FOOD is a small cafe on Pico that prides itself on using the finest ingredients. I do love a highfalutin sandwich, so that sort of thing is right up my alley and I was not disappointed with the first offering from FOOD. The roasted beef tenderloin is specified as Meyer’s, meaning it’s free of antibiotics and hormones and raised humanely. That’s the kind of thing that’s tough to verify on the consumer’s end, but it sure tasted like it was raised with care. (I question any definition of “humanely” that ends in slaughter, but that’s a debate for another blog.) It was tender, flavorful beef, well paired in thick slices with arugula, horseradish cream and roasted garlic-onion jam. The slice width becomes important, because the sandwich comes on a baguette that has a powerful crust, as a decent baguette should. That necessitates some serious chewing, and thick slices of beef are the kind of thing required to stand up to that effort. There was a good amount of horseradish here, and though I complain (as always) that it could have used more, I will say that it’s probably just right for your average sandwich enthusiast. The onion jam is sweet, well contrasting the beef and the horseradish. This is a fine sandwich, put together with care and consideration with a delicious result.
This was the oven roasted turkey breast, accompanied by Brie, arugula and cranberry chutney on ciabatta. Note the difference in bread, where a much softer roll pairs with the more yielding turkey. The pairing of cranberry and turkey is a classic, of course, extremely tasty in many instances. It was with the Brie where I felt this sandwich went wrong, and between this one and the French Bull at Bagel Maven I’m beginning to grow quite skeptical of about the role of brie on a sandwich. The BLT at The Oaks, while technically Camembert and not Brie, suffers from similar issues. The turkey was certainly overwhelmed here, and it seems to me that there isn’t much capable of standing up to any Brie that’s even slightly too far towards the ammonia end of the scale. It is possible that I’ve just not had the right Brie in the right sandwiches, but from here on out I’m proceeding with caution. Sans Brie this sandwich was quite tasty, and given the level of thought and care clearly put into each sandwich, it’s easy to forgive one that isn’t stellar. FOOD has a number of other sandwiches on their menu that look intriguing, and I wouldn’t hesitate to try any of them.