Used to be BLT meant just a sandwich of bacon, lettuce and tomato. Not anymore. Now you can find a variety of riffs on the BLT. Purists need not apply.
The day Michael Cimarusti was testing sandwich recipes for the 6-month-old haute coffee house, he happened to have some pork belly as well as a complex sauce of veal stock and Asian spices. He whipped something together, with the addition of arugula, vine-ripened tomatoes and preserved black beans. This improvised sandwich -- christened ABLT (the A stands for Asian) -- was the runaway favorite. 1636 Silverlake Blvd., Silver Lake, (323) 663-4441
If you'd like a little bacon with your bacon, then here's a salad for you. Iceberg lettuce, cherry tomatoes, avocado and apple-wood-smoked bacon are all chopped and tossed in a luxurious homemade bacon dressing. The final touch is a drizzle of green Tabasco and a few pieces of warm, crisp bonus bacon. 101 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 899-4466
Scooter Kanfer had in mind one of her partners -- a vegetarian who wanted something more than a sprout sandwich -- when she came up with her un-BLT. To give the Fakin Bacon she uses more of a true, smoky bacon flavor, she rubs it with a little olive oil, brown sugar and black pepper before slapping it on the grill. Served on Texas toast (thick sliced white bread) with roasted tomatoes, butter lettuce and vegennaise, the sandwich can be had at all hours. 6255 W. Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, (323) 465-6901
CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN
Part pizza, part salad, the BLT pizza is basically a hot and oozy bacon and mozzarella pie topped with rounds of thinly sliced Roma tomatoes and lots of cool chopped romaine lettuce dressed in mayonnaise -- a sort of homage to co-founder Larry Flax, who has a thing for mayo. 207 S. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills, (310) 275-1101; various locations citywide: www.cpk.com
BLUE ON BLUE
Chef Scott Garrett was never that keen on scallops until he tried them with bacon. Now he does bite-size BLTs with little squares of toasted brioche brushed with lemon aioli, halved Diver scallops, crisp Nueske bacon, oven-dried tomato and arugula. Don't look for them on the menu. They're you-gotta-know-about-them items. 9400 W. Olympic Blvd., Beverly Hills, (310) 407-7791