In my quest for Italian cold cut sandwiches, I learned about Sorrento Italian Market from L.A.'s Chowhound boards. I used to pass it all the time when I worked in West L.A. I like small delicatessens and markets like these. They have a local neighborhood feel that is sometimes hard to find in a big city.
The sandwich that I get here has mortadella, cotto salami, cappicola, provolone, lettuce, mayonnaise, mustard, and their special ingredient, stewed tomatoes. I'm still not sure what it's called, since today when I asked the man behind the counter for "that sandwich that has Italian cold cuts and stewed tomatoes," he replied the "three meat combo with mustard and mayo?" I don't think that's the actual name, but more of an expanded description of what's in the sandwich. Whatever it is, it's good.
Compared to the Original Rinaldi's which I had earlier in the day, this sandwich had a fresher taste which is difficult to describe. Perhaps it was the mustard and mayonnaise that made the difference. Because of the combination of meats, this sandwich has a more rounded quality to the flavor, as the mortadella is milder and fattier than the salami, while the cappicola isn't as salty and is spicier than the other two meats. But the key ingredient in the sandwich is really the stewed tomatoes. The stewed tomatoes make the sandwich moister as well as easier to consume, and because they are sweeter and less bitter than raw tomatoes they further add to the flavor mix.
The sandwich is pretty substantial, but what puts it over the top is it's price: about $4. It's too bad that it's out of the way for me now and doesn't have ample parking, as I could see myself going there more often. I would also learn the actual name of the sandwich if that were the case.
Some other interesting notes about Sorrento Italian Market:
-2 out of 7 on my mess-o-meter. This sandwich is surprisingly self-contained. I suppose that is owing to it's excellent construction which prevents spillage and meat overflow.
-Currrently ranked #6 on my Italian cold cut sandwich list.
Sorrento Italian Market
5518 Sepulveda Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90230