Opening in 2020, Ggiata is one of the newest sandwich shops in town, and yet, the reason we love it so much is just how old school the menu feels. You’ll spot sandwiches filled with things like crispy chicken cutlets drenched in spicy vodka sauce, meatball parmesan, and tangy grilled balsamic chicken with roasted red peppers. Though there are a few traditional cold cut options on the menu, most of Ggiata’s sandwiches feel more like entrees on bread - and that’s a great attribute in our books, particularly when they taste as good as they do here.
Ggiata’s bright space at Melrose and Western is mostly a to-go operation - there’s no inside seating to speak of - but if you’re too hungry to wait until you get back home or to the office, check out the tiny counter along the back wall outside. No one’s going to mistake this part of East Hollywood for Italy, but there’s something intrinsically European about standing around an alley with a sandwich, sipping orange San Pellegrino, and stretching your midday siesta as far as it’ll go. Speaking of which, before you head out, be sure to loop back inside for a quick moment at their daily dessert case. Whether it’s a perfectly moist Limoncello olive oil cake or a box of sweet, nutty rainbow cookies, you’re not walking out of Ggiata with only sandwiches in your bag - or stomach.
If this is your first time to Ggiata, The Spicy P is a must-order. The moist chicken cutlet has a perfectly-crusted, crispy exterior, but the star of the show is without question their house-made spicy vodka sauce smothered on top. It’s sweet, creamy, and slightly acidic, and slowly seeps into the charred seeded baguette as you eat.
We first ordered this sandwich simply because of its name, but will continue to order it, because it is, in fact, a masterpiece. Stacked with prosciutto, marinated eggplant, tomato confit, roasted red peppers, stracciatella, arugula, and red wine vinaigrette, it’s a balancing act between its sweet, savory, and acidic elements - all of which complement each other perfectly. This is our favorite sandwich at Ggiata.
It’s understandable if you come here only craving a sandwich, but if you leave without some arancini in your bag, you’ve done it wrong. These white wine risotto balls have a perfectly-fried crunchiness on the outside that gives way to a gooey, fontina-filled center. They’re the ideal dipping snack during lunch - particularly considering you’re dipping them into a side of Ggiata’s spicy vodka sauce.
If a place like Ggiata can’t nail a classic Italian sub, it should probably reconsider its business model. Luckily, that’s of no concern here. This ham, salami, capicola, muenster cheese, and vinaigrette-topped sandwich isn’t doing anything wildly different, but that’s exactly why it works.
Say it with us: I will not leave Ggiata without getting a dessert. OK, say it again. Now head to the daily dessert case and have at it.