Tasty Chicken & Banh Mi

Fusion Cuisine | Sandwich Shop | Vietnamese
excellent
Worth a detour
Save

The Vietnamese community in Orange County is the largest in the U.S. The Garden Grove/Westminster area is a magical kingdom of Vietnamese eats, but there are far fewer options near the actual Magic Kingdom. Luckily, Tasty Chicken and Banh Mi is a tiny colossus of flavor.

Any sandwich is only as good as its bread; on a slender banh mi, bread is everything. The bread here is just right — crisp on the outside with a nice chew. Sandwiches are inexpensive and contain all the traditional trimmings of cilantro, jalapeño, cucumber, and pickled strips of daikon and carrots, and the meats here are of a higher standard than most small banh mi shops. Sandwiches hit that sweet spot between the assembly-line rock-bottom priced Banh Mi typical in “Little Saigon” and the overpriced chef-driven versions you find in Los Angeles. 

In addition to the usual meats, the menu includes banh mi styled like meatball heroes, cheesesteaks, and Hawaiian spam and pineapple. The house sandwich features the other claim to fame: tasty chicken. Golden-skinned rotisserie chicken takes the place of the banh mi’s traditional pork cuts and pâté. When served as a plate, it comes with a big heap of rice and two chili sauces, one sweet, one savory. The whole thing is finished with fried shallots.

Our two favorite sandwiches are roast pork, which has a tangy fish sauce and chili marinade, and lemongrass beef with its sinus-clearing concentration of said aromatic stalk. Both are bolder in seasoning than typical banh mi. Flavor wise, they are somewhere between spicy Thai and Vietnamese. Sandwiches can be jazzed up with a farm egg. That’s another impressive aspect of this friendly shop: All the chicken is organic and raised at a farm connected to the restaurant. You can buy uncooked chickens, eggs by the dozen, and even whole ducks.

The pâté chaud — two-bite flaky pockets of seasoned ground chicken or pork occasionally seen at Vietnamese bakeries — are solid here. The flaky, buttery pastry and soft meat make for an excellent road snack that you can eat right out of the paper bag.

For a refreshing meal closer, or accompaniment, we highly recommend lychee ice, a joyous melange of mango, lychee, and agar jelly floating in coconut milk over crushed ice. It is like a Southeast Asian raspado, and it makes a beautiful pairing with the sandwiches. If that sounds a bit too chunky, the usual roster of Vietnamese coffee, smoothies, boba milk tea and fresh coconuts are available to drink as well.

What to Eat
Tasty Chicken & Banh Mi, Lemongrass Beef Banh Mi
Lemongrass Beef Banh Mi
Must-Try
The best banh mi at OC Tasty Chicken & Banh Mi is lemongrass beef.
Tasty Chicken & Banh Mi, Rotisserie Chicken Banh Mi
Rotisserie Chicken Banh Mi
Must-Try
Signature sandwich: rotisserie chicken chopped and seasoned with soy and spices.
Tasty Chicken & Banh Mi, Pork Pu00e2tu00e9 Chaud
Pork Pu00e2tu00e9 Chaud
Must-Try
Traditional pork pâté chaud are great snacks. Eat them while they're hot.
Tasty Chicken & Banh Mi, Rotisserie Chicken Plate
Rotisserie Chicken Plate
Rotisserie chicken is served with rice and sweet chili, traditional Southeast Asian accouterments.
Tasty Chicken & Banh Mi, Lychee Ice
Lychee Ice
On a hot day, lychee ice satisfies like a piña colada... but with agar jelly!
Tasty Chicken & Banh Mi, Chicken Meatball Banh Mi
Chicken Meatball Banh Mi
The chicken meatball banh mi comes with spicy marinara sauce that fuses Italian and Vietnamese flavors.
Tasty Chicken & Banh Mi, Roast Pork Banh Mi
Roast Pork Banh Mi
The roast pork banh mi is one of the top choices among 14 sandwich options.
Directions and Hours
Information
Price
$
Seasons
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Breakfast, Lunch
Credit Cards Accepted
Yes
Alcohol Served
No
Outdoor Seating
No

Other Nearby Restaurants

  • Ricky’s Fish Taco

    Los Angeles, California

    Ricky’s is a truck that’s still trying to find the perfect parking lot, but has already perfected fish tacos and draws the crowds to prove it.

  • Yuca’s Hut

    Los Angeles, California

    A thumbprint of a walk-up fast-food shack housed in an old shoeshine stand that serves snacks with Yucatan origins but flavors that are all-American.

  • Langer’s

    Los Angeles, California

    A West-Coast deli classic that has long stirred arguments about New York pastrami supremacy. Although the sandwiches are all tempting, most get the #19.

  • Wendill’s Chicken House

    Los Angeles, California

    Opened in 1929, Wendill’s is one of Southern California’s oldest restaurants, and with a unique menu: fried chicken, standard Thai dishes, and Latino flavors.

  • Harriet’s Cheesecakes Unlimited

    Inglewood, California

    Cheesecake is the single thing on the menu at this Los Angeles take-out-only storefront bakery. Dozens of varieties are available; the best is praline.

  • My Hero Submarine Sandwich Shoppe

    Los Angeles, California

    My Hero is a San Fernando Valley classic with warm subs heroically stretched with heaps of unique tomato salad.