Tanaya’s Table – Fickle & The Sandwich Smith

Of green tea Arnold Palmers and doughnut sandwiches.

Ever eaten a savory sandwich on a doughnut bun? Yes, a DOUGHNUT bun! Now, before you write the idea off, or conjure up thoughts of sugary, glazed, fried dough surrounding your sandwich fillings, hold that thought. Things are not always what they seem, but not necessarily in a bad way.

Fickle & The Sandwich Smith recently opened in Little Tokyo and is located on East 1st Street. The sandwich-shop-meets-bakery concept was inspired by a San Francisco counterpart, and sells custom-built, expertly crafted sandwiches in the Japanese Village Plaza in downtown Los Angeles.

When you walk in, go straight to the counter to fill out a form and start building your own sandwich on paper. Then, wielding your edible master plan, head to the register to make your sandwich dreams a reality. There, you can choose to get a combo, which comes with a side and a drink. If you can’t decide between the green tea and their freshly made lemonade, try an off-the-menu green tea version of an Arnold Palmer by asking them to combine the two. The ice cold drink is delicious and refreshing, and a great complement to the hot and hearty sandwiches.

I customized my Dr. Pepper pulled pork sandwich with cheddar cheese, BBQ sauce, pickled red onions, and a creamy coleslaw. I chose another coleslaw, this time with bacon vinaigrette, as my third free topping on the side, heeding the cashier’s advice, and ordered the tofu-kale salad as the side to my combo. This led to quite a bit of food, but the common thread with all of it is that it was high-quality and made with fresh ingredients. The tofu-kale salad even had cranberries in it, which added a nice sweet and tart element to the dish.

Now, for the moment you may have been waiting for all along: when unwrapping the sandwich, what can you expect? The doughnut bun looks kind of like a baked bread bun, and is definitely not sweet, nor does it have a hole in the center. However, it is freshly baked and soft, complementing the fillings in the sandwich. So as long as you don’t expect your sandwich to be served on a typical glazed doughnut, you’ll probably enjoy it.

I also highly recommend checking in on Yelp for a free pastry. I fulfilled my glazed doughnut craving this way, and boy, did it satisfy. The fluffy pillow of raised dough was bite after bite of yeasty goodness, with the perfect amount of sweetness.

The restaurant is clean and bright inside, and at night the mood shifts to a slightly fancier, more romantic ambiance. The staff is super friendly and attentive, and is always up for giving their own recommendations when asked.

They even validate for parking in the Japanese Village Plaza structure, in case you needed yet another reason to try it out.

For more information on Fickle & The Sandwich Smith, you can check out thesandwichsmith.com.

What are your thoughts on doughnut buns and Fickle & The Sandwich Smith? Stay tuned for another foodie find next Tuesday, here at Tanaya’s Table. (Feel free to tweet me at @MsTanayaG)