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My Quest to Find LA's Most Expensive Banh Mi

Previous efforts along this quest were Spice Table (sadly shuttered) and Starry Kitchen's Friday pop up in China Town. Both delicious albeit expensive Pork belly Banh Mis. Today's effort was to newly opened Hero Shop LA in what I believe is referred to as Downtown's Historic Core just down from Cole's. I was genetically predetermined to get the Fatty Brisket Banh Mi @ $11. This was a flavor bomb in a good way. It would be too spicy for anyone with a low tolerance for spice. There was no jalapeno visible. I believe that the spice came from the aioli used. The bread however or their treatment of it can use some work. It essentially delaminated. A crusty layer on the top just came off in rather large pieces.

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  1. May I suggest:

    East Borough ($12-13)
    Red Medicine ($12)

    15 Replies
    1. re: chrishei

      Gjelina Take Away Brisket Bahn Mi $13

      1. re: karynm

        It's apparent that my quest must go West.

        1. re: JAB

          Yes, go west, young man.....

          I forget how much the Mendo Farms one is, tasty mofo... Not traditional though. Are you only test driving traditional ones?

              1. re: schrutefarms

                I know.... I can't even mention it without my husband going nuts about it.... Okay, now I'm craving it!

                1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                  I used to flip flop between the steak BLT and the Not-so-fried chicken…until I had the pork belly Banh Mi. It's so cravable. Have you had the lemongrass steak Banh Mi?

                  1. re: schrutefarms

                    NOOOOOO!! Haven't been in a while, as my hairdresser was in Marina del Rey and I used to treat myself after my appointment to the one in the plaza there. But since she got out of the business I get my hair done elsewhere, and now I'm just going to have to rectify that very soon! All I have to do is mention it to my husband.....

                    1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                      Please report back if you do! I can't seem to tear myself away from the pork belly long enough to try anything else!!

                      1. re: schrutefarms

                        Hahaha, I make no guarantees that I can either!! But will do!

            1. re: JAB

              Any quest for the most expensive anything in LA must include the west side.

          1. re: chrishei

            How are East Borough's btw, have you tried them chrishei?

            1. re: Dirtywextraolives

              I have! (http://oheithere.wordpress.com/2014/0...


              TL:DR - pretty damn good. Actually does a very good job capturing aspects of pho. Does itself no favors by calling the sandwich a banh mi (from a price perspective), so just think of it as a Mendo Farms-special type of sandwich, and you'll feel much better. Helps that it's like a footlong in size.

              1. re: chrishei

                Thanks! I'd like to try that place.....

            2. re: chrishei

              +1 east borough. Good spot for a lunch break

            3. sorry, can't stand it any longer-makes my eyes hurt- can you please edit thread to say "banh mi"

              1. RIP Spice Table Banh Mi.

                I wonder what happened to their bread guy.

                1 Reply
                1. Even further west (and south), the soft shell crab banh mi at Little Sister in Manhattan Beach ($18). Not always in season, but always delicious, if not purely traditional.

                  1. Banh Mi at Mendocino Farsm ($11)

                    On a $/ounce basis, I think this sandwich has to take the crown.

                    2 Replies
                      1. re: ns1

                        How timely. I was completely unaware of this article and was actually being facetious. I can't recall what I had at Mendocino Farms but, it very well may have been a pork belly banh mi if it was on the menu.

                      2. give me $100 and i'll deliver from banh mi my tho.

                        4 Replies
                            1. re: JAB

                              i'll keep it under my arm to keep it warm

                          1. Not the most expensive, but worth adding to your list is the Smoked Salmon Banh Mi at Valerie Market at Grand Central Market. It's either $10 or $11.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: d_doubleyew

                              Being a lox and bagels kind of guy, I'm trying to wrap my head around this. Here's a pic: http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/valeri...

                              1. re: JAB

                                I've only had it once. I thought the bread they use (ciabatta baked in-house, I believe) detracted from the experience because it was too hard for my taste. But the smoked salmon was good and the pickled vegetables and spicy dressing delicious.

                                1. re: orythedog

                                  Sorry, my being facetious didn't translate across the web.

                                  1. re: JAB

                                    the next search will be for the most expensive (read "overpriced") chinese food in LA. (read "on the west side").

                                    1. re: barryc

                                      Someone has to pay for the rent. Air conditioning ain't free - no matter where it's coming from.

                                2. Chaumont's $13.50 black cod bang mi.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: BacoMan

                                    Chaumon is not just a bakery with sweets ??????????

                                    That's news to me, then.

                                  2. I've had a couple of pretty damn good pork-belly banh mi @ $16 each, but you have to head to Calcareous Vineyards near Paso Robles to get it. They use a caterer … now, I'll be happy to pick one up for you sometime and send it to you freight collect. That ought to bring the tab up a bit.

                                    1. JAB, when I make pork tenderloin, I always have some slices leftover that I then make into banh mis for the next few days afterward. I also make the garlic aioli with kewpie mayo if I have it, and the pickled carrots and daikon. And I'd usually use those take & bake fake baguettes from La Brea, but now that I know MG has solid baguettes, I will be happy to pick those up now. So you are welcome to come and try mine, and it will only cost you your time.... Oh and a large bottle of grey goose ;0)

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                        I'll come over just for Thr baguettes. And that sauce.

                                        But will Belvedere do ?????

                                        1. re: kevin

                                          As long as it's not gin... Yes! And you'd be welcome anytime to come over for banh mis! Seriously!

                                          1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                            You won't have to
                                            Twist my arm about that. :)

                                      2. Tavern (Brentwood) offered one on the lunch menu many years ago, I do not know if they still do.

                                        1. This is an interesting thread with good information but I'm just curious why your quest is to find the most expensive banh mi? What is the purpose?

                                          I personally wasn't impressed by Medocino Farm's banh mi. I've had $3 banh mi with more flavor.

                                          3 Replies
                                            1. re: JAB

                                              Now I got it Jab. I was wondering what you meant by fatetuous.

                                            2. re: yizhang

                                              If it had more flavor than the bomb sold at Mendo
                                              Farms, I'd love to know what the hell was in it......