Soda Pop's

Los Angeles, CA. I'd like a soda - a banana soda - please. actually have it? As the name suggests this food shop is a purveyor of soda, with a select supply of sweets to join their sandwiches, wraps, and salads. The sodas are displayed in a small case within eyeball distance of the cashier. Cookies and other desserts, baked or supplied, are packaged and neatly displayed next to the register. Side Salads, house-made chips, and more are directly to the right from where orders are placed. Basically, Soda Pop's makes it pretty easy to grab a filling lunch if time is of essence.

Cuban Sandwich
Cuban Sandwich - pickles, ham, and turkey, covered in melted swiss and old fashioned mustard, pressed hot. The flavors combined all too well, and for a Cuban sandwich in Los Angeles, I was a fan of the version; something about this sweet, sour, and savory dish appeals to my taste buds. Like their other sandwiches, this was served up with a choice of potato salad, quinoa, or crisp house-made chips. Having previously tried their Jalapeño Cheddar, and loving their Salt and Pepper, I decided to go with the quinoa - a cold side with roasted veggies and a southwestern flare. It was fine, not love at first sight, but fine. This sandwich was also a daily special.

Smokehouse Burger with Jalapeno Cheddar Chips - tomatoes, onions, and lettuce, stacked gratuitously on beef with melted cheddar between a toasted bun. I wasn't complaining. It is a sandwich and soda shop, so no surprise that the burger added to their bragging rights. Housemade Jalapeño Cheddar Chips were served liberally next to burger, had a cheddar flavor with a hint of spice (not 'spicy' by any means). This was a daily special, so check the board before ordering and maybe you'll flirt with something new too.

Smokehouse Burger with Jalapeño Cheddar Chips

Grilled Cheese - finally, something standard to their menu, eh? A thick cut of Texas toast (as the toast usually goes) with sharp cheddar and white American cheeses melted in that way that only certain kitchens will allow. I typically add avocado to mine (even bacon if I when I get fancy). Grilled cheese sandwiches are best eaten hot, so getting a picture of one is usually hard when I'm faced with lessening the taste of the food. Next time...

Chocolate Chip Cookie

Chocolate Chip Cookie - a simple cookie: rich, buttery, and fresh. The blend of brown sugar and butter that seems to get lost in some cookie recipes remains here. It's fully-cooked yet chewy with no need to heat; even pre-packaged cookies cling to the melt-in-your-mouth model. I was never really a cookie kid, but it's great to have a solid option should the cookie craving strike (and it does...more often than I'd care to admit).

It's just a short walk from the Beverly Center and the 3rd Street Shopping District, and the lunch crowd rarely seems to get heavy (in other news, they're now serving breakfast too!). The service is consistently friendly and seating extends the length of the narrow eatery. Though I've tried a number of daily specials, I'm not saying "haha, I had this and you can't." I'm saying that there's always something new in addition to their standard twists on American classics like BELTA (a twist on a BLT), grilled cheese, or burgers. To dine or to go, Soda Pop's offers up a tasty plateful, but be careful with the eyes-to-stomach ratio: ordering as much as you want will ring up price from low-moderate to moderate-high rather quick. 

Soda Pop's
349 N La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(310) 967-0119

[Update July 2013] Now you can order online!
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