Mendocino Farms is slowly becoming one of my favorite go-to spots for a quick bite. The one I go to is in Marina Del Rey, just a few minutes from where I went to school (LMU), though I never heard of this place until years after I graduated.
This place is great if you're looking for a good meal that you wouldn't consider fast food. It's perfect if you're meeting up with somebody, and don't necessarily need a full sit-down spot to catch up. This is a spot where you pay for your food up front, so it makes it easy for the bill. But the environment and the food itself is better than your average sandwich shop and you'll enjoy the place more than you would a Starbucks or a Panera Bread. They've got a patio outside where you can take your food and eat there, too - but otherwise there are tables inside, though sometimes it gets full.
Of course, where this place really gets my vote is in in the food. I'm pretty cheap when it comes to food, but this is one of the few places where I don't mind paying the premium. Eating here will probably run you $10-$15 for a decent to average sized sandwich, so don't think you'll get your money's worth if your idea of value is in the quantity. That's usually where my head is, but in this case - the quality really outweighs the idea of stuffing yourself. Everything I've tried there tastes GREAT, and the ingredients that go into every sandwich taste as fresh as you can imagine. There is amazing flavor in each of their sandwiches I've tried, and they come just as tasty as they sound when you read their menu on the wall.
Their sides are amazing as well. I love how you can sample all of their side salads, with no pressure or guilt. They happily serve you as many samples as you want so you can get a taste of what you can pair up with your sandwich (Blue Plate Special.) While you can't sample their soup, I've tried one before it is all very good.
So far, I've tasted the Steak BLT and the Highway 128. When you read the descriptions of each of their sandwich, you'll know there is something special about how they put these together. I'm happy to pay a little bit more and make the drive past Panera or Subway every once in a while to eat here, you just feel pretty satisfied and content after you're done eating.