4127 Campus Drive
Over the weekend I took a roadtrip to Irvine. Before leaving for my trip I searched the internet for places to get a banh mi (I'm in search of the perfect banh mi in California). There were a couple of places I found, Lee's and Le Cafe Diplomate. I thought I would try one on Saturday and the other the next day. My first impression of Lee's was, 'wow, very clean and modern'. I saw only Asian customers and Asian employees. I ordered a pate and pork roll banh mi and an order of pork/shrimp eggrolls. It was around $6 total. I don't have pictures of the eggrolls, I started chomping down on them as soon as I walked out of there. I was starving from my drive.
I wasn't sure what to expect, because after reading numerous reviews on yelp, my expectations were low. I remember reading over and over again that the bread was hard. I didn't have a problem with the bread at all. I was disappointed that it had not been toasted. Let's get to the filling. It had pate, thin slices of lean pork roll, thick pickled daikon and carrots, slices of jalapeno peppers, cilantro, mayo and I think soy sauce. It was an awful sandwich which I couldn't even finish. I ate about a 1/4 of it (and it was a very long sandwich) and threw it away (and I almost never throw food away). What I disliked about the sandwich: bread was not toasted, the pickled vegetables were cut too thick, the mayo, the soy sauce (I've never seen that before)and the worst part was the awful pate. I don't know if it was homemade or packaged pate, but it tasted like a combination of shrimp paste and padek. It was smelly and tasted horrible. I had walked past Le Cafe Diplomate as I was leaving the shopping center and glanced at their menu. They only had one type of banh mi on their menu. I didn't feel like going back to try it, especially with the bad experience with Lee's.