Frugal Find: Bun Me

We bet you can guess the Vietnamese specialty at Bun Me!

There was a time when the closest thing you’d find to banh mi in Northridge was a pastrami on rye at Brent’s Delica-tessen. But these days the Vietnamese sandwich is on menus everywhere, from trendy gastropubs (Next Door by Josie) to food trucks (Phamish). Now the Valley neighborhood has joined the club with the specialty shop Bun Me! Owners Celeste and Keith Huynh were born in Vietnam and have adapted their ancestral cuisine (and its name) for Americans. Fillings, grilled to order, are more generous than at other spots: Lemongrass-marinated chicken and flavorful sliced sirloin are heaped high on baguettelike “buns” that soak up the smoky juices. For the meat averse, specials include mushroom- or tofu-stuffed versions. Going mainstream: Last March a listing for banh mi was added to the Oxford English Dictionary.  //  9420 Reseda Blvd., Ste. 5, Northridge, 818-993-0438.

Photograph by Jessica Boone