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Banh Mi Che Cali - overrated! Buu Dien - underrated!


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Restaurants & Bars 38

Banh Mi Che Cali - overrated! Buu Dien - underrated!

thestratbrat | Mar 15, 2011 02:21 PM

I went to the Alhambra BMCC after trying to go to My Tho (closed Mondays; who knew?) and picked up a few sandwiches to split with the boyfriend for lunch/dinner/today's lunch. It was my first Che Cali experience, and honestly, I was underwhelmed. At 3 for $5, the price was certainly right, but I couldn't get on board with the fillings - dry pork, beef resembling unflavored hamburger meat, and no pate on the dac biet. Pate is, like, the only reason I get dac biet, and it wasn't there! I also found the pickled veggies to be a bit too sweet, the mayo over-applied, and the cilantro, well, nonexistent.

Last week, I had a banh mi dac biet from Buu Dien in Chinatown - commonly regarded here as good for LA, but worse than even the most mediocre SGV offering - and it was delish. Good variety of meats, not too much mayo, a healthy schmear of pate, loaded with fresh veggies and cilantro. OK, the bread could be better, but if you eat it before noon it's pretty decent.

Anyone have any other favorites I should know about? Where should I go the next time I'm craving banh mi in the SGV on a Monday? Any Chinatown places I'm missing out on?

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