New: Earl Sandwich in Kaimuki

From left: chorizo sandwich, blue cheese and apple salad, French dip

Until recently, finding a good sandwich in Hawaii was difficult. Andy's was the long-time default choice, and Mix Cafe the relative newcomer that lured us away from our go-to plate lunches. But now, as Mix Cafe's end is near (news flash: its last day is April 25), a few new places have filled in the empty space between the bread. There's Tucker and Bevvy in Waikiki, The Butcher and Baker, which opened recently downtown (more on that later), and Earl Sandwich, a tiny and adorable new spot in Kaimuki.

Earl's short list of sandwiches includes a Fun Guy, stuffed with mushrooms, hummus and fennel onion marmalade; and the Jamestown, a turkey sandwich dressed up with curried yams and cranberry. I'd return for the French Dip—thick slices of roast beef, some of that onion marmalade, and a side of jus. But I didn't love the chorizo and avocado sandwich, which tastes like bread and Bolognese instead of the bold, spicy, cumin-scented Mexican (and Spanish) sausage that I know.

Earl's a father-and-son operation: Justin Parvizimotlagh and his dad squeeze into the small space behind the counter to make each of the sandwiches to order. Justin's been in the food industry for his entire life, starting in his dad's pizza parlor in Baltimore before moving on to other restaurants. It didn't take much to reunite the two in the kitchen: as soon as Justin decided to open Earl, he called his dad, who booked his flight from Baltimore the next day to join his son. 

Earl Sandwich, sandwiches $8
1137 11th Ave., in the 11th Ave Atrium (next to Jawaiian Irie Jerk), 200-4354