. You'll find Mediterranean appetizers like Kibbeh ($7), ground beef with pine nuts, Sfeeha ($6) dough stuffed with seasoned beef, Fatayer ($6), dough stuffed with spinach, onions, and pine nuts, Rakakat ($6), hot pastry rolls stuffed with cheese and onions and Sambousik ($5.50), Lebanese empanadas. Sides include Baba Gannouj ($5), Tabouleh ($5.50), and falafel ($5) to name a few. Salads are plentiful and include everything from Fattoush ($7.50) with romaine, tomato, onion, parsley, radish, cucumber, toasted pita chips in Fattoush dressing (lime juice, olive oil based) to Chopped Chicken Salad ($7.75). Luckily Gaby's has a drive through too. We know where we'll be going when those late night hunger pangs strike! Gaby's Express 3216 Washington Blvd. Marina del Rey. (310) 823-7299. Hours: M-F: 11 a.m.- 11 p.m. Sat-Sun: 11a.m.-10 p.m. Also located at 2901 S. La Cienega Blvd, Culver City, 12219 W. Jefferson, Culver City. Gaby's Restaurant and Late Night Cafe (open weekends 'til 2am) 8873 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood and 10445 Venice Blvd between Motor and Overland.


Recommended: Chicken Panini

I keep meaning to post this and I keep forgetting. I don't know why either because the sandwiches are amazing! Using the freshest ingredients, sandwiches are made to order.This means a wait time friends, but don't let that stop you! GWSHC specializes in Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches, and these are pretty authentic, considering we're 3,000 miles away from the real thing! With over 12 variations on the original, there is sure to be something for everyone. Don't be fooled by the road-side stand appearance of the place, because it's what's inside that counts!  Pretend you're in Philly and scramble for a seat. And bring cash, cuz that's all they take. One thing I suggest, ordering your Cheese Steak ($6.76) without the pizza sauce. Meat is juicy, tender, and the jus from it seeps into the bread. We order with extra meat and cheese ($3.25/$.75) and grilled onions. The sandwich is huge. We save the other half for dinner. Now, there is definitely an art to eating this sandwich. Wait at least five minutes before taking the first bite. The flavors get to meld and marry even more and nothing will fall out! You have the options to add mushrooms, peppers, and lettuce. Hoagies include Cold Cheese ($7.57) and Cold Meat ($8.11). Hot peppers are free for the asking. There are bags of chips and soft drinks too. Great Western Steak & Hoagie Company 1720 Lincoln Blvd. Venice. (310) 450-4545.  Hours: Sun-Thurs: 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Fri-Sat: 10 a.m.-12 a.m.

Recommended Dishes: Steak and Cheese Hoagie (no pizza sauce) with extra cheese and meat and grilled onions.

Finally tearing myself away from watching The Affair, I stopped in at Panini Grill while doing some last minute shopping on Monday. Located in the Via Marina Market Place, it's a little hidden gem where I can almost picture Alison and Noah meeting up for a cup of coffee and who knows what else? The service is very friendly and efficient and it's a great place to come for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I enjoyed the Traditional Tuna Melt Panini ($12.95) which included lightly mixed all white meat tuna topped with cheddar and mozzarella, grilled onions, all grilled on buttery sourdough bread. And yes I had fries; hot crispy, crunchy fries. This tuna melt was A+ in my book and I'm definitely going back for another! Breakfast includes everything from steel cut Irish oats ($5.75) to Italian Eggs (scrambled with Parmesan, bacon, and basil with country potatoes- $10.75). to Old Fashioned French Toast ($8.75) Hit Panini up for dinner and you'll find specials like New York Steak ($24.95), Salmon ($24.50), or Fresh Trout ($14.50). Assorted desserts and pastries are baked fresh daily.So, take a break and come have your own affair, even if it's only with a tuna melt! Panini Grill 4325 Glencoe Avenue Marina del Rey. (310) 306-2697 Hours: Daily: 6:30 a.m.-10:00 p.m.

What better reason to go to The Melt than a trip to Ikea in Burbank? I love the little area on San Fernando Boulevard where it reminds me of a small town. We stopped in today for grilled cheese and tomato soup because, hey, it's a real fall day! Add any of the soups to your sandwich for just $2 or $3.95 a bowl. We love the Two Tomato Basil. If you are a true tomato lover than you'll dig this! I could have used a sprinkling of parmesan on top, but otherwise, it's pretty good! Seasonal Sausage and Pepper, Sweet Corn Tortilla, and Spicy Black Bean are other local favorites. Try the Cheese Steak Melt with grilled onions, aged cheddar and hot peppers. ($9.75 with soup). Yummy chips and a pickle come on the side for free. Another popular sandwich is the Mc Daddy ($6.95). Take aged cheddar, smoked bacon macaroni and some thick artisian white bread. Grill it all up and it's a sure-fire winner! To the Classic ($4.95) aged cheddar on artisian white, there are lots of options.Free add- ons include tomato, or jalepenos. One dollar add-ons such as bacon, baby spinach, or extra cheese (which these sandwiches need) are worth the buck! For $2 add grilled chicken, braised short ribs, country ham, or portabello mushrooms.House made lemonade ($1.95) is some of the best I've had. I'm not saying it's the best grilled cheese in the world, but if shopping at Ikea wears you out, it's a good rest stop! The Melt 313 North San Fernando Boulevard Burbank Hours: Weekdays: 10:00 a.m.- 10:00 p.m. Saturday 9:00 a.m.- 10:30 p.m. Sunday 10:00 a.m.- 9:00 p.m.


Recommended: Cheese Steak, Mc Daddy, Two Tomato Basil, Lemonade. 

For all of my single female readers, I pose this question. Have you ever wished you could be the sole female diner among all males eating the most fabulous sandwich? Okay, so maybe not, but that was what happened to me at Fat Sal's. Three friends from New York, Sal, Josh and Jerry (Jerry Ferrara from Entourage) decided to bring top quality, fresh ingradients to L.A. and turn them into mind blowing sandwiches. The sign above where you order say's "We're makin' sandwiches over here." You bet they are. Try the Fat Sal ($9.99) made on extra wide, crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside garlic hero bread. It's filled with roast beef  (Boar's Head), mozzarella sticks, onion rings, french fries, brown gravy, and mayo. It's so creative and honestly one of the finest sandwiches I've tasted! The Fat Cookout ($9.99) includes cheeseburgers, hotdogs, potato salad, potato chips, pickles, ketchup, and mustard all on a hero. You have to come and try these to believe how well the ingredients work together. Along with the Fat Sandwiches, Fat Sal's offers Signature Sandwiches ($7.99) including the Terrific Triple Decker Turkey Club, Pastrami Ruben, Albacore Tuna Melt, and the Grilled Cheese. Signature Wraps ($7.99) and Salads ($7.99) are definitely worth a try! For a special treat a Fat Shake ($6.50), that can only be eaten with a spoon, is a great end to a meal. Try the vanilla ice cream, shaved milk chocolate, toasted marshmallows, and graham cracker crumbs! Service is friendly and where else does the staff come to check and see how your food is more than once? I love these guys and I'm obsessed with Fat Sal's! With other locations in San Diego and Westwood Village ( and even Austin), Fat Sal's is a sandwich lover's paradise for southern California! Fat Sal's 1300 Highland Avenue, Hollywood. (855) OVA-HERE Open Daily 11 a.m.-LATE


Recommended Dishes: Fat Sal, Fat Texas BBQ, Terrific Triple Decker Turkey Club, Fat Shakes.

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