WHAT’S A SANDO?
No crust. No rules.
“No Aloha has a pop-up menu and it’s all sandos!”
“That’s amazing… what’s a sando?”
Depending on how closely you follow @nytcooking, you’ll greet the menu news coming out of No Aloha with either excitement or mild bemusement. Ubiquitous in Japanese cuisine, the sando only recently made an impression stateside. Its standing as a culinary trend was crystalized when the LA sando restaurant Konbi won Bon Appetit‘s 2019 Restaurant of the Year. (You might remember Dallas won Restaurant City of the Year, which is a fun-if-perhaps-irrelevant connection.)
The sando (Japanese loanword for sandwich that’s a lot of fun to say) is perhaps the most popular example of yoshoku, a genre of Japanese cuisine that features adaptations of Western dishes. (Others include Neapolitan pizza that rivals Italy’s best and wild takes on spaghetti involving ketchup.)
Taking its cues from the idealized form of an “American” sandwich (imagine one you’d eat as a kid), sandos are made on deliciously fluffy milk bread (shokupan) with the crusts removed. No crusts! Fillings vary. Katsu—shorthand for “katsuretsu,” which means “cutlet”—is the most common and usually consists of pork or chicken, a tangy/sweet/spicy sauce, and finely shaved slaw. The menu at No Aloha features a crispy Chicken Katsu with a soy mustard, alongside a nod to our regional cuisine: Texas Wagyu with a tangy special sauce.
Those with adventurous palettes will appreciate the Tamago (Japanese-style omelet) sando. With fluffy layers of egg and a little scallion mayo, it’s basically the same components as an egg salad sandwich, but composed in a way we don’t typically get to enjoy this side of the Pacific. If there’s a line when you show up, don’t worry. The wait it worth it.
The Details: No Aloha, inside the lower level of Forty Five Ten. 1615 Main Street. Available for a limited time. Complimentary valet available at the 1608 Elm Street entrance.