Best Banh Mi West of the 710?
OK. I realize that might not be much of a claim to fame. But I went to Spice Table for lunch on Saturday and had a really fantastic sandwich. I had the Dac Biet (house made cold cuts) and it was delicious. My wife had the Fried Catfish Sandwich and thought it was very tasty. Almost like a Banh Mi / Po Boy (which isn't as crazy as it might sound since there are so many Vietnamese in La.) They also had a decent Cole Slaw and pretty good shrimp chips. I would also recommend the Curry Chicken Wings. They really stood out.
Lunch is different than dinner. Think counter service, bottled drinks and plastic cutlery. I think this is a bit of an experiment. The chef's wife is Vietnamese, so maybe it was her idea. But I say "right on"! Now I have a nice place where I can have a Banh Mi and walk to the "Art in the Streets" exhibit at MoCA.
I have no problem saying this is the best Banh Mi west of the 710, but it also might be the best Banh Mi in LA. When I eat there, I get the sense that they really understand Vietnamese food. The term "Banh Mi" gets thrown around a lot these days at many restaurants, but Spice Table understands the balance that is important in Vietnamese food.
A word of caution. I realize that they charge more than Banh Mi Che Cali. Heck, they even charge more than the Vietnamese Madonna's shop in Fountain Valley. But a $7 sandwich with quality bread and house cured meats was more than worth it. Please don't flame me because they don't have a "buy 2, get 1 free" special!
The Spice Table
114 S. Central Avenue, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
I dropped in last Saturday and really enjoyed the sandwiches I shared with the wife. I got to try the cold cut and the meatball and am looking forward for a chance to go back to try the others.
Like the others reviews mentioned, the sandwiches were delicious and the quality of the ingredients and preparation was evident.
I also particularly loved the shrimp chips. They were freshly fried and crispy and went great with my sandwiches and a ginger beer.
i've eaten hundreds of banh mi sandwiches my entire life, ranging from $1.50 sandwiches in westminster and san gabriel, to the $10 pork belly banh mi at mendocino farms.
I've got to say that the cold cut banh mi was easily the best banh mi i've ever had. the two most distinguishing factors are the incredibly unctuous and flavorful pate, and the thick slice of head cheese (think of the difference between getting thick slices of pastrami at langer's vs. the shaved stuff at the Hat).
Chicken banh mi was ok. Someone in our group also had the pork belly, which was done a bit like pastrami, but the definite star was the cold cut.
Oh, and the sweet potato chips were also awesome.
I really liked it too. I also had their house made cold cut bahn mi. However, I've probably had bahn mi only once my entire life. I brought my bf (who loves bahn mi) my leftovers and he thought the pickled veggies needed to taste stronger because the pickled flavor was completely masked by the rest of the sandwich. I agreed with him, but that's a plus for me because I don't like pickled anything. :)