Thien Huong Sandwiches & Bakery, San Jose
Recently I noticed the “grand opening” banner flying on the former location of L’Amour des Baguettes. This week I had a chance to return to check out the new occupant, Thien Huong Sandwiches & Bakery, which opened about two months ago. It has the same owner as the handful of other Thien Huong restaurants in San Jose, each with a different focus, e.g., com tam.
The bread for banh mi is baked in-house. The lady behind the counter said this is the same bread baker who had brought L’Amour des Baguettes to fame. When L’Amour closed, he worked for Phat Tri across the street but has left that assignment and is baking at Thien Huong now.
From about 10 or so choices, I picked up a combo banh mi, $3.50, for later. This was a big sandwich, about 9” long by 3” wide, good value for the money. Reheated for eating, the bread crisped up beautifully. Very light although the crust was not as flakey, but otherwise was quite similar to what I’ve had at Phat Tri.
A complimentary, mini-baguette was tucked into my bag, about 12” x 2”. The skinny loaf had three deep slashes across the top of the crust and tender, delicate crumb. The staff member had mentioned that they were considering using this size for a more traditional sandwich, one bite wide.
Thien Huong Sandwiches & Bakery
1181 Story Rd
San Jose, CA 95122
Open 5am to 9pm
I was back here a couple fridays ago and the front part of the building closest to Story Road has been built out as a sit-down restaurant with a separate entrance called Com Tam Thien Huong, same address and phone number. Hours are 9am to 10pm, daily.
At the bakery side, I picked up three sandwiches: combo, bbq chicken, and grilled pork, to share with a couple friends. We liked the BBQ chicken quite a bit that "kclb" recommended. I also got Gỏi cuốn (fresh spring rolls), 4 rolls for $6.50. They're made to order by the restaurant kitchen and not sitting around in a box for instant take-out. The pork was a little dry inside, but otherwise a good job with very crisp, fresh herbs and lettuces and nice dipping sauce that tasted of hoisin and peanut sauce among other flavors.
I tried the BBQ chicken sandwich here and I quite liked it. The chicken was well-seasoned and flavorful. The bread was crusty and delicious.
What I really liked here was the chocolate croissant. I wasn't expecting much when I bought it, but I was pleasantly surprised when I came around to eating it.