Roast Pork Sandwiches
Roast pork sandwiches, a favorite in the tropics, make for a simple summer meal. They’re tasty and satisfying enough to be worth the drive on a hot summer night.
* Xiomara: Xiomara Ardolina’s flavorful Cuban-style marinated lechon is served with melted Manchego cheese and sliced tomatoes and avocados on La Brea Bakery ciabatta bread with mariquitas con mojo--plantain chips with a citrus-garlic sauce. Enjoy the sandwich with a Mojito--a classic tropical cocktail made with fresh mint and lime juice, light rum, crushed ice--and cane sugar squeezed fresh at the bar. (Pan con lechon, $9.) Xiomara, 69 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, (626) 796-2520.
* Philippe: The waitresses at this landmark restaurant carve the meat right off the bone for the pork sandwiches. Slather on the incendiary house mustard, get a scoop of coleslaw and half a dill pickle and chase it all down with cold lemonade. (Pork French dip, $3.85.) Philippe the Original, 1001 N. Alameda St., Los Angeles, (213) 628-3781.
* Las Palmas: The roast pork at this small family-run Cuban kitchen is worth a trip. Pan con lechon is simply that: bread and sliced leg of pork. Perfect. But you might want to try a dish of their delicious fufu--mashed plantains with crisp chicharrones. (Pan con lechon, $4.75.) Las Palmas, 11671 Victory Blvd., North Hollywood, (818) 985-5955.
* Porto’s Bakery: This bright, bustling bakery serves a very generous, very basic pan con lechon: a length of crusty white bread, a lot of tasty roast pork and a light dousing of garlicky mojo sauce, all lightly compressed in the sandwich press. It’s great with Materva, a soft drink made with guanabana. (Pan con lechon, $2.85.) Porto’s Bakery, 315 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale, (818) 956-5996.
* The Farm of Beverly Hills: Chef Benjamin Ford serves a juicy pork loin sandwich with smoked mozzarella, caramelized onions, arugula and salsa verde on a baguette. Comes with French fries or mixed greens. (Pork sandwich, $12.) The Farm of Beverly Hills, 439 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, (310) 273-5578.
* Cafe Boriquen: At this charming, small Puerto Rican cafe across the street from the Alhambra public library, the roast pork sandwich is dressed with marinated onions. It serves good cafe con leche, too! (Pan con lechon, $4.25.) Cafe Boriquen, 417 W. Main St., Alhambra, (626) 299-1232.
* La Cubana: From Friday to Sunday, for lunch or dinner, this Glendale Cuban restaurant serves a classic pan con lechon: roast pork and raw onions on a pressed loaf of Cuban bread with French fries on the side. (Pork sandwich, $4.50.) La Cubana, 720 E. Colorado Blvd., Glendale, (818) 243-4328.