Proclaiming itself a “West Coast” deli, this rookie storefront makes California-style sandwiches that eat like a meal for two. Don’t be fooled by names such as Greatfella, Baller, and Wake & Bake, these signature creations are profound constructions. Starting with top-notch breads from OC Baking and Shirley’s Bagels, a friendly crew assembles them to order, careful to keep the ingredient placement and ratios such that each is delightful to the last bite.
I fell hard for Sloppy Barney’s pulled pork in a swell barbecue sauce, piled with crunchy pickles, red onion, and red wine vinaigrette slaw on soft ciabatta. Summer Zephyr, basically a splendid Caprese salad on a French roll, might make way for cool-weather contenders such as The Knighton, named for the NFL’s Terrance “Pot Roast” Knighton: pot roast, caramelized onion, horseradish slaw on ciabatta.
Partners Matt Meddock and Max Schlutz say it’s tough to change the compact menu because regulars have their favorites. Weekly specials add a bit of wiggle room for auditioning new players. Sides and sauces are all from-scratch, the cuke salad and a soulful tomato soup are yummy, and every table seems to have a basket of Shaka Spuds, potato chips tossed with fried rosemary, sage, and Parmesan. Breakfast until 10:30 a.m. stars bagel stacks and righteous Kéan coffee. We can’t wait to start Saturday morning with smoked bacon, sausage, Virginia ham, and baked eggs on an everything bagel, better known as The Notorious P-I-G.
2823 Newport Blvd.
Sloppy Barney, Meddock Melee, Baller, tomato soup, The Notorious P-I-G
Shakaholics note the shaka silhouette is the deli’s logo. Partner Matt Meddock, left, says “chief shaka giver” should be his true job title.
Live coverage of surf competitions is projected on a 15-foot screen. The restaurant’s website links to Surfline wave conditions.
TOES IN THE SAND
Ocean-view seating is as close as a public bench on the sand, a mere three blocks to the end of 28th Street.