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Aug 15, 2009 11:27 AM

Banh Ma Sandwich in West L.A.

None of the pho places in our area carry this sandwich - are they typically not part of Vietnamese restaurants but a separate entity? Anyone know where we can get one? Thanks!

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  1. Yes, some UCLA students (or graduates ?) are going to begin operating the Nom Nom Truck on the westside 8/17, next Monday, for the first time IF everything goes according to their plan. They will have that sandwich as well as, you guessed it, Vietnamese Tacos:

    If your desperate, Pho Citi has an offering under appetiziers #10, but no one who's gone their has had anything positive to say about their food:

    1 Reply
    1. re: JBC

      I really would like to find a good place west of Alhambra. But in my mind it might be easier to drive to SGV than chase after a truck.

      I hope it is good. The key is where are they getting their ingredients? I checked out the website and it seemed to have more of an emphasis on the creation of their logo, more than about the food.

      1. Short of driving to the Valley, the SGV or OC, your only option is to wait until the Nom Nom truck starts selling and follow them. They're new so nobody has tried their sandwiches or seen their prices yet.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Das Ubergeek

          Too bad to hear about Pho Citi - I just saw a commercial for it - my husband had one of the banh mi sandwich at Pho 99 (Wilshire and Granville) and said it was okay. I don't know if we have the energy to chase a truck to get the sandwich but thanks for the tip!

          1. re: Das Ubergeek

            Das, would you be interested in teaming up and opening a banh mi/viet spot in the west side? ;) off topic, but I know your're a big fan of vien dong and for some reason, in all the times i've eatened in OC, we just kept skipping Vien Dong until this past weekend. Only had three of their dishes--the most notable was their bun mang viet--just like how mom makes. One of the best i've had in little saigon. will have to try more of their dishes.

            1. re: hppzz

              Funny, i haven't had their bun mang viet! I'll have to try it.

              I shudder to think the prices we'd have to charge to make up for rent on the westside. Ai ya.

              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                You think? Just get a tiny little storefront like Nicky's in NYC. I'll bet you can keep the banh mis around $5, which is a little high for banh mi but low for sandwiches on the westside. I think the key would be it has to only do banh mi (and maybe pho).

                1. re: a_and_w

                  At 5 bucks-a-banh-mi-pop Nom Nom was not lacking for business just a few moments after their noon-landing yesterday. Admitedly, their rent is lower than your proposal, a and w!

          2. Would you settle for below average banh mi?

            if so, try either PhoReign in West LA or China Beach in Venice.

            Both have it (if I recall correctly), but both make it in a very embarrassingly bad manner. Sort of like McDonald's trying to make an authentic Philly Cheesesteak ... ain't gonna happen.

            4 Replies
            1. re: ipsedixit

              You make it sound just so appetizing :)

              I have seen PhoReign on Sawtelle - now I know!

              1. re: Bria Silbert

                If below average banh mi will suffice, there's also Pho 99 on Wilshire. They don't have pate and are frequently out of cilantro, but the pork and beef versions are passable particularly with the addition of sliced chilis, which they will do. Just make sure to specify each ingredient that you want.

                Any word on the truck? The website doesn't seem to be working...

                1. re: a_and_w

         Chowpatty tried them and gave them a thumbs up. I wish they would come more up into Hollywood

              2. re: ipsedixit

                The one at China Beach is passable, I have it for lunch occasionally and it gets the job done.

              3. Just had Nom Nom Truck for lunch, parked near Yahoo, 26th and Colorado today...and it was good. Easily the best Bahn Mi to be had on the Westside at this time. My office mates and I tried the BBQ Pork, Grilled Pork, Lemongrass Chicken and Deli (Head Cheese) Bahn Mi.
                Grilled Pork was felt the best with Chicken-LG and Deli coming in second. BBQ Pork was a little dissappointing in the limited pork placed inside. But the baguette was perfect and veggies bight and crispy with enough heat and sweet to pull the whole thing off. The best to be had -- no way! The best to be had in the Far West - yes!

                6 Replies
                1. re: Ciao Bob

                  Damn...that's right near where I live. If I'd known they were there, I would have gone.

                  EDIT: Their website appears to be up and running again with a schedule. Nice!

                  PS: What veggies and condiments come on the sandwich?

                  1. re: a_and_w

                    Woo! Hoo! Thanks for this posting, just checked their site. I work right by the Wed location, perfect timing to try them.

                    1. re: a_and_w

                      The usual suspects -- cilantro, basil, pickled daikon/carrots, cucumber, jalapeno,small swifpe of mayo or a mayo-like substance.
                      I forgot to look if there was pate on the "deli" but I didn't taste it.

                      No Srihacha...added my own!

                      1. re: Ciao Bob

                        Thanks! Looks like they'll be in Brentwood on Thursday, so I'll give them a shot then.

                        1. re: Ciao Bob

                          There was pate on the "deli". I found the Nom Nom truck to still be lacking -- too much bread to filling ratio. It needed more pickled vegetables and cilantro and the mayo-like substance (that seemed to be only on the char siu) was kind of disgusting. It felt very much like the bahn mi for first-timers.

                          1. re: brunello

                            I am just so happy the debate here appears to be one of fine-tuning an already(!) credible product. It is an authentic and quite delicious sandwich. Is it at the SGV/Westminister standards now? No. Can that be reached on a truck without a bakery? I doubt it. But as it stands (or sits, or drives) today, we can (sometimes) have great banh mi on the Westside. SOmething we haven't had since East-West in Westwood stopped doing a good job!