the carving board

The Carving Board
1676 Gateway Blvd, Los Angeles, CA, USA

I don't even recall what prompted me to drop in on The Carving Board originally—from the outside it doesn't look like anything special, and its location, in a Bermuda Triangle of bizarrely controlled traffic flow, is a little janky to access.

It certainly wasn't being bandied about in the schlemmergeist (or "collective overeating consciousness"). No one I knew was raving about it … even my celebrity friends (Anson Williams and Adam "Pacman" Jones) weren't making a point to be "seen" there.

Perhaps it was the cosmic whisper of notorious profligate and gambler John Montagu, the Fourth Earl of Sandwich, steering me toward this crowded little strip mall on a weird-angled corner.

"It is in there!" said the whisper. "IT IS IN THERE!"

the carving board

Come to think of it, I can't recall how my fentanyl addiction started either. All's I know is, The Carving Board has some of the best fuckin' sandwiches you can get in West L.A.—and, despite having eaten there dozens of times, I've still only tried one thing on the goddamn menu!

Why so narrow a sandwich swath, you ask? Well, first of all, I do not owe you a full rundown of the entire menu. I am not James Beard. Hell, I'm not even "Little" Jimmy Goatee. But beyond all that, it's because I literally can't force myself to order anything else besides the Carving Club.

carving club

This perfectly-executed turkey club is just too fuckin' good. Every element works together beautifully; it's like the sandwich version of "Taxi"—a very good ensemble indeed. Turkey, ham, bacon, Tillamook cheddar, sweet little dill pickle chips, tomato, and lettuce with some kinda tasty mayo, and perfectly toasted sourdough. Throw in some of them homemade chips and you're in business! The business of eating a fuckin' terrific sandwich!

Now, it stands to reason that with a sandwich this good, the entire menu would be similarly good. Yet that's the paradox—I can't not get the Club. It's like what the old crones down at the Fentanyl Bee say about "going black."

The local senior center Fentanyl Bee

In the end, though, it is not just which sandwiches you had, but how many you could put away, and how much fentanyl as well. At least that's what it says in the booklet of eulogy "starter ideas" I got from a funeral director I met at a recent Fentanyl Bee.

Review by Pauline Kale, September 2019