You also feel like you’ve been sucked into a 1990s time warp when TLC’s “No Scrubs” plays on the flat-screen TV and replicas of Jeff Koons’s Balloon Dog sculptures adorn the shelves. Looking like they’re hungover, locals stroll in on weekends wearing shorts and baseball caps and some arrive on skateboards. Then they order hefty sandwiches to undo their late-night shenanigans.
To get into that mind-set, we looked past the Rob and the Morgan to order the Sticky Tender Hero ($12). It was the perfect pick: Between slices of soft semolina bread, a blue cheese dressing oozes through a tangle of shredded lettuce, onions and tomatoes atop chicken tenders doused in a bright buffalo sauce. Imagine being dragged into a raucous college sports bar where the comfort food still has the power to entice you with its large, reasonably priced portions.
This decadent sandwich tempted us to taste the Backyard Burger ($10.50), a sirloin patty slathered in Russian dressing, evoking childhood memories of chowing down on a McDonald’s Big Mac. Plus, you can add sides—steak fries ($4.50), onion rings ($5) and mozzarella sticks ($7)—to round out your meal.
If you believe bigger is better, order the Tony: a towering hero filled with prosciutto, Virginia ham, soppressata, provolone, roasted red peppers, arugula and a heap of condiments. It’s the culinary definition of thicc. Another classic crowd pleaser, the Joshua is a perfect melding of pastrami, turkey, cheese and sauerkraut, but the marble rye bread lacked any char from the grill.
It took more than 20 minutes to receive our order, and on one visit, our eyes burned with smoke from the kitchen. But then Eminem’s “Slim Shady” came on the speakers (with a reference to Compton’s own Dre) and all was forgiven: “May I have your attention, please? / May I have your attention, please?”
Compton’s, you have our full attention.