Sensational Sandos

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IMG_2390-2 sandwiches Wigz_ashley ryan
The Spicy Tuna (left) and Sir Melvin (back right) sandwiches with pasta salad at Wigz | Photo by Ashley Ryan

Wigz deli serves up tasty sandwiches, beer and more in a former wig shop.

By Sharon Stello

 

On the wall in Wigz sandwich shop, a sign reads “Charles’ Wigs”—paying homage to a longtime wig store that occupied the South Coast Highway space for several decades.

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Some of the beers on tap at the deli | Photo by Ashley Ryan

While recognizing the past, this locally owned deli is also making a name for itself among locals and visitors after opening over the summer. Laguna Beach resident Zac Cornwell, a former financial planner who grew up in town and managed several Gelato Paradiso shops during college, missed working in the food service industry. Feeling the community needed a proper sandwich shop, Cornwell and his fiancee, Kelly Skvarna, decided to open Wigz.

A full menu of sandwiches, sides and kids’ items are offered as well as beer on tap and a rotating set of canned drink options like sodas, brews from Laguna Beer, Brewery X hard seltzer, June Shine hard kombucha and some wine-based cocktails, as the eatery doesn’t have a full liquor license. Order at the counter then grab one of the few tables inside, or pull up a seat outside, either in front of the shop or on the charming back patio strung with lights overhead and accented with cute decor and a TV for watching the game.

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The back patio at Wigz | Photo by Ashley Ryan

Diners may order a basic sandwich with their choice of meat, cheese and other fixings, but it’s the specialty creations that really shine. One of the most popular, the Spicy Tuna, comes either melted on sourdough or toasted on Dutch Crunch bread. The tuna salad is mixed in-house with peppers and seasoning for a zesty bite, then topped with pepper jack cheese. Mayo and mustard are included in both preparations, but lettuce, tomato and onion are added on the toasted version.

Another notable nosh is the Sir Melvin, named after one of Cornwell’s buddies who helped open the store and created this delectable sandwich that layers turkey, avocado, shredded lettuce, tomato, red onion and pepperoncinis drizzled with Italian dressing on squaw bread with mayo and Dijon mustard. The bread’s sweetness combines with the slightly salty other ingredients for a tasty treat.

The Laguna Italian is another favorite, with salami, ham, capicola, shredded lettuce, tomato, red onion, pepperoncinis, Italian dressing, salt and pepper on Dutch Crunch. Other options range from hot pastrami to the Wigz Grinder, which comes with a choice of roast beef or turkey and salami, spicy cream cheese, cucumber, arugula, salt, pepper, oil and vinegar on Dutch Crunch. For vegetarians or those seeking something unique, the pesto grilled cheese is a must try. Tomatoes, arugula and artichokes are combined with pesto, balsamic vinegar and provolone on sourdough. 

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A hummus plate, offered during happy hour | Photo by Ashley Ryan

Sandwiches are served with a crunchy pickle spear. Make it a meal with chips, sides like pasta salad, coleslaw or chips and salsa. And happy hour, from 4 p.m. to close daily, comes with its own menu of sliders (barbecue beef, pastrami or tuna melt), Toastys (small, open-face sandwich bites with toppings like pesto and provolone or spicy cream cheese and salami), a hummus plate with veggies and toast, plus $5 draft beer and $2 off wine.

Notably, the bread used at Wigz comes from Bread Artisan Bakery in Santa Ana, with loaves also available for purchase at the shop for making your own sandwiches at home. But, trust us, you’ll be back for more impressive sandos made with love at Wigz.

Wigz

1816 S. Coast Highway;
949-235-8785; wigzlaguna.com

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