Take a holiday shopping pitstop at simplethings, a casual new sandwich and pie shop on a busy stretch of 3rd street.
The no-nonsense name is bolstered by a spare, clean white interior and staff in t-shirts that read "Sandwich. Pie. Done."
And those are your instructions. Head straight back to the pie case to order off the laminated menu while your girlfriend scopes the fluffy confections inside. Grab a Mexican Coke on ice from the old school cooler, take your number, and take a seat.
Sandwiches are gussied-up versions of country favorites. Prime rib is cooked until it's falling apart. A fried chicken sandwich is topped with tangy coleslaw.
Get a half sandwich and pair it with a cup of daily special soup. The tomato and basil is so bracingly fresh it almost begs to be used as a dip.
As for the light, airy pies, choose from three sizes (cutie, simple, or big) in funky flavors from banana toffee to salted caramel. Warning: It'll take a minute to decode the icon-laced menu that tells you what's available on a particular day.
8310 W. 3rd St., Mid-City West (323) 592-3390
Price: 2 (out of 4) Noise: 1 (out of 4)
Parking: Metered street
Scene: Attention, well-heeled female shoppers — your order is ready.
Best bets: Prime rib; fried chicken; salted caramel pie
Hot seat: The sushi bar-like counter lets you watch your order being put together.
Watch the garnish: Those string beans, carrots, and peppers on your plate are pickled.
Nearby: Joan's on 3rd; Beverly Center; The Grove
The Rundown's restaurant reviews are based on anonymous visits by reporters, not press releases.