Walter Mencken 11 a.m., May 24
Stuck in LA: Bay Cities Deli
Day trips to Los Angeles are an unavoidable reality for many San Diegans. When you're marooned in LA for the afternoon or the day, there are plenty of great spots to grab a bite to eat before making the long drive home.
Bay Cities Deli in Santa Monica serves sandwiches and prepared foods with an Italian, and occasionally Middle Eastern, style. All the sandwiches come on exceptional, fresh bread that is constantly being baked in house. The place is so busy that its hard to get a piece of bread much older than an hour or two. The various hams, salamis, and cured meats that fill the sandwiches are all of high quality and the simple aesthetic makes for a very satisfying sandwich.
Since the place gets so busy, diners in a hurry (such as San Diegans on their way out of town) can just grab a pre-made sandwich from the deli counter. There's only going to be one kind available on the quick like that, but it'll be good.
Bay Cities is also a big, specialty grocery store with products from all over the world, a good wine selection, and plenty of cold beer in the coolers.
To get there, take the 10 west towards Santa Monica off the 405. Get off on Lincoln and go a few blocks north. The deli will be on the right hand side.
1517 Lincoln Boulevard