Banh Mi at Spice Table: 30 Sandwiches in 30 Days (Day 20)

The burger (left) and catfish banh mi (right) at Spice Table
The burger (left) and catfish banh mi (right) at Spice Table

In the evening, Spice Table is all laksa and marrow bones, a Southeast Asian bistro that "seems to gather half the strands of contemporary cooking into a single, weathered-brick restaurant." In the daytime, it's a casual lunch spot, where patrons tuck themselves into sunny patio tables after ordering at the counter: rice bowls of curry chicken or ground pork, a cheeseburger or, most likely, one of the four light, clean bánh mì on offer ($7-9).

The fried catfish sandwich with a hint of sweetness, a crust as crisp as it has to be and a potent though not overpowering piscine flavor, is a hit, but the cold cut bánh mì is the classic choice. Smeared with a mellow pâté and piled with thin, cool layers of housemade charcuterie (that word sounds better than head cheese, doesn't it?), it's wrapped in airy, chewy French bread. It's not the inexpensive but garden variety bánh mì you'll find throughout Orange County or the San Gabriel Valley, but for downtown L.A., it's an ideal lunch.


Elina Shatkin is a staff writer at LA Weekly. Follow her at @elinashatkin or contact her at


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