I was in the neighborhood today and went in search of banh mi. I had been to Baguette Express before and didn't love it (though I did like it), so today it was between Lee's and Saigon Sandwich. I parked my bike and went into Lee's. I was pretty impressed with the place....it was late lunchtime, so it was pretty crowded. I hadn't realized how many items they offered....various spring rolls, Vietnamese snacks, sticky rice, desserts, several drinks, etc all pre-prepared. It's a pretty fun place!
I didn't buy anything here, and instead walked down to Saigon Sandwich where I got the pork banh mi to bring back to the office. I ordered a pork sandwich and one had just been made so I got it right away. I also got some black sesame mochi that are OK but a good deal for 1.50 (though the original price at Mai's Bakery in Monterey Park, CA is $1.36). The sandwich was 2.50 which is really a steal. I liked this much better than my sandwich from Baguette Express.
The bread was a bit softer than a normal baguette, which I liked, and it was thicker which allowed for more soaking up of the mayo and pork juices. The roast pork was tender, warm and sweet. In my opinion, much better than the pork at Baguette Express, and as good as (but different from) the pork at Latte Express on 4th St. The green chilis were stingingly hot, carrots, cukes, and some pickled onions too were nice. Also plenty of cilantro.
I walked past several places on Larkin and all were full of diners....Turtle Tower even had a line out the door! This really isn't too bad a place to be at lunchtime on a weekday. I'd really recommend this neighborhood to anyone (at this time of day).
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