Wild at Heart – Kafe K, Main St, Santa Monica, CA

I picked this up not at the cafe itself but their farmer’s market outpost, and I must say it’s exactly the sandwich that fits with that environment. Everything involved was fresh and bright, an intermingling of flavors that carried a brightness and a vibrancy a good number of sandwiches lack. A well-baked ciabatta roll held artichoke hearts, arugula, fresh ricotta cheese and pesto. That’s a fine lineup, particularly the ricotta. Ricotta is an underused sandwich ingredient, but that’s not without cause.

The roll was well baked, giving it a pretty substantial crust. That’s the mark of a baker who knows what they’re doing, but it also means I’m going to have to give it a pretty substantial bite, and sadly that sent quite a bit of the ricotta out at the edge. This isn’t enough to get me to dislike a sandwich, it’s just a regrettable part of some sandwiches. Consider what might have happened if this establishment had gone with sliced bread, rather than a crusty roll? The pesto soaks in, the cheese soaks in, and then you’ve got a much better contained sandwich, only one you have to hasten to eat. There’s a damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t dynamic at play here, and Kafe K elected to go with the tricky but quality ingredient, a fine choice. Besides, what kind of enthusiast would I be if I let a littleĀ sloppiness keep me from enjoying a delicious sandwich?

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