Red Medicine certainly had the pedigree and concept to generate plenty of interest, with Chef Jordan Kahn in the kitchen and a menu that reads like a next-gen Slanted Door. My first dinner there included a refined papaya salad, sweetbread curry, “large format brisket” and a trio of intricate desserts, but I derived my favorite bites from the bar-only Banh Mi ($12).
While plating can be intricate at Red Medicine, there’s nothing precious about this sandwich. It’s about a foot-long and packed with a lot of the traditional banh mi accoutrements, including crunchy cucumbers and acid-licked pickled carrots. Fillings include a slab of juicy, crisp-crusted pork belly and a judicious amount of rich and creamy country pate. The sandwich also got some punch from cilantro stems and jalapeños, and sweetness from Japanese Kewpie mayo.
One of the primary factors that helps to set this sandwich apart from the field is their bread. Fellow Thomas Keller acolyte Rory Herrmann of nearby Bouchon green-lit baguette production for Red Medicine. This bread that has some welcome outside bite, but plenty of give within.
A lot of customers will probably scoff at the notion of a $12 banh mi, and it’s indeed pricey, but not for Beverly Hills, and not considering the quality (and distance from rivals in Little Saigon or the San Gabriel Valley). Red Medicine is on the verge of debuting lunch service, where they’ll offer six different banh mi, which should be a boon to the Beverly Hills lunch crowd.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.