It is not, generally speaking, good politics to wax fondly about colonialism, especially in a metropolis as prismatic as Los Angeles. That said, we will always have banh mi, the French-Vietnamese cross-platform construction of squishy baguette, pickled carrot and daikon, cilantro, meat and–depending on which sandwich you order where–enough raw chile to season the filling with all the subtlety of an acetylene torch.
The challenge: Match the pictured banh mi to the San Gabriel Valley sub house that made it, either Banh Mi & Che Cali, Banh Mi My Tho or Saigon's Bakery and Sandwiches. All three are thit nuong, grilled pork. A few hints. Sandwich A is the mildest of the bunch, with only a token helping of chile. Served on a medium baguette, sliced in half. Sandwich B is served warm with a wedge of cucumber and nubs of peanut on the loftiest baguette, also sliced in half. Sandwich C omits the cilantro but compensates with jalapeno. Very spicy. Served on a compact, un-sliced baguette.
Venture your guesses in the comments, where the answers will be posted this Friday morning at 9am. More photos after the jump. Remember to click the images for a full-size view.
Banh Mi & Che Cali: 647 W. Valley Boulevard, Alhambra, CA 91803; (626) 293-8396.
Banh Mi My Tho: 304 W. Valley Boulevard, Alhambra, CA 91803; (626) 289-4160.
Saigon's Bakery & Sandwiches: 718 E. Valley Boulevard, San Gabriel, CA 91776; (626) 288-6475.