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At the Stuffed Sandwich, owned by Sam Samaniego and his wife, Marlene, Sam's word is Scripture. If you ask for a lager, Sam will tell you that you're wimpy. If you ask for a triple-strength ale, he will make sure that somebody else is driving. If you head toward the beer taps before ordering food, he will insist that his restaurant is not a bar, tapping his pencil under the Reagan busts on top of the coolers until you finally order a liverwurst sandwich. If you want a proper glass for your ale, you will have to bring one yourself (as many regulars do) or drink from a miniature Dixie cup. Eventually, you will get around to the food, which runs toward tomato-paste-intensive spaghetti, overstuffed submarine sandwiches and the last Freedom Fries available in the Greater Los Angeles area. He makes the Polish sausages himself, and they must be about 50 percent superhot pepper by weight. The beer menu is a fizzing, breathing encyclopedia of hops: monastery ales beyond counting and Moza Bock from Guatemala, smoky rauchbier from Germany and sour Fantome from Belgium, Fat Dog Stout, Old Speckled Hen and Bud Light: probably 700 beers in all, plus an equal number that Sam may pull from the back if he thinks you are worthy of the honor. God help you if you ask for a Heineken.
“Tell me what you want to try,” said Sam Samaniego, gesturing toward his bank of beer-filled refrigerators. “Then I’ll tell you what you’re going to drink instead.”I asked, I think, for something hoppy and Belgian. He handed me a bottle of Green... More »
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