The West Valley quietly has quietly carved out an interesting Vietnamese food scene far from any freeway. Valley Sandwiches may be the best option, a tiny Reseda restaurant from Lam Nguyen that houses just four tables and three stools. The family-run restaurant focuses on banh mi, though they also wade into more regional Vietnamese culinary fare.
18 banh mi options on the wall-mounted photo menu include Saigon (cold cut sandwich) and pate ga nuong (shredded chicken with pate). In their open kitchen, I saw a pot with meatballs simmering in tomato sauce that of course drew my interest and confirmed my commitment to xiu mai (pork meatball). The crumbly pork meatball joined cilantro, crunchy pickled carrots and daikon, sliced cucumber, and spicy jalapeño in a light French baguette with a crackly crust.
Valley Sandwiches makes some of the best banh mi outside of the San Gabriel Valley, especially for the price – $4 each – which makes me curious about their regional Vietnamese dishes like bánh cuốn, bún riêu, and mì Quảng.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.