We Eat Every Banh Mi at Lynda Sandwich in Orange County, CA

[Photographs: Joy Hui Lin]

Lynda Sandwich is a banh mi joint in Westminster's Little Saigon, opened a few years ago by Vietnamese popstar Lynda Trang Dai (purportedly the Vietnamese equivalent of Madonna). Though you can't drive down a street in this neighborhood without seeing a Vietnamese sandwich shop, Lynda's surpasses the rest with some of the best banh mi in southern California, largely owing to the fact that all the bread and fillings are housemade.

When the French colonized Vietnam, they brought with them the baguette. The Vietnamese embraced boulangeries and freshly baked bread, but then started to fill the baguettes with their own Vietnamese-style meats, pâtés, vegetables, and herbs.

Each sandwich at Lynda's comes in a crisp baguette with lightly pickled daikon and carrots, cilantro, green onion, cucumber, fresh green chilies, and a generous smear of garlicky mayonnaise that pulls all of the ingredients together. Fellow food writers and friends of SE Zach Brooks and Ganda Suthivarakom joined me for a banh mi feast of epic proportions, in which we bravely ate all twelve sandwiches on the menu. Check out the slideshow for our thoughts on every one.