Ahi Burger – Library Ale House, Main St, Santa Monica

library alehouse

The tuna steak sandwich might be my absolute favorite thing to order, though it is not my favorite sandwich. It’s a risk/reward proposition, the cut of meat is so tremendously easy to ruin, but so sublime when done well. As you can see by the photo, the folk at Library Ale House know what they’re doing. The slice of tuna in their ahi burger is firm and moist, not quite thick enough for the warm-outside-cool-center that marks the very best sandwiches, but quite good nonetheless. The tuna is joined on the bun by asian slaw with a bit of heat to it, a citrus ponzu dressing and wasabi aioli. That’s not an especially adventuresome lineup, but it’s one that’s certain to be delicious. There’s a sweetness, some spice to counter that, and the slaw is a fine textural contrast.

I try to keep things positive around here, but I cannot speak of tuna fish without noting that someday they will all be gone. As I have noted this before:

Tuna is a fine, fine meat and some day when our grandchildren ask us what it was like I think it will be our great shame to tell them that most of the tuna we ate was dry, coming out of a can only to be drowned in mayonnaise, gussied up into fully moldable slop.

That may be what’s coming, but it is not what is yet here. Today we still have sandwiches like the above, and I am ever so grateful to have them.

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