Mitchell Jones wanted a sandwich.
There are numerous reasons why the chef from San Antonio who now lives in Highland Park wanted to open a new deli-style restaurant inside La Tropicana Market on Monte Vista Street, but he said it basically boils down to just that. He couldn't find something he was looking for, so he decided to make it himself.
Jones said that Monte52, which has been operating for about a week inside La Tropicana, will offer a menu of simple, but well made sandwiches and sides that he'd want to eat himself.
"It basically started with me asking myself, 'why can't I wake up and get a bacon, turkey and avocado sandwich?" he said.
Customers will be able to find that sandwich, as well as a BLT, Tuna, Grilled Vegetable and about a dozen others, for $5 or $6 at Monte52.
Along with the sandwiches and sides, soups, subs and salads are also on the menu. Prepared meals are on the horizon, as well.
Jones, who moonlights as a chef at Park restaurant in Echo Park, said his goal is to keep the menu simple and to execute it flawlessly.
"We like to think we're doing them perfectly--the best version of original sandwiches," Jones said. "We're not trying to challenge anybody, not trying to make the sandwiches something they're not."
Josh Siegel, who owns Park and is partnering with Jones at Monte52, said the customers will play a major role in determining the deli's concept.
"We want to keep the same quality of ingredients as Park, with a reasonable price," he said. "We're testing right now to see what the people want. We're in a different neighborhood, so we have to fill a different need."
Currently, Monte52 is open from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.