Bánh mì shops are to the San Gabriel Valley as ramen joints are to the South Bay: You can barely go a block without driving past at least one. That said, the one worth driving several blocks down Valley Boulevard for is Bánh Mì My Tho, a small shop with barely enough space for a counter, a few refrigerated cases and a handful of shelves crammed with Vietnamese treats. For less than the price of a gallon of gas, you can pick up a bánh mì trúng op la, an egg sandwich that may very well be the Angeleno's answer to the New Yorker's egg and cheese on a roll. For lunch, the ac biet is for the meat lover, with a variety of Vietnamese cold cuts — or try the sandwich stuffed with juicy chunks of charbroiled pork (thit nuong). If you're worried about the language barrier, don't be: As it says on the website, they speak English, and Mandarin and Cantonese, too. After all, the language of the bánh mì is universal. 304 W. Valley Blvd., Alhambra. (626) 289-4160, banhmimytho.com.

—Tien Nguyen

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