Monday, August 15, 2011

Mendocino Farms's Lemongrass Banh Mi: Worthy of its own blog post

Mendocino Farms is a cute little sandwich shop in Marina Del Rey. The first location was opened in Downtown LA, then moved West to MDR, and now the shop has plans to open in West Hollywood in the fall. The restaurant is like a well oiled machine. As you stare at the huge menu on the wall, there is an employee there to answer questions and take down your order. She yells your order out to the open kitchen and you move along the line towards the cashier. As you are waiting in line, you may be offered samples of some of their side salad (I opted for the quinoa salad). The assembly line of cooks are all chipper, friendly, happy to be there, but still very efficient. The sandwiches are made to order but didn't take longer than 5-7 minutes.

The menu comprises of gourmet sandwiches such as prosciutto & chicken, caprese and Kurobuta Pork Belly Banh Mi. They also offer salads and vegan options. The shop sources locally grown ingredients. The ingredients are fresh and the sandwiches unique, but I didn't think the prices were too high. The sandwiches run from $8-10 and are quite large in size. Mendocino Farms also sells beer and wine, which is a big plus for a sandwich shop.

I ordered the Spicy Lemongrass Steak Banh Mi. The sandwich was amazing. The lemongrass marinated steak was juicy and fragrant. It had a spicy kick from the chili aioli and sliced jalapeno. The sandwich was topped with a generous serving of pickled diakon & carrots, cilantro and julienned cucumbers. I was rather impressed with the banh mi. It wasn't completely authentic (it was served on a rustic grilled ciabatta, and no pate), but yet held on to familiar Vietnamese flavors.

Even though the sandwich was large, I couldn't stop eating it. Another sign of a good restaurant is when you are dying to return to try something else. I really enjoyed my lemongrass banh mi but I can't wait to try the pork belly banh mi and the chipotle BBQ chicken sandwich. I don't usually do a one dish blog post, but Mendocino Farm's Lemograss Banh Mi definitely deserves a post of its own.

Mendocino Farms
4724 Admiralty Way
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
(310) 822-2300


Darin said...

I'm not sure which banh mi I like better - both the steak and pork belly are excelent options.

weezermonkey said...

I love this (and practically every) sandwich at Mendocino!

Gastronomer said...

This banh mi sounds so delicious! Steak and lemongrass sound like a match made in Saigon heaven.

Banana Wonder said...

oh yum i miss mendocino farms. when i was working in dtla it was my splurge i have tried at least half the sammies on the regular menu...all pretty much amazing.