Name: Wax Paper.
Concept: Sandwiches named after public radio hosts. Insert your "This American Life" joke here.
Owners: Wax Paper is co-owned by Lauren and Peter Lemos. Peter Lemos is also the chef, and his resume includes time well spent at SPQR, Bazaar and L&E Oyster Bar.
Where you are: In Frogtown, very close to the bike path that runs along the L.A. River, which makes Wax Paper a very nice pit stop before or after a ride. Inside the shop, you’ll order at the counter and maybe grab a stool while Peter Lemos makes sandwiches in the open kitchen, framed by a row of cookbooks and a vinyl collection (Cyndi Lauper, among others). If you’d rather some fresh air, take a seat at one of the tables outside.
Who else is here: Frogtown denizens, big dogs, little dogs, people in NPR hoodies.
Yes, there is an Ira Glass. And a Larry Mantle. And a Steve Julian. There are six hosts — er, seasonal sandwiches — currently on the menu, and there is something here for everyone.
The Lakshmi Singh — seasonable vegetables, pecan pesto, pickled onions — is a terrific option for vegans. The vegetarian-friendly Ira Glass is a standout sandwich with avocado, a heap of sprouts and slices of cheddar on wheat bread from Bub & Grandma’s Bread. And if you like cold cuts, you will be very, very happy with the Larry Mantle, which beautifully pulls together bologna, capicola, provolone, pickled peppers and an oregano vinaigrette, all on sesame roll from Etxea Bakery.
And then there is the Steve Julian, which would be Wax Paper’s take on the banh mi, stuffed with a few slices of roasted pork loin, ribbons of pickled carrots and daikon and a miso and bacon fat aioli, served on a baguette. All things considered, this is a great, hearty sandwich. It’s also a sandwich that supports Julian, who was recently diagnosed with brain cancer; a portion of the proceeds from sales of the sandwich will be donated to his medical care.
The morning edition: On Fridays and Saturdays, the shop has a morning menu with things such as egg salad and “cinnamon toast crunch” toasts.
On the side: Sandwiches are served with pickles, and there’s also cole slaw, raw root vegetables and bags of Rusty’s Island Chips to round out your meal.
Don’t forget the hot sauce: Not only is there a sandwich here for everyone, there is, too, a hot sauce for everyone. On a small shelf inside, you’ll find a small but impressive selection of hot sauces, among them Texas Pete, “Chef Sbez’s XXX Sauce” and El Yucateco’s green chili habanero sauce. Drizzle accordingly.
What you’re drinking: Water, soda, tea and coffee. The coffee, by the way, is made using beans from Ritual Coffee Roasters.
Info: Wax Paper, 2902 Knox Ave., Frogtown, (323) 284-8857, waxpaperco.com. The shop is open Mondays through Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Given that the sandwiches occasionally sell out, you might want to check Wax Paper’s Facebook and Instagram accounts before heading over.