Hello, friends, and happy Monday! First I must thank you for your support in watching, liking, and commenting on my first youtube cooking video that I released this past Friday. I’m really happy with the response so far and look forward to getting out the next one. Yay!
But for now, let’s talk about the weekend. My roommate found herself craving a panini sandwich on Saturday afternoon and I found myself having no friggin clue where one would go to find one. Well I can’t think of a better excuse to find someplace new, and that’s just what we did. I got on Yelp and in seconds I discovered an actual Italian panini shop within walking distance from our apartment, I Panini di Ambra on Hollywood Blvd. We’ve lived here for two years and I never had even inkling that this place existed. A few minutes later we found ourselves at the cute little shop (we totally didn’t walk… it was really hot… don’t judge). About 15 years ago I took a trip to Italy with my parents. I was in 7th grade. When we entered the shop I immediately was taken back as if one could have found this place on any street in Italy. The lady behind the counter who greeted us with her thick Italian accent made it clear that this was a family owned and operated business. As we stood examining the menu, a group of Italian men entered the shop speaking Italian and started bantering with the owner in their language. It was kind of amazing.
I decided on the Salame Sopresata, which had salami, smoked provolone, tomato, and arugula. If I wasn’t already reminiscing from the atmosphere of the place, the sandwich alone would have done it. It’s the bread. Many paninis you get in the US have this thick, dense focaccia that really takes over and weighs down the sandwich. The focaccia at this place was thin and airy – exactly what you would find in Italy. It cooks to a perfect crunch that is easy to eat and doesn’t get in the way of the meat and cheese. My roommate was equally impressed with her Caprese panini.
Truth be told, it took some time for us to get our sandwiches, but they were in the middle of assembling a huge catering order when we got there, so I couldn’t be upset about it, particularly for a small family shop like this. Besides, it gave more time for me to stare at the group of attractive Italians sitting inside. We had a table outside and I kept wandering in to “look around”. She got nervous that I was getting impatient. Ha. Not at all my dear, not at all.
In addition to Italians and paninis, yesterday was the July Beer Garden at Tender Greens. Hard to believe an entire month has gone by since the last one. I’m sure you’re sick of me gushing over Tender Greens Beers Gardens by now, so I’m going to spare you… for today. Expect a full report on this month’s feast tomorrow.
For now go and get your Italian fix… and eat a panini too 😉
I Panini di Ambra
5633 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles 90028