Tip Top Sandwiches: Setting the Bar for Banh Mi in SGV

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Vietnamese Restaurant Los Angeles

Tip Top Sandwiches builds on their Little Saigon success story in Rosemead.

Tip Top Sandwiches, the famed Little Saigon banh mi emporium, opened a second branch in the San Gabriel Valley on January 30, in the former Rosemead home of New Century Auto Mall. Owner Loc Lee’s Garden Grove original dates to 1988 and considering the continuous lines, he pretty much duplicated the concept, with an identical menu and a similar look.

Vietnamese Restaurant Los Angeles

Order at the counter from a series of overhead panels.

Dozens of tables line the windows, and patio tables ring the restaurant.

Banh Mi Los Angeles

Tip Top sells 11 varieties of “Asian Sandwiches” (aka banh mi), including BBQ Pork (pictured), Pate Meatball, BBQ Chicken and shredded pork skin, all topping out at $3.45.

Banh Mi Los Angeles

Tip Top’s dac biet, aka “special combo,” stacks pork cold cuts, boiled pork slices, gelatinous head cheese, pate and classic toppings: pickled daikon and carrot, onion, jalapeño, cilantro, house mayo, and soy sauce.

If you’re feeling like a “Euro,” expect options like Pastrami & Cheese, Ham & Cheese and Eggs & Mayonnaise.

Bread Los Angeles

Sandwiches are available on house-baked croissants, but stick with the supple, torpedo-shaped baguettes. After all, Tip Top’s motto is “the bread you will love.”

Bread Los Angeles

Tip Top also bakes muffins, croissants and a signature loaf flavored with mocha, rum, apple and pineapple (pictured). An incubator near the register houses savory pate chaud.

Juice Bar Los Angeles

Tip Top also blends fresh juices and smoothies. A bin behind the counter fuels options like Recovery Juice with apple, beetroot, carrot and honeydew; or Honey Juice with rock melon, honeydew and watermelon.

If “Gourmet Coffee” is more your speed, consider Vietnamese Iced Coffee, Vienna Café or Cappuccino.

There’s even a section of the sprawling L-shaped café devoted to Frozen Yogurt, weigh-and-pay for $0.39 an ounce, with a number of fresh fruits and toppings. An overhead menu claims the magical yogurt will help boost the immune system, “stop acne and create clear skin” and make your bones stronger.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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