Continuing their habit of bringing culinary-geography-oddities to Los Angeles cuisine, the Top Round sandwich above features Provel cheese, a processed cheddar/swiss/provolone cheese that’s particularly popular in St. Louis. It has a loose, gooey texture and here it joins horseradish cream, roasted mushrooms and the namesake roast beef. That’s a fine lineup that works for all of the obvious reasons; it has a deep, rich flavor balanced by earthy, savory mushrooms and spicy horseradish. But more than a simple, well-designed sandwich, I’d like to point out a bit of execution here.
Eleven. I have featured 11 sandwiches on this blog that I said needed more horseradish. There were another half-dozen or so that I ate but never featured here. “Needs more horseradish,” I said again and again, and I had basically resigned myself to this being the case for every horseradish-containing sandwich I ever expected to be served. But the above sandwich changed that. It had a proper amount of horseradish, with a fine heat throughout the sandwich and a few bites that really took it to the palate. Horseradish is an assertive ingredient, but included halfway it only serves to tease. Some of the sandwiches at Top Round fall prey to this trap, but thankfully not the one with “horse” in the name. The Horse & Hole is a fine sandwich with plenty of horseradish, and I couldn’t be more delighted to pay such a rare compliment.