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Banh Mi

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proovit Jul 22, 2009 09:49 AM

I've never had a banh mi sandwhich. I'm not even sure I know what it is. I live at Hollywood and Highland and intend to get in my car at lunch time and drive to the closest good one available so I don't continue to live in ignarance. Where should I go?

  1. a
    attran99 Jul 22, 2009 09:43 PM

    The most traditional banh mi (and my favorite) is the fresh baguette...still warm from the oven...with homemade mayo (the Vietnamese version is actually French and is made from egg yolks, oil, and salt), a slather of pate, jambon (Vietnamese ham), headcheese, and the vegetable accoutrements...love the pickled veggies...and maybe a little bit of soy sauce. I also love the cha lua (which I call the Vietnamese spam, but way less salty) and the sardines in tomato sauce. My hubby likes the thit nuong...which is just grilled pork.

    6 Replies
    1. re: attran99
      Peripatetic Jul 23, 2009 01:33 AM

      These fillings sound great! Do you have any recommendations for places that do a traditional version?

      1. re: Peripatetic
        Das Ubergeek Jul 23, 2009 03:32 AM

        Head over to Valley Blvd. in San Gabriel. Tons there. Mr. Baguette, Top Baguette, Banh Mi Che Cali... and of course the mother lode is down here in north OC's Little Saigon.

        1. re: Das Ubergeek
          t
          taiwanesesmalleats Jul 23, 2009 09:38 AM

          Where's Top Baguette on Valley? Is that new?

          1. re: Das Ubergeek
            Peripatetic Jul 23, 2009 10:25 AM

            Thanks UG. So far I've been to Ba Le, BMCC (Rosemead location) and My Tho (really liked My Tho). I was wondering whether attran99 might have a specific recommendation for a place that does a noteworthy example of the traditional style she describes. From what I've gleaned, My Tho is the current SGV favorite among CHer's, but perhaps there's other places that do a better example of the traditional style?

            I know that the quality of the baguette is paramount, so that anywhere that's good at one style is likely to be good across the board, but some people have pointed out places (I think Mr. Baguette was one) that do good baguettes but disappointing fillings.

            1. re: Peripatetic
              a
              attran99 Jul 23, 2009 11:33 AM

              Das Ubergeek gave you a wonderful selection of places to go to. They all do the traditional versions, and will gladly put together any sandwich that you want. I know that it's not the best, but my parents are friends with the Lee's Sandwiches family, so we go there a lot. But I hear that Top Baguette and Mr. Baguette are the places to go now...and , if I remember correctly, Banh Mi Che Cali holds a special place in Das Ubergeek's heart.

              1. re: attran99
                Peripatetic Jul 23, 2009 11:44 AM

                Thanks, I will definitely try Mr Baguette!

      2. monku Jul 22, 2009 02:26 PM

        Bahn mi is basically a French baguette or roll buttered with your choice of
        meat(s) and dressed with pickled carrots and daikon, cilantro and serrano or jalapeno pepper. You can usually get one for $2-$3.
        Not sure about places around Hollywood.

        Other day there was a thread of places in Chinatown, but the consensus was they're somewhat just ok. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/637602

        You'd be better off exploring the Bahn Mi epicenter in the San Gabriel Valley on Valley Boulevard from Alhambra-Rosemead you'll find dozens of bahn mi places. Among them chains like Lee's Sandwiches and Bahn Mi Che Cali. Bahn Mi Che Cali's claim to fame is you buy two and get one free....so for $5 you can get three different sandwiches and try them and see what you like.

        1 Reply
        1. re: monku
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          proovit Jul 22, 2009 04:17 PM

          Thanks. Went to VIET NOODLE BAR. Had the white fish Bahn Mi. Pretty good, but did kind of taste like a fishstick in a role. Very dellcate however. At least, until I get to the San Gabriel Valley, I can now pretend I'm part of the cognizanti.

        2. Chowpatty Jul 22, 2009 02:16 PM

          You'll have to check out this thread. Closest are in Silver Lake/Atwater, but they're not the most authentic.
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/622991
          Good luck and try to get to the San Gabriel Valley soon for a real one!

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