Wednesday, September 21, 2011

5 (Sandwich) Questions With... Westside Tavern's Warren Schwartz

 Like Amy Adams and dodgeball, it is incredibly tough not to love Westside Tavern. They just do everything right. Amazing craft beer selection, a tasty menu from top to bottom, an architectural gem of a restaurant and, let's not forget, it's located a mere staircase below the Westside's premiere movie theatre, The Landmark. WT also does sandwiches really fucking well. In fact, they probably present the best sit-down restaurant sandwich menu in all of Los Angeles. Due to my a general curiosity regarding said sandwiches, I got Chef & Managing Partner Warren Schwartz to answer "5 Questions With"...

1. How did WT come about? Were there ever fears you would be considered so-called "mall food?"
WS: Westside Tavern was conceptualized first by my partner Tristan Simon and then developed between the two of us. The idea was to create a timeless space that through design, materials, execution and the passion of a chef driven and operated restauranteur, would serve tavern inspired fare that reflected local ideals and used local seasonal products. To the second part of this question, I almost did not join the project because WT is located in a mall. Part of it was ego driven, but I just could not wrap my mind around a great restaurant located in a mall. Very happy that I came to my senses.

2. Where do the sandwich ideas come from?
WS: The sandwich ideas are usually interpretations of classic sandwiches that have proven to be American favorites. The club, burger, grilled cheese and lamb dip continually are our top sellers. We, through sourcing and execution, just try to make the best versions of those sandwiches possible.

3. Just wondering for this guy I know... when will we get to enjoy the steak sandwich again?  
WS: We rotate steak sandwiches all the time. Currently we have a steak sandwich with St. Agur, grilled balsamic onions, arugula and horseradish cream on the lunch special market board [Editor's Note: This. Sounds. Amazing].

4. Are there any sandwiches elsewhere in LA you enjoy?
WS: Gjelina, the Nook and of course Philippes.

5. What's coming up on the menu both sandwich and otherwise?
WS: Tough question... We have been playing with short rib sliders that are amazing, beef tartare and a roasted bone marrow appetizer. It is always a combination of what is in season and what we all would like to eat at that moment.

Westside Tavern
10850 West Pico Blvd.


  1. Interesting. Never had a sandwich at WT, not even the burger.

    Have you read this thread on Chow? (best 5 sandwiches in LA):

    WT is surprisingly good. If I lived on that corridor, I'd visit often. The mall be damned.

  2. Thanks for reading the post. And, whoa, crap, now I have a ton new sandwiches places to try.