Italian Hoagies-LA

Well the pandemic shuddered my favorite spot Papa Jakes which had the best hoagies and cheesesteaks in LA…The Boos steaks sorta scratch that itch pretty good, …I haven’t found a hoagie place that matches up in terms of bread, sweet/hot peppers and overall makeup…

Bay City’s – that ain’t it; bread and overall composition not working for me

Giamela’s - that ain’t it; worse

Uncle Paulies – good, bread is good, just not right, too gourmet and crusty, tho I do like the hot pepper spread stuff.

Eastside Italian Deli, chinatown, venerable but wonderbread adjacent way off for me.

Boos’ - no. stick to steaks.

I really enjoy Molinari in SF, it’s not quite the same, but I like it.

What am I missing here?

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The papa Jake’s cheesesteak was a thing of beauty.

Maybe my best hope is a triumphant comeback.

Like good salsa on tacos those pepper relishes can really elevate a hoagie or cheesesteak.

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Corsica, get the Mary’s, which if you like copious amounts of dry aged, cured meats, then Mary is the gal for you.

But the best Italian Sub in LA for me is at E Estretto, where the Ill Papa has all the shining stars – from the meats, the light, chewy a bit crunchy bread, to even the fine grated cheese – with the the supernova of the show being the giardiniera.


thanks for the tips - I’ll check em out.

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Have you tried these?
Roma Italian Deli in Pasadena - never had but the pictures look great
Little Coyote in Long Beach has 2 subs on their menu and they are both great. Meatball parm and Italian hero.

Thanks @js76wisco - I’ve been to roma, i thought sorta a poor man’s Molinari. I wouldn’t turn my nose up at that - i love the simplicity of what they do with “the sandwich” which is like 3 ingredients.

One thing that so many of these Jules Winnfield/“Gourmet shit” places miss is the bread (not too fancy but it has a certain crustiness and softness too) and the overall proportion, longer and somewhat skinnier. I think Jakes got and Boos gets the “Amoroso rolls” or rolls from Philly/Jersey that are par baked I could be wrong. I do think this works well and lends it a certain proportion too. It’s a hoagie. The various pepper relishes are also pretty essential to me. It’s like the bread at Little Jewel in Chinatown from Nola is what really makes their poboys taste authentic to me. There’s no room for mayo mustard etc for me (ever). oil, maybe some vinegar if the relish doesn’t cover that is what I wanna eat. “MIke’s way” but no Jersey Mikes!

I’ve driven by ggiata and need to stop it looks promising, thanks for the reminder. Little Coyote heard good things, pizza too, I’ll have to give it a whirl when that way. As far as hot subs, meatball and eggplant parm, I can endorse Mulberry St for each of those. My sense is the bread can be a bit different and crustier/drier for the hot subs maybe just part of going in the oven anyways that equalizes that.

Good lookin out - I hope to have a report back to you and the crew here once I solve this crisis.

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I believe E Stretto is sadly closed, for now.

I like Mario’s in Glendale sometimes, tho it’s hit or miss and I’m easy to please in this category. The Wax Paper one (Larry Mantle) is the chefy kind, but I enjoy it too.

Edit to add: Lee’s Hoagies in Pasadena might scratch the itch too.

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Thanks for the intel and recommendations @srsly

I’ve never been to Mario’s or Lees. I’ll check em out when I’m up in pas/glendale.

Based on Yelp, lee’s looks promising to me

Not sure why there is a trend towards grated parm etc on some italian sandwiches…it’s not my preference but people must like it (ie larry mantle). Sometimes the chefy kind can be a tasty sandwich nevertheless.


Hopefully Ggiata improved from their original ghost kitchen days. We had Ggiata back then and it was… OK. It looked nicer than it tasted. Much better places around town. I hope their new storefront changed their recipe (and improved their bread).

Unless its a meatball or chicken parm there shouldn’t be grated parm on a sandwich. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before. My preference is for sharp provolone on an Italian sub.

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yeah i agree with you…this is the larry mantle at wax paper


Hoagies and cheesesteaks will not be the same outside of South Philly.

Biggest reasons is the good shops get their bread from a local South Philly bakery or bake it in house (like Angelo’s).

A seeded Sarcone roll makes it.

It is also the little things……

That first pic is pretty bad. The layering is the complete opposite of what you see in South Philly. The sliced meats and cheese go first with a little of the bread scooped out. Lettuce, tomato, onion, oregano, oil/vinegar go on top. The meats are alway sliced to order.

You guys are being robbed

Cheesesteaks again the bread is from a local South Philly bakery. Sarcones seeded roll is the correct answer. Amoroso is pretty bad. Steak, cheese, and fried onions is the standard order. The cheese is melted throughout! Not just sitting on the top.

So many of these places get it wrong and I wonder if they even spent time in South Philly eating at all the hoagie and cheesesteaks places.

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Thanks @JeetKuneBao

I’m not feeling robbed and I’m not expecting something identical to S Philly. That would surely be cool tho. But that’s why this post is up cuz I’m having a harder time finding it. I’d love to sink my chompers into one of those papa Jake’s subs again because they were well balanced juicy and tasty and I liked the roll and the pepper relishes and the oil really brought it all together.

If you google

You will see lots of spots do put the lettuce and tomato under the meat in S Jersey which I still consider prime hoagie territory. Personally the best hoagies I’ve had have been in Atlantic City not Philly but that’s just my personal limited experience and preference.

But Philly I’ve seen em this way too

Is there a spot in SoCal that you like cuz S Philly a long way to go for a sandwich? Bet I could get robbed there in an authentic way also

Ps great cameo for Bo Diddley



Uncle Paulie’s, 3d St

This is the Cousin Bobby - sopressata prosciutto mozzarella and chili relish.

Scratched an itch.


born in Phila, raised there.
the best hoagies now-a-days - closest to ‘the old days’ - is Jersey Mike’s.

they have multiple LA stores.

Don’t agree with you.

The bread is horrid. The rest is industrial subway-adjacent product. The slice to order set up is moronic and slow especially with to go and delivery orders stacked up same place.

Not saying there’s not a time and a place and a price for Mikes.

if you tried to get a decent hoagie around here, Mike’s is multi-thousands above the rest.

slice / made to order is how Mom&Pop places did it - Subway’s three day earlier pre-portioned on wax paper, not really my thing.

the bread could be an issue - CA gets all hung up on sourdough stuff - in mid-PA the bread is dang close to Amoros’s. Subway’s par-baked is seriously unbetter.

I don’t agree with you that the bread is dang close to Amoroso’s or good, or that CA gets hung up on sourdough stuff, especially for a sub, or that Mike’s is multi-thousands above the rest. I think it’s much closer to subway than anything else and that’s not praise. There are many options better than Mike’s even in LA – Uncle Paulie’s isn’t perfect but i’ll take that any day over Mikes. Glad you enjoy it!

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All of the hoagie shops in South Philly are sliced to order FYI and they are incredibly fast

Yeah, it’s not that concept that bothers me in and of itself. I can appreciate the freshness in the abstract and there are delis and sandwich shops where it works (like Uncle Paulie’s in LA, or the spots you like in Philly). But a high volume fast food place like the Mikes near me has one person doing all of that on one slicer and all of the various in store, take out and to go/delivery app orders orders are all funneling to that one person. It’s a huge bottleneck with order slips piled up next to the bread, many sandwiches in partial assembly stage and customers trying to get the polite attention of the overworked and underpaid slicer to start their order (good luck with that!). That deters me from going back cuz i can’t wait 15 minutes (if you’re lucky) for a fast food sandwich. It’s not incredibly fast. I also don’t think it’s worth the wait but reasonable minds can differ.

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