Bougie Uncrustables: PBJ.LA

If you ever went to school in the US, you know that the school lunches were the worst. When kids in Korea ate rice with donkatsu, everyone else in the US had to eat dog food. We ate pizzas that tasted like marinated cardboard and chicken gravy with mashed potatoes that looked like someone threw up from eating too much oatmeal and milk. So of course, I decided to save my lunch money and starved at lunch rather than eating foods from the nightmare realm. You would think that I’m joking but trust me, school lunches in America was and still is BAD. But there were rare instances on Fridays, we had Smucker’s Uncrustables. Everywhere I went, everyone was eating the Uncrustables with so much happiness and joy. Everyone loved it. They worshipped it. For some people, Uncrustables was the epitome of childhood memories. But as for me, it was nothing more than a perfect round object that could be used to slap someone annoying in the face LOL.

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You see I’m not a PB&J kinda girl. I hate how the peanut butter is so thick and sticky that it gets stuck on the roof of my mouth and I have to strain my tongue to scrape it out. The jelly is so sweet that my mouth dries up. And milk doesn’t help at all. It just makes it worse LOL. I hate PB&J so much to the point where I would choose to starve myself than eat it. So when I heard my close friend saying I should give PBJ.LA a try, I was like HELL NO. Apparently, she had it once and ever since that day, she “dreams about eating the sandwiches everyday.” And let me tell you, my friend is a very picky eater and if she says something is good, then it’s good. So I was on the fence whether to try it out or not. After contemplating for a long time, I decided to give it a try. I was going be in the area anyways so why not?

ABOUT: PBJ.LA is located inside Grand Central Market in DTLA. They create all their nut butters, jams, and milks in-house from scratch and all the ingredients are organic. They are also 100% plant based so it’s perfect for vegetarians and vegans. Their aim is to “delight peanut and butter jelly lovers with inventive combinations of organic, exotic nut butters, superfoods, artisanal jams and more.”

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FOOD: My friend wanted the Ol’ Fashioned while I was debating where to get the New School or the Chocolate Haze. I asked the worker for his suggestion and he said to go with New School. Trusting his suggestion, I ordered the New School and also the vanilla lavender almond milk. I also wanted to order yuzu matcha since I love matcha but my order was getting expensive.

It was interesting to see the worker creating the sandwiches. They use round breads which I have never seen before. There’s a station where the worker puts the sandwich in this device where it gets rid of the crust and makes the sandwich round. The PB&J sandwiches are the exact same size as Smuckers Uncrustables. Round and tiny. Perfectly fits in the palm of your hand.

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The worker pushing the lever to create the perfect round PB&J.
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Where all the discarded crusts go… I wonder what they do with the crusts after.

PRICE: Okay these are some pretty expensive PB&Js. The Ol’ Fashioned was $7 while the New School was $6.50. On top of that, I ordered the vanilla lavender almond milk which was $4 so my whole total came out to be around $20 with tax. A small part of me cried when I handed my credit card to the worker…

TASTE: I didn’t have time to eat my sandwich since I had to help out for AdJam right after so I had the two sandwiches to go. The next day, I went over to my friend’s house to eat the sandwiches with her. First, we tried the New School and I’m not joking, it literally tastes like Smuckers Uncrustables. There was nothing special about it, it’s just… basic. The almond butter was thick and nutty while the strawberry jam wasn’t too sweet. The sandwich overall tasted mild.

Next we tried the Ol’ Fashioned and compared to New School, it had a very overwhelming taste. The sandwich had salted pecan butter, apple jam with angostura bitters (concentrated bitters based on gentian, herbs and spices) and orange zest. The butter was very thick and chunky and I was able to taste the pecan flavor more at the end. The jam overpowered the pecan butter because of the orange zest. I never had a PB&J where the flavors were so complex and I didn’t like it. I’m used to the simple PB&J even though I complained about New School being basic LOL.

The vanilla lavender almond milk was super tiny. It was 8 ounces. It had filtered water, almonds, lavender, vanilla bean, coconut, and coconut sugar. I was able to taste the lavender and vanilla but they were faint. Usually, coconut flavor is pretty strong so I was surprised that I wasn’t able to taste the coconut. There were lavender chunks in the drink so when I drank it, it kind of scratched my throat. The vanilla lavender almond milk was overall a pretty light drink. Not worth the $4 in my opinion.

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New School – Almond Butter, Strawberry Jam ($6.50)
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Ol’ Fashioned – Salted Pecan Butter, Apple Jam with Angostura Bitters, Orange Zest ($7)

CONCLUSION: Would I ever drop $8 for a sandwich that fits in the palm of my hand? No. But if you are an avid PB&J fan, I think it’s worth it to give it a shot. However, as for me, I should have trusted my gut feelings and used that $20 elsewhere. I went there in hopes that maybe my taste evolved but nope. Nope nope NOPE. Now I know that I’ll hate peanut butter and jelly sandwich forever lol.

PBJ.LA | Menu
317 South Broadway Ste C11
Los Angeles, CA, 90013

Hours
Everyday 9:00 am – 9:00 pm

Parking
There’s parking behind the Grand Central Market but there’s also a parking structure across. But I suggest parking at the structure after 4pm, it will only cost you $5 flat rate (Mon – Fri) or you’ll have to pay $3/every 15 minutes… like how I did… sigh. 

 

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