Barbecued Chicken Sandwich & Charbroiled Pork Sandwich – Lemongrass Vietnamese Restaurant, Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

Yesterday I spoke of the bánh mì’s high-floor/high-ceiling, an idea that the average bánh mì is very good, and the best bánh mì almost incomprehensibly so. I also mentioned yesterday that bad bánh mìs, while rare, do exist. This, friends, is them. Lemongrass earns the sad distinction of being the first establishment in which I would, upon being questioned about the bánh mì, tell someone to skip it. It’s a restaurant with a full menu, and the four sandwiches on offer are but a small part of that menu. Being a sit-down establishment, the sandwich runs a bit expensive at $6. To be frank, they shouldn’t have bothered.

The sandwiches just feel limp. The vegetables are scarce, the buttery Vietnamese mayo lacking, the bread nothing notable, the flavors of everything else underwhelming. I hesitated writing this post. Truthfully, I ate these sandwiches some time ago and thinking back on them I think  that they couldn’t have been that bad. After all, high-floor/high-celing, right? The bánh mì itself is so good that any particular bánh mì can’t be terrible. And they weren’t terrible. But it takes a spectacular combination of apathy, bad luck, and willfully sub-par execution to produce a bánh mì better off skipped. I can’t truthfully say I regret eating these sandwiches, but until today I haven’t written about a bánh mì that wasn’t at least worth a stop, provided you were in the neighborhood. There are better sandwich options in Eagle Rock; save the bánh mì for another day, another establishment.

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