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Good Banh Mi in the Hollywood/Koreatown area?

slates81 May 27, 2009 11:03 AM

With KP's Deli in Silver Lake sadly gone, I'm on the hunt again for a good banh mi in the East Hollywood / Melrose / Koreatown area....any suggestions? I would prefer not to have to make the trek out to Alhambra and would imagine that there's some delicious options somewhere a bit more in the neighborhood....

  1. l
    lastdetour Mar 17, 2010 10:59 PM

    The funny thing is, nobody seems to know that Absolutely Pho on La Cienega in West Hollywood has a tasty pork bahn mi. Mostly because it's not on the menu. I think they say they have ham or chicken.

    Not with fancy pate or anything but a nice bahn mi with fresh carrots, Vietnamese cucumber, cilantro, fresh jalapeno, any mayo. The pork one not on the menu is the one to get. It's the same juicy tangy chopped pork they use in the vermicilli. You can find better but this is quite delightful. I like the beef pho just as well, too. -douglas

    1 Reply
    1. re: lastdetour
      Das Ubergeek Mar 18, 2010 08:37 AM

      You mean Absolutely Phobulous?

      How much are you parted from for one of these off-menu wonders?

    2. mrgreenbeenz May 28, 2009 09:51 AM

      Little out of your requested area but there are a couple places in Chinatown that are pretty good. The ladies who run the truck at the corner of Alpine and Spring are back with a brand spanking new vehicle out of which they serve their sandwiches. Their fillings are the best in the neighborhood and the $2.50 price tag can't be beat. The baguettes is hit or miss but they are warmed.

      Also, Lien Hoa on Broadway is very good. Their baguette is always perfect but they are a little less authentic (no pate on the sandwiches for example). A bit more expensive than the truck. I recommend their roast pig banh mi. It's the perfect mix of crunchy skin, unctuous fat and tasty meat to complement the pickled veg.

      7 Replies
      1. re: mrgreenbeenz
        Thi N. May 28, 2009 04:20 PM

        Is that the place next to the Pho Hien? If so - then it's my favorite in Chinatown, too. Good nem nuong - pork sausage.

        1. re: Thi N.
          mrgreenbeenz May 29, 2009 07:51 AM

          Not sure about Pho Hien. It's next to Peking Poultry and also near the mall with Sam Woo BBQ and Pho 97.

          1. re: mrgreenbeenz
            Thi N. May 30, 2009 11:44 AM

            Ah - I've never been to that one. The one I like is in the front of Chinatown, next to Pho Hoa, I think... it's called... uh.. Buu Dien? (Vietnamse for "post office").

        2. re: mrgreenbeenz
          Dylan May 30, 2009 11:01 AM

          Any idea approximately what hours the Alpine/Spring truck keeps?

          1. re: Dylan
            mrgreenbeenz May 31, 2009 11:50 PM

            Hours are dodgy. When asked they claim to stay open until 8pm but I have never actually seen them there that late. Probably best to hit 'em up well before 7. No idea when they open but they're usually there at lunchtime.

          2. re: mrgreenbeenz
            DiveFan May 30, 2009 01:45 PM

            Recent topic on downtown Vietnamese: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/611095

            Interesting that Lien Hoa has called themselves 'Chinese BBQ'. I have tried restaurants downtown serving both Chinese and Vietnamese food, but they usually don't do both well.

            1. re: DiveFan
              boopboopdedoo Jun 14, 2009 10:49 AM

              My Dung Sandwich Shop on Ord between Broadway and Spring is pretty. Only had the chicken banh mi, but it was flavorful - huge - and $2.25.

          3. Thi N. May 27, 2009 05:29 PM

            The *only* good banh mi I've had in this area is Viet Noodle Bar - it's marginally more expensive than the $2 little saigon cheapies, and it's smaller, but it's wonderful - balanced, beautiful bread, finely controlled ingredients.

            1. r
              revets2 May 27, 2009 01:48 PM

              the banh mi is quite good at VIET NOODLE BAR on glendale ave. in atwater village adjacent to silver lake. the bread is baked to his recipe. the sardine is our fave.


              3 Replies
              1. re: revets2
                bruinike May 27, 2009 04:33 PM

                How is the baguette at Viet Noodle? That is key for me. Is the bread warmed or served cold?

                Thank you!

                1. re: bruinike
                  Grog May 28, 2009 09:09 AM

                  Viet makes the baguetts. They are true French baguetts, thin with a crispy crust and yes they are warmed. They're about $6.

                  1. re: Grog
                    bruinike May 28, 2009 10:45 AM

                    YUUUM! I am sold. Thank you for the report

              2. Chowpatty May 27, 2009 11:23 AM

                But here is a thread with all the likely prospects, all around Silver Lake, not Hollywood.

                1. Das Ubergeek May 27, 2009 11:18 AM

                  Unfortunately there's not. The only place I know to get them is at Gingergrass and they're $9 each. Shocking!

                  Cheap, good banh mi are incompatible with Melrose-type rents.

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