Restaurants & Bars

Los Angeles Area Banh Mi

Stick with Banh Mi Che Cali instead of Top Baguette


Restaurants & Bars Los Angeles Area Banh Mi

Stick with Banh Mi Che Cali instead of Top Baguette

hch_nguyen | | Feb 21, 2007 11:45 AM

I like Top Baguette's bread, but I had never had their sandwiches. So, yesterday, as I left my sister's place and drove down Bolsa toward Magnolia, I pulled in and decided to give them a whirl. Their sandwiches leave a lot to be desired. I ordered a #1 without shredded pork and a #6, both with extra mayo. I have a pet peeve about banh mi in that I never feel like any place puts enough mayo on there for my taste. Anyhoo, I pay and wait a few minutes, and when the sandwich lady hands me my "order", she asks me if I ordered the shredded pork sandwich. I say no and the guy who took my order proceeds to tell me that yes, indeed, I had ordered the shredded pork sandwich. I protest, and he follows up by saying that I had ordered the shredded pork sandwich without shredded pork. I then ask him who orders a shredded pork sandwich without shredded pork. He says, "you wanted a #1 without shredded pork, right?" Yes, in fact, I responded, and if you turn around and look at your own menu, you will see that #1 is a special combo and not a shredded pork sandwich. The sandwich lady also points this out to him. Then she tells me that I owe them a quarter because the special combo is a quarter more. I'm even more annoyed at this point and reach into my purse and hand a quarter to her. I then ask if there is extra mayo on the sandwiches. She looks at me confused. The order guy then smiles broadly and says, yes, yes, extra mayo for you. So, the sandwich lady then smiles and nods her head yes, yes. I'm doubtful, but I'm too tired to get into it with him at this point. I grab the sandwiches and drive back to Culver City. When I'm home and I unwrap the sandwiches, sure enough, my #1 special combo sandwich is brimming with shredded pork and drenched in nuoc mam, and neither of the sandwiches has any mayo to speak of whatsoever, much less that "extra" bit they were trying to sell me. Let me mention that I'm Vietnamese and the whole exchange took place in Vietnamese. There was definitely no language barrier. I hated both sandwiches. The idea of Viet shredded pork or nuoc mam on a sandwich is so unappetizing to me. It doesn't belong there and I've never been to a Viet sandwich shop that puts it on there until now. It's one thing I've sort of noticed about Viet eateries here since moving to SoCal. It seems like more often than not, they try to put some type of "nouveau" twist on it, thereby destroying its essence IMHO, but that whole idea is a topic for an entirely different post. Sometimes, I just want it the way I remember it. Oh well,.....

Bottom line, I should've stuck with Banh Mi Che Cali. So far, both Top Baguette and Lee's have been a bust for me.

Back to top