I met Robert Duarte at an event at the Walker and Zanger showroom a
while back. He catered this very fun affair, which was for Dwell
Design. His food was very elegant, and he called me Ma’am. Little did I
know that this meeting would forever change my lunch cravings in my own
Robert Duarte partnered with Dave Poupolo who is the owner of a great
new lunch spot in West Hollywood, Soda Pop’s. Dave Poupolo got the name
because he always loved Soda Pop, and his actual nickname is Pop’s.
Dave is from Boston, and he wanted to give his customers something you
can’t always get in LA. Dave says “In Boston you can get a solid
Sandwich at a gas station, that is not the case out here. When I first
moved to LA, right from the start I was on the hunt for my local
sandwich shop for me to frequent, it did not exist. I think what makes
Soda Pop’s so unique is that it is more than just a lunch spot. It is a
refuge of sorts, a safe haven from the hustle and bustle of LA.”
Having graduated from Newbury College in Boston Massachusetts with a
Culinary Degree, he knows good food. Then Robert created the catering
side of this establishment, S & P catering, which is growing bigger
with each passing month. I have walked by many times but never ventured
inside. Boy was I surprised, it looks from the outside like it’s a fast
convenience type store to get your favorite sodas. When you walk in you
are transported to another time. For me I can remember all of the
colorful labels, and the fantastic effervescence of each flavor. The
décor though has a modern feel, and is a real restaurant. There are
flat screen TV’s, so you can eat a burger and watch your favorite
baseball game. It kind of reminds you of a farm somewhere in America;
even the sandwiches are served in old metal baskets. So fun and lively,
the day I went there was a line to order at the lunch counter, this
place is a gold mine! So far the only way you would hear of this
3-year-old hot spot would be word of mouth. Chef Jay Schlanger really
brings it all together, with his special touches. The food is the real
jewel, everything from scratch, and made fresh the same day.
Here are the drinks I tried:
Sweet Tea, so thirst quenching, so Southern.
Ice Tea, this is a nice blended tea.
Pop Manhattan Special, Black Cherry, takes me right back to being a kid.
Americana, Honey Lime, Ginger Ale, very refreshing and clean tasting.
Here’s the food I tried:
Creamy Broccoli Soup with pureed Broccoli. This soup is very green,
with a drizzle of olive oil on the top. This is true comfort soup, very
Pop’s Burger with house blend angus burger, apple wood smoked bacon,
Pop’s onion rings, sharp cheddar, cornichons, baby argula, A1 Ketchup,
and soft brioche roll. This is one of the best burgers ever. The meat
is so juicy, cooked medium rare, and the A1 Ketchup really adds a nice
kick. This will have to be one of my go to burgers forever.
Veggie Burger, with lots of wholesome additions, especially the alfalfa
sprouts. A great way to enjoy a burger without the meat.
Chicken Pesto with marinated grilled chicken breast, havarti, avocado,
tomato, greens, pesto aioli, ciabatta. This sandwich is very fresh with
Ginger Beer Pulled Pork with slow-cooked pork, cheddar, ginger beer,
bbq sauce, jicama-apple slaw, and soft brioche. This sandwich is so
good, you can tell the pork has been slow cooked, and the slaw marries
all the nice smokey flavors.
Classic Egg Salad with argula on Texas toast. This reminds me of my
childhood when my Dad used to get me an egg salad sandwich down the
street from his beauty salon on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. So good,
reminds me of childhood comfort food.
Santa Fe Wrap with blackened chicken breast, cheddar, pico de gallo,
avocado, romaine, tortilla strips, and chipotle vinaigrette mayo. This
is a great wrap, full of great fresh flavors, and very healthy.
Bean Salad, very crunchy with lots of different kinds of bean, corn,
green pepper and onions.
Hand made potato chips, two flavors; dill, salt and pepper. These
chips are very addicting, you will never by store bought chips after
tasting these little wonders.
My next event I would absolutely hire Robert for his catering genius,
and Soda Pop’s is a great find. Dave Poupolo really knows what was
needed in this neighborhood, as far as I am concerned he has hit a home
run. I can still taste the savory sandwiches and luscious burgers!
Next time you can’t figure out where to meet a friend for lunch in the
West Hollywood area, choose Soda Pop’s, you will be pleasantly
349 N. La Cienaga Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA. 90048
Mon-Thurs 11am – 7pm
Fri & Sat 11am-9pm