I asked the Gal at the Dry Cleaners for a recommendation for Banh Mi, and she recommended Cafe Dore' in City Heights.
I found Cafe Dore', in (another) strip mall in City Heights, located next to a Vietnamese "Deli" and coin laundry. There was a group of Vietnamese men having coffee and chatting. I drew alot of stares as I passed them. I entered the cafe and there were 4 tough looking Vietnamese guys sitting around watching the television. One of them stood up and simply said "yes?", they obviously thought that I took a "wrong turn" somewhere. I mentioned that I had been told that they make a really good Banh Mi; there were instant smiles all around....and the Gentleman pointed to a small flyer listing 5 sandwiches all ranging from $2.00-$2.50 under a piece of glass on the counter - this was the only "menu" in the whole place! I finally figured that this was actually a Vietnamese Coffee Shop, not really a restaurant. After a short wait he handed me a package with my sandwich in it. To say that this was a heck-of-a-sandwich is an understatement. The baguette was crunchy and fresh, the pate, BBQ pork, and "ham" combined to with the veggies were very tasty and balanced. The cilantro and cucumber was palate cleansing. My only (small) gripe is that they went easy on the hot green peppers - maybe going a little bit "easy" on me. This was easily the best Banh Mi I've had in San Diego so far!
The location is on the corner of Marlborough Ave and University Ave. Cafe Dore' has no English signs in it, no menu, except for the sandwich list under the glass counter, so I don't know what else they serve, but will find out. The strip mall also has a Vietnamese BBQ, a Seafood Shop, a Market, among other things. Might be a nice place for the adventurous to explore!
4135 University Ave
San Diego, CA 92105