Outside of "When will LA get a football team?" and "Do you think that is her real nose?," seemingly the most posed query in all of Los Angeles is this: "Where in Santa Monica can I get a good sandwich BESIDES Bay Cities?!?!" A worthy question at that, there have been a few solutions here and there. But not a distinct, solid answer.
Carvery Kitchen, at Ocean Park and 31st, stands as the first real solution and possible contender for the Bay Cities Alternative Crown. A crown that does not exist - but certainly should. CK is the first true oceanside sandwich shop to really put their foot in the door in quite some time. What makes Carvery Kitchen so special? They actually care. Wait, what? Yeah, they care about their sandwiches as much as you and I about their sandwich creations. They slow-roast ALL their meats for 24-FREAKING HOURS. For those not good at math, that's ONE WHOLE DAY. And for those great at math, that is, in fact, 1440 MINUTES. Brisket, pastrami, turkey, roast beef, pulled pork, ALL THE MEATS.
This impeccably slow, yet deliberate attention to meat roasting automatically makes their sandwiches tastier than the Boars Head sandie you are chowing down on as you skim this blog post. Carvery Kitchen doesn't just stop there though. Many sandwich roasters do the hard work over night, pat themselves on the back, throw the meat in some cruddy roll and ask you to leave your money on the dresser. CK is not that sort of girl.
Aside from offering 7 different types of "Dips," they also offer a dozen more inventive/creative/borderline wacky sandwiches/wraps as well as hot plates and salads (some of which come with pastrami bits!). Almost all the sandwiches come with accoutrements in the double digits. The rolls aren't from Ralph's either. And although the sides maybe still deserve a little tinkering, they are at least distinct and not your grandfather's macaroni salad.
So enough with the babbling... these are the two sandwiches I highly recommend:
Puebla BBQ Brisket - These are the contents of CK's most popular sandwich: slow-roasted (fall apart) brisket, Oaxaca string cheese, sundried tomatoes, cilantro, balsamic onion jam, pickled jalapeno, spinach, tomato, basil, avocado salad and a bbq chili sauce on artisan ciabatta. That's some "Weird Science"-like concoction right there, but it really works. The sandwich is packed with flavor and the ingredients work in synchronicity, rather than overpower. A truly delicious sandwich. And also quite photogenic.
Roast Beef Dip - There's not much razzle dazzle to the French Beef Dip. It's like "Monster" Charlize Theron. Despite the look, you know she's hot. Things of note on this sandwich: the beef is tender (yet not rare), they give you a two-week's Carnival cruise worth of protein and it comes on a very notable French baguette roll. They also offer housemade horseradish sauce, which adds some spunk to this (or any) sandwich.
Other things to know about Carvery Kitchen: they also offer a few vegetarian, vegan and pescatarian options.
3101 Ocean Park Blvd #105, Santa Monica.
Mon-Sat, 11 am-8:30 pm.