Mendocino Farms: stirring your inner foodie

From their humble beginnings starting at a failed Starbucks location in Downtown, Los Angeles, Mendocino Farms has now opened its 4th location in West Hollywood, CA offering their artisanal sandwiches, wraps, salads, and soups for lunch and dinner.

[info]Adorned with Hungarian bathtubs, astroturf lined seating, and a live tree planted inside, Mendocino Farms replicates the feel of “Napa Valley with a hippy aesthetic,” says co-owner Mario Del Pero.

Mario tells us the interior is designed and embellished with structural metal beams inspired by a butcher shop and natural wood from old barns, the guests get the vibe that “this is a place where things are built: sandwiches.”

Samples and sandwiches

Upon entering Mendocino Farms and immediately after placing your order, you are greeted by a rare marvel, a sampling case. Within the case you find new salads and perhaps items uncharacteristic of a sandwich shop, such as an Israeli couscous salad featuring seasonal foods from local farms.

As co-owner Ellen Chen tells us, “everyone has an inner foodie in them,” and the sample case is the introductory course.

But Mendocino is about artisanal sandwiches. The Porchetta, from the Seasonal menu, adds slow braised pork, roasted garlic whole grain mustard aioli, fresh housemade giardiniera, and cilantro in a Dolce Forno soft roll.

Farm Favorites include the Kurobuta Pork Belly Bahn Mi – braised, caramelized kurobuta pork belly, housemade pickled daikon and carrots, cilantro, cucumbers, jalapenos, and chili aioli on a panini grilled ciabatta.

Chef Judy’s Sandwich Pick featured the Modern Diner Meatloaf Cheeseburger with 8 oz. prime beef meatloaf, Mendo sauce, cheddar, red onions, tomatoes, Scarborough Farm’s butter lettuce and romaine panini pressed on Dolce Forno’s Hawaiian bread.

Water in the watering hole

The libations served at Mendocino Farms are also not typical of a sandwich shop. Mendocino Farms serves housemade ice teas from artisanal tea blends by Sugarbird Teas, fresh squeezed specialty lemonades, craft beers, and a chardonnay and pinot noir from Naughty Boy Vineyards.

Green & local

Mendocino Farms works with a number of local boutique artisans such as Sugarbird Teas and local farmers like Scarborough Farms and Drake Family Farms to name a few.

As they provide a large menu selection, Mendocino Farms uses largely local, seasonal, and sustainable products while recycling.

However as Mario tells us, “we stopped talking about it, it’s something we should do. The goal of Mendocino Farms is two-fold, one to make better food approachable to stir that inner foodie and on the other side of that goal is to support our sustainable and great local artisans, from farmers to boutique food products.”

Photography provided by Natalie Woyshner