Thursday, August 22, 2013

New Favorites: Truxton's Bombay Chicken Baguette


This is the internet, so I'm just gonna be honest: Truxton's, which opened their Santa Monica location last month, can be pretty hit or miss. Everything feels maybe a dollar or two overpriced. That said, their wine cask system is pretty incredible (and affordable). Their signature Monkey Bread, while not spectacular, nicely fulfills a carb fix. The Onion Soup and a few other dishes? Skip.

What makes Truxton's intriguing though is the dizzying array of menu options. It truly is a local Cheesecake Factory with that massive bill of fare. So many darn possibilities. But what separates Truxton's: they don't play it super safe like a CF or a Chili's. In fact, the menu is chock full of inventiveness, if not bizarreness. I probably will never order the vegetarian Go-Chu-Jang Noodle Bowl of sweet potato noodles, vegetables and a Korean-glazed faux "beef," but that doesn't mean I don't really appreciate its existence. In my mind however, the true way to test the mettle of a neighborhood "American bistro" like Truxton's is going straight to the heart/usually the physical center of the menu - the chicken sandwiches. Places like Truxton's MUST excel in the chicken sandwich department, or forget about U.E.'s business.

I am very happy to report, Truxton's Bombay Chicken Baguette passes with flying colors.

The Bombay Chicken Baguette is a weird sandwich. Like, a real weirdo. Definitely like that high school kid who spends his lunches in the chemistry classroom. But like how that kid ends up a billionaire, the Bombay Chicken Baguette may be peculiar, but that doesn't mean it isn't freaking delicious. The contents: chicken breast, mixed greens, dried cranberries (!), pickled onions, peppadew peppers and a Madras Curry mayo, all on a very fresh and chewy French roll. I know dried cranberries find their way into Indian recipes, but I've never had them on a sandwich. Their tiny elusiveness alone probably scares off most sandwich chefs. And peppadews, long a sandwich secret weapon? Not sure you can get those at the Bombay Trader Joe's. Nevertheless, the sandwich, somewhat magically, works. The chicken is well-seasoned, the roll's heft ideal and the predominant curry flavor really delivers a solid, unique L.A. chicken sandwich. I definitely recommend it.

Note: the Bombay Chicken Baguette is currently a "seasonal" menu item (maybe dried cranberries go out of season?) , so not sure how long it'll stick around. I'd give it a try while it lasts.


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