Every neighborhood has it’s go to sandwich shop, and in the Arts District, it’s Breadlam.
A two person operation run out of a small storefront on E. 3rd across from Hauser & Wirth and down the street from Wurstkuche, Breadlam has been around for a couple years but has been consistently churning out the some of the best sandwiches in the city. What you’ll find isn’t anything thirsty for fame or overstuffed and overthought, but simple sandwiches using the highest quality ingredients that add up to a deftly crafted meal.
5th Ave (prosciutto, aged gouda, tomatoes, basil, greens, and olive oil)
This is the most popular sandwich on the menu and it’s easy to see why. It’s a classic combination of flavors that shines with quality. The 5th Ave is a perfectly balanced sandwich, as no component overwhelms another. But it’s the tomatoes that are the star, because their sweetness comes through against the saltiness of the shattered gouda and prosciutto. Of course it gets a healthy brush of olive oil to bring it together and greens are there for an extra pop. This is the sandwich that best represents the ethos of what Breadlam does day in and day out.
Geary (truffled mousse pate, prosciutto, peppadews, cucumber, spicy mayo, cilantro)
The Geary’s first impression is refreshing–reminiscent of a bánh mì–and definitely something you can dig into on a hot day. It’s not overstuffed, and the restraint displayed on the more powerful ingredients like the cilantro and peppadews allows everything to come together. Of course a nod goes again to the high quality prosciutto, but the pate deserves a shout out for a richness and complexity that takes it home. All the sandwiches at Breadlam come standard with ciabatta bread, but if you’re looking for something closer to a bánh mì, it’s easy to request a baguette.
Glendale (genoa salami, manchego, cornichon mayo, balsamic, greens)
The Glendale is another classic combination of flavors and it’s in these sandwiches on Breadlam’s menu where you can really understand how high quality the ingredients are. In totality, it notches what you’re getting as something just above what you’d find elsewhere for the same sandwich. It’s also on a sandwich like the Glendale where you can see why each one comes on the ciabatta, which is excellent in every way.
Holder (serrano ham, manchego, membrillo, honey, olive oil)
You need to be in a specific mood to want this sandwich because it’s so distinct among others on the menu. That said, it’s a really well executed salty/sweet mash up that feels rich with the serrano ham and stickiness of the honey. My best comp—and it may be a stretch—is like a grown up PB&J. Full disclosure PB&Js are on my sandwich Rushmore, but that’s a different discussion. Still, this sandwich feels situational. If you’re in the mood for it, you lucked out, but it’s understandable if it’s not for everyone. That said, I’m very much into it.
Mount Vernon (spicy salami, piave vecchio, olive spread, spicy mayo, greens)
This is my favorite sandwich to order. All the ingredients are perfectly balanced and compliment each other–the olive spread playing against the semi-hard cheese versus the spicy salami and covered in spicy mayo. It’s the kind of sandwich that brings creaminess, saltiness, and a kick of heat that continues to build momentum as you work through every bite.
Raymond (roasted turkey, comte, mustard, tomato mayo, roasted tomatoes, peppadews, greens)
It’s not going to wow you with anything unexpected, but the Raymond is a very well executed turkey sandwich. Interestingly (or maybe not depending on what you think of turkey sandwiches), the mayo on this one stands out and is especially delicious. It reminds you of a classed up version of the turkey sandwich your mom made you for lunch in middle school. If that’s what you’re looking for, it won’t disappoint.
Thoughts on the bread: everything comes standard with ciabatta, which Thomas collaborated on with Rockenwagner bakery. It’s really outstanding, got a nice chew to it with a crust that’s not going to shatter on you, but sturdy enough not go soggy and collapse into a sloppy mess. It’s everything that you could ask for in a meat/cheese/vegetable delivery device.
826 E 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Open for takeout, call ahead to order, walk up’s welcome, and there’s seating out front. Check their Instagram for daily specials.
RIYL: the top trim of a mass market vehicle