Charity doesn’t have any distinct flavor or aroma, and scientifically can’t make food taste better, but when paired with a dish or drink, can still have a powerful effect. For the last two weeks in March, most SoCal Mendocino Farms locations (minus DTLA and West Hollywood) feature a special collaborative sandwich with Santa Monica neighbor Cassia. Bonus: sales benefit The People Concern, an organization that works to “build self-sufficiency, restore dignity and help our vulnerable neighbors become contributing members of the community.”
Cassia chef Bryant Ng and wife Kim Luu-Ng were clearly inspired when they teamed with Mendocino Farms on their limited edition lemongrass chicken sandwich. This sandwich stars juicy pulled Mary’s free-range chicken, scallion and lemongrass relish, bright herb salad, and Fontina cheese on rustic white bread. To dial up the sandwich’s texture and savory quotient, Ng coated one side of the sandwich with sharp Provolone that’s griddled until crispy.
Cassia typically serves blistered “clay oven bread” (aka naan) with bright herbs and a choice of spoonable topping. Koda Farms chickpea curry with coconut milk and cilantro has been a crowd pleaser since opening night. This collaborative sandwich comes with a sidecar of chickpea coconut curry that riffs on L.A.’s French dip tradition.
With any luck, this uniquely flavorful charitable collaboration will continue at Mendocino Farms.