Is it wrong to lust after a sandwich? Because I understand why Alvin Cailan named his egg sandwich restaurant Eggslut. During my days in New York City, I devoured quite a few of those sandwiches. Day or night, on my way to work or after a long night of partying, a craving would arise and I just had to have it. I didn’t need to be romanced by a nice dining room. I’d take it where I could get it, which was just about anywhere. And it was always satisfying.
Then I came to Las Vegas, and they were gone—at least the good ones. I searched high and low for something to satisfy my cravings. Hell, I even settled for the occasional McMuffin. But it wasn’t the same.
Cailan knows this desire. “My family’s from New York, but I grew up in L.A.,” he says. “So my mom would drop me off at my grandma’s house for the summer. And that bacon, egg and cheese [sandwich] was always in my head.”
During his time studying at Oregon Culinary Institute and cooking at the award-winning Castagna in Portland, Cailan had no trouble finding an egg sandwich to scratch that itch. But after relocating to California, first at Bouchon in Yountville and later at Spago and Hatfield’s in L.A., he hit a dry spell. “Living in L.A., it was nonexistent,” he says of his time in the egg-barren wilderness. “If you wanted a breakfast sandwich, you had to go to Starbucks.”
In 2011, Cailan abandoned the high-end restaurant world and launched his Eggslut food truck. Its success inspired him to open a brick-and-mortar location in downtown L.A. in 2013 that became known for its long lines. Now he’s brought the concept to a tiny space that formerly served coffee and pastry on the second floor of the Cosmopolitan.
Eggslut is less a restaurant than a grab-and-go food stand. Guests order from a counter on the resort’s concourse and either take the food to go or share one long communal dining bar across from the open kitchen.
Given the place’s inspiration, it might surprise you to learn that the namesake dish on this 10-item menu is not a sandwich. The Eggslut is a glass jar filled with potato puree and topped with a coddled egg, gray salt and chives. Cailan told me that he uses the “Robuchon recipe” of “three pounds of butter and one pound of potatoes” for his puree, and I’m not certain he was exaggerating. Once you pierce that runny egg yolk, brought to the perfect temperature in an immersion circulator, and mix it into the decadent base, this is pure egg nirvana.
As good as that is, it’s difficult to tempt me away from the egg sandwiches. Cailan starts with the classic: bacon, egg and cheddar, which comes with chipotle ketchup on a brioche roll. And he doesn’t skimp on ingredients. The over-medium eggs are all dark-yolked and cage-free. The bacon comes from Newport Meat Co., and the brioche rolls are made by Delices Gourmands on west Sahara Avenue.
You’ll see the same attention to detail on all of Cailan’s sandwiches. The sausage, egg and cheese with honey-mustard aioli features a turkey sausage blended in-house. A cheeseburger with egg is topped with caramelized onions and bread-and-butter pickles. And the chocolate chip cookies are topped with gray salt and warmed to order.
Of the sandwiches I’ve tried, the sausage, egg and cheese is closest to my heart. While I couldn’t really taste the mustard aioli, the gentle bite of the sausage and the way the soft bread sops up the runny yolk are a solid one-two punch. The bacon, egg and cheese is a close second, even if the ketchup tastes more like barbecue sauce when it mixes with the smoky meat. The Fairfax, which was originally just a staff meal, is more manageable because the eggs are scrambled. I definitely miss the yolk, but that loss is offset by a nice dose of chives, caramelized onions, sriracha mayo and cheddar. (The folks at Details magazine apparently don’t mind the scramble; they named this the fifth-best sandwich in the country.) And if you’re willing to accept eggs as a secondary ingredient, try the Gaucho: an extra-large helping of tri-tip and egg with bright chimichurri, sweet red onions and peppery arugula.
While I haven’t had everything on the menu yet, I have no complaints in Eggslut’s food department. But all of that attention to detail can result in slow service, even when there isn’t a line. If you’ve been longing for sandwiches like this for as long as I have, those last few minutes of waiting will just help build the anticipation.
Al’s Menu Picks
- Sausage, egg and cheese sandwich ($8)
- Gaucho sandwich ($14), Fairfax sandwich ($8)
- and Eggslut ($10)
In the Cosmopolitan, 702-698-7000, Eggslut.com. Open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mon, Wed, Thu-Fri; midnight to 7 p.m. Tue, Sat-Sun. Lunch for two, $20-$35.