Forget LA, you have to get out to the SGV. Mr Baguette and BMCC are both good. I just wanted to use this post as an excuse for two of my favorite places (but they are in OC)
Ba Le on Bolsa (they make their own charcuterie) is fantastic. Nhu Lan is another good place that just opened. They are on Brookhurst and Garden Grove Blvd. Nhu Lan is named after one of my favorite spots in Saigon.
If you end up in that part of town, I highly recommend giving them a try.
Best Chinatown Banh Mi:
Lien Hoa on Broadway has the best bread and also will put in their crackly roast pork for a little extra.
The Nam Truck on Alpine and Spring has the best fillings and variety (and all sandwiches are $2.50) plus its run by a super friendly lady.
LA Sandwich is hidden back in a weird mall-thingy on Broadway closer to Ord. They aren't the best but they are a good way to mix it up and they have a great mango ice slush.
I don't get the Buu Dien thing either. Lousy bread and nothing special inside. The only thing worse is My Dung it's - (insert name-based juvenile put-down here). Haven't tried Chinatown Deli though. What's their strong suit?
736 N Broadway Ste 102, Los Angeles, CA 90012
As regards Chinatown banh mi - My Dung - the name says it all. Tried Buu Dien the other day off a CH recommendation - not terrible but not as good as two other options...
Lien Hoa - has a really good baguette but not so great on the filling. The exception being their very non-traditional roast pork banh mi. Great mix of crunchy skin, pork and fat.
Also the truck on Alpine and Spring is very cheap and has great fillings but the drawback is their bread is a bit sub par.
Chinatown (not that noteworthy or great. Just convenient):
Banh Mi My Dung
Banh Mi My Tho (my current favorite)
Banh Mi Che Cali
8702 Valley Blvd, Rosemead, CA 91770
642 N Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Banh Mi My Tho
304 W Valley Blvd, Alhambra, CA 91803
Saigon Sandwich & Bakery
718 E Valley Blvd, San Gabriel, CA 91776
My Dung Sandwich Shop
314 Ord St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Banh Mi & Che Cali
8450 Valley Blvd, Rosemead, CA 91770
Personally, the only banh mi I particularly like in Chinatown is one I forgot to list. Rainbow Bakery recently renovated their interior. The sandwiches are closer to $3 but I think loads better than either Buu Dien, My Dung, or even Chinatown Deli. Give Rainbow Bakery a try, especially their Banh Mi Dac Biet.. It's accessed through the parking lot of Ai Hoa Market.
424 W College St, Los Angeles, CA 90012