Attari is a well known sandwich shop in the Persian section of West LA, and a survey of the clientele there on a Sunday afternoon indicates that it’s popular with the locals. The tongue sandwich seems to be the item on the menu everybody talks about, and that’s usually enough to get my order.
The sandwich is tongue, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and a light dressing with some fresh herbs. There is very little that’s notable about the fact that this is tongue, and if you think otherwise I suggest you eat more tongue. It’s a fine meat, not at all out of the ordinary in a great many cultures, and if the idea makes you squeamish it’s your loss. The tongue here was juicy and tender, well cooked but lacking in flavor. The dressing was good but there wasn’t nearly enough of it, and so the sandwich was dominated by a generic beef flavor and the pickles. The pickles are substantial and flavorful, but with a healthy portion of bland meat present the balance of the sandwich was off. Spiced properly, this sandwich would have been a knockout.
A sub-par tongue sandwich is especially disappointing, given that rely exclusively on people to prepare it for me, but I take heart in knowing that there’s a lot more tongue out there for me to try. It’s available sliced, stewed or roasted; I’m not likely to have to settle for mediocre tongue for long.