Sandwich Express opened about two weeks ago in Reseda, in the Vietnamese cluster at Sherman Way and Reseda. It's a new-style banh mi shop, like Mr. Baguette, Lee's, Paris Sandwich, etc, but not quite as fancy. They bake their own baguettes in house, unlike the other Valley shops, which toast the bread they pulled from a bag.
SE has about 15 or so different banh mi, along with the usual assortment of cellophane-wrapped snacks, spring rolls, beef stew and boba, but no pate choux or other pastries. The restaurant is fairly good sized, with seven tables and 20+ seats. They have a couple of small flat-screen TVs and a monitor over the register (doesn't appear to be working yet...and the TV was playing Dr. Phil, so what's the point?).
The banh mi are about 12" long, and are mostly hollowed out, with lots of fillings, including dressed carrot and daikon, cilantro, jalapeno, and thin-sliced cucumber. Tastes like they use a Kewpie-style sweet mayo as well. Banh mi prices range from $2.00 to $2.75, with baguettes for either $1.00 or $0.75.
I've tried three banh mi over the past few days:
--Special Combo (dac biet -- asst. cold cuts, pate, etc.): very loose, light pate, with good flavor. Loaded with meats and bits.
--grilled pork: five-spice tasting pork. Somewhat fatty, but not gristly.
--shredded chicken: regular old chicken, reasonably moist.
The baguette was sightly stale one day, but the other times it was quite good; tender with a decent crust. The carrots were a bit thicker than I usually like them, and the daikon a bit sparse. On the whole, I quite liked them, with the Combo the best so far, but all quite edible.
In summary, this isn't quite a Valley Blvd. or Bolsa Ave. banh mi shop, but it's a big step up from the existing banh mi shops in the Valley.
18575 Sherman Way (Amigo...just west of Reseda Blvd.)
7:00 am to 8:30pm