99 Essential Restaurants 2014

Bánh Mì My-Tho

photo by Danny Liao

Until we’re all lucky enough to have neighborhood bánh mì shops the way we have neighborhood taquerias and neighborhood cafés, Bánh Mì My-Tho will have to serve as our collective neighborhood Vietnamese sandwich shop, a tiny, standing room-only place where you’ll find fantastic, crusty bánh mì. Here the sandwiches are layered with pickled carrots and daikon, mayo, sprigs of cilantro and your pick of meat, like, say, grilled pork (thit nuong) or the ever-popular đac biet (cold cuts), which comes with that critical shmear of pâté. Regardless of what you order, you always could top off your sandwich with a fried egg and have yourself the best morning sandwich in L.A. Banh Mi My-Tho has served the breakfast and lunchtime crowd for a remarkable 20 years; even more remarkable — almost criminal, in fact — is that, even after all that time, most every bánh mì here is $3 or less. If there were any justice in the world, a sandwich here would cost at least as much as almost any other sandwich in L.A. But who’s complaining?

-- Tien Nguyen