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Many children got wonderful toys this holiday season (including me), but before long the allure of a new toy wears off and the lust for a new one begins. Toyaroo is to toys what Netflix is to movies; you may want to see a movie, but not own it, and now you can rent a toy your children can play with and not own it.

For everyone who is wary of renting a “used” toy, Toyaroo inspects and sanitizes all their toys before shipping them out and they allow you a free 14 day trial before you sign up for their program. You can choose from popular name brands like Baby Einstein, Fisher Price, and Discovery, or select based on age group, or type of toy, e.g. electronic, musical, or award winners.

Different plans and pricing are available depending on how long you want to keep your toy (30 or 60 days) and how many toys you want delivered on your rotation; plans start at $24.99 for four toys every 60 days and for $52.99 you can get eight toys every 30 days. Think of this as free toy recycling, with the added bonus that you aren’t paying to own when your children are only interested in short term rentals. Even if you sign up for the most expensive package, you will still spend about 25% of what it would have cost you to buy 96 name brand toys in a year, and that can save you enough to buy a nice toy for yourself!

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I love good bread, it’s my comfort food and finding a place in Los Angeles that serves good bread is the equivalent of finding a treasure buried in my backyard. A place which uses good bread to make good sandwiches is as rare as finding gold coins in a backyard treasure. 

The venerable Bay Cities, in Santa Monica, has lines around the block because they bake their bread daily and make their sandwiches with fresh ingredients. For those who want something a bit more sophisticated inland, Ink Sack is your go to destination. For anyone who doesn’t know who Michael Voltaggio is, think of dining at Charlie Palmer’s or Jose Andreas’ Bazaar, both places where Voltaggio showcased his talents. Ink Sack is the casual affordable lunchtime spot for those who have limited time and or limited budgets, but who still have voracious appetites for impeccable food.

Nothing on the menu is over $6, and while the sandwiches are not monstrous mile high mounds of meat, they are filling and flavorful. One is enough for most people, but if you are starving, you might want to indulge and get two.

Everyone gets a black lunch bag with your name written on it with your sandwich tucked inside.

I ordered the “Reuben”, with Corned Beef Tongue, Appenzeller Cheese, Kraut, Russian Dressing for $5. This was my favorite of all the sandwiches I tried.

The ratio of meat to Kraut, cheese and dressing was perfect. The quality of all the ingredients from the bread to the kraut was outstanding. It was deli the way I always wished it could be in every deli.

I had to try the Banh Mi, made with Pork Butt, Pork Belly, Chicharrónes, Pickled Vegetables for $5. It was a beautiful presentation.

Each bite gave me a taste of the crunchy fried Chicharrónes with the fatty pork belly and the fresh vegetables which became addictive. If you have never tried Banh Mi, this sandwich will set the paradigm for future sandwiches.

The first item which caught my eye on the menu was the Cold Fried Chicken, with House Made Ranch Cheese, Gindo’s Spice of Life for $4. This was probably my least favorite sandwich.

Although the flavors were all good, the ratio of cold fried chicken to bread was too heavy on the bread side and I found the lettuce and dressing bland and boring after tasting the Reuben and the Banh Mi.

While waiting for my sandwiches, I ordered a Mexican Chocolate Chip Cookie for $2 and thought the crystals I saw on the top of the cookie were sugar. Once I unwrapped and tasted this treat, I realized they were SALT crystals and they added a wonderful counterpoint to the sweet chocolate!

If you are in West Hollywood or want a wonderful quick bite, get your name written on an Ink Sack filled with some of the best sandwiches Los Angeles has to offer. There are only a few stand up tables in this tiny place, but West Hollywood Park is only a few block away, and what could be better than spending your lunch time in a green space with a black bag full of delectable goodies?

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