Next time you’re cruising around Little Tokyo or crave a Southeast Asian delight after a cultural outing at The Geffen, pay a visit to The Spice Table, a fantastic family-owned joint at the corner of 1st and Central. Chef Bryant Ng is celebrated all over L.A. for the succulent, perfectly spiced meat satays he cooks on a custom grill in true Singaporean fashion, but for lunch I was tempted by his fried catfish sandwich with Sambal, pickled curried cucumbers, garlic mayo, lime and lettuce.
It’s so incredibly rare to find a satisfying bánh mi sandwich, but that’s just because most restaurants get the bread wrong. “The bread is very important. It needs to by crispy on the outside and light in the middle. It’s made from quick doughs that are buttery and not chewy. I think they serve as a beautiful vehicle for everything else. We were fortunate to have met somebody who is a third-generation Vietnamese baker. His family has been baking baguettes in Vietnam for 300 years. He comes in everyday and bakes our bread for us, about 80-100 loaves,” chef Ng explains in an interview conducted by Julie Wolfson for KCET.
His mastery makes all the difference. In fact, Ng was named one of Food & Wine magazine’s Best New Chefs for 2012.
Oh and one last thing! Don’t forget to order the French fries and yellow curry dipping sauce… so divine!