On Portia Street just behind Little Joy in Echo Park, sits the future home of Trencher, a decidedly modern sandwich shop with a historical twist. Trencher? Hussein Katz, one of the owners, explains the term “Trencher” is a Middle-Ages term for the open-faced predecessor of the sandwich. It is now also the name of the eatery where he and business partners, Danny Zackery and Justin Foster, will be focusing on creating flavorful sandwiches to appeal to a wide-range of appetites. Katz says, they’ll offer their “take on some of the greats.” Those greats include their homage to the original open-faced sandwich, as well as a burger.
Other menu items will include a tender-braised brisket sandwich on toasted sourdough and the tofu banh mi sandwich, which delights in its street food comforts. Their pulled pork sliders also whet the neighborhood’s appetite for the shop’s opening when the Trencher crew handed them out this summer during Echo Park Rising.
Some of the menu items will rotate on a weekly or monthly basis in addition to the standard selections.
A native Angeleno, Katz has spent the better part of his professional career making foodies’ mouths water. Not as chef, but rather as a photographer shooting food for an array of magazines and chefs, alike. Having traveled the world and tasted its vast cuisine, Katz decided it was his turn to help create the kinds of culinary inspirations he’s spent his career watching from behind the lens. In partnership of his two childhood friends (one servers as Trencher’s chef and the other, an advertising professional), Katz is certain that they’ve got all the angles covered when it comes to the team’s first restaurant venture.
Glaringly absent from Echo Park’s shifting culinary scene has been a sandwich shop. It is perhaps fitting then that Echo Park’s first, sitting alongside neighborhood staples like El Compadre, is mixing together old world and new. Trencher plans to open in December.
1305 Portia Street
Marni Epstein is a freelance writer and music journalist who has also worked in both the film and digital media industries.