Really, really, REALLY good Sandwiches…in Sherman Oaks.
My first encounter with Mendocino Farms came when I was stuck doing my civic duty (aka, Jury Duty), sitting and waiting to see if I was dragged into a case. The good folks at the Mosk Courthouse were good enough to give us a handout of all the places that were available nearby, so I spent my time comparing the Courthouse List with Urbanspoon, and one name jumped out at me.
Mendocino Farms. Sandwiches. Highly, highly rated.
With an hour and a half for lunch, I decided to do some culinary exploring. And…well, what’s this Mendocino Farms place I keep hearing about? I mean, it’s only three blocks from the Courthouse. Maybe I should give it a dance.
I’m happy I gave it a dance.
What am I saying? I can do better than that ever…like say, Sherman Oaks.
The Sherman Oaks location seems a touch bit bigger than the 3rd & Fairfax one. Layout’s just about the same. Walk in. Place your order. Have a seat, and let the good staff at Mendocino Farms take care of the rest.
Now, odds are, when you get to the front door, there will already be a line out the door already. But not to worry, the very friendly staff are there to guide you. You’ll first be handed a laminated Menu to peruse. Then as you get to the front of the line, one of these same staffers will take your order down. Then you head inside.
At that very moment, you’re in line, your order has entered its own line, as in a line of Mendocino crew working on your sandwich. In the meantime, you go ahead and go pay. Grab your chips and whatever you want to drink and pay up. From there your name is called, and you go away happy with your Sandwich.
Now, if only you can find a table. Because the place is that popular. Deservedly, so.
WHAT SHOULD I GET?: Well, a Sandwich, of course. But which one…which one…
I will say that any non-Vietnamese place that carries not one, but two Banh-Mi sandwiches on its menu gets my immediate respect. They also had a Summer Cubano Sandwich up as a Seasonal special.
But where they had me at Banh-Mi, they doubly had me at Pork Belly. And so I dived in face first to a lovely Banh-Mi Sandwich with Pork Belly on Ciabatta bread. I’ll tell you as that bread soaked up the juices from the Pork Belly, melding with the sauces from the sandwich itself, I became a very happy man, despite my circumstances.
There are a number of Sandwiches on this menu, I’d come back for, but anything involving Grilled Pork is going to get my loving attention (and Sandwich dollars) first.)
IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP, PEOPLE: It’s hard to call out a thing to look out for, for this particular location.
Okay, here’s “something”, the corner where you get your Drinks can get a little cramped.
Yup, best I could come up with.
PARKING: Grand and good, yet mysterious. Mendocino Farms is in a brand spanking new Commercial/Retail complex. When you pull up, you will see Street Parking right up front, and odds are, it will be filled. Fortunately, there is a mess of free Parking in the structure just underneath the complex. Trick is finding the teeny-tiny entrance, which isn’t easy to find from the street.
What you’re really looking for is this:
Just past the Auto Shop is this entrance to the Parking Structure. Blink and you’ll miss it. I’m being literal here. Blink, you’ll go zooming right past it and have to take another lap around the block.
Once you get in, there is a ramp down to the second level immediately to your right. Literally, blink and you’ll have to take a lap around the first floor. But even during the lunch crush, there seems to be a lot of spaces available. You can get in, get out and get a sammich.
Mendocino Farms (Sherman Oaks)
14141 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
Tel: (818) 205-9744
Monday-Sunday: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm