4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

K Sandwiches makes a case for sardines

A surprising favorite from a lunch of banh mi and dessert drinks

A sardine bánh mì, on a flaky-crusted baguette, from K Sandwiches in Linda Vista
A sardine bánh mì, on a flaky-crusted baguette, from K Sandwiches in Linda Vista

We hadn’t planned on stopping at K Sandwiches. But as our car crested the hill at Linda Vista Road, and its sign came into view, our reactions were spontaneous and simultaneous: let’s get lunch.

Place

K Sandwiches

7604 Linda Vista Road, San Diego

Minus a couple years the counter shop was closed following a kitchen fire, K Sandwiches has been a staple destination for bánh mì since it opened in 2006. And not just for denizens of the high school, college, and hospital campuses that surround it, but for all of San Diego. Even in a city that boasts several quality Vietnamese sandwich shops, K stands out, thanks in no small part to the supremely flaky crusts on baguettes it bakes in house.

This was going to be a relatively routine sandwich order, each of us eyeing the usual bánh mì, featured at the top of the menu, made with the likes of sliced pork belly, pork loaf, and pâté. These, along with the standard toppings of pickled carrots, daikon, jalapeños. cilantro, and mayo, have always been more than enough to keep us coming back over the years.

K Sandwiches has been a San Diego bánh mì staple since 2006.

If I were going to be playful with my order, it would more likely involve something from the cooler of southeast Asian dessert drinks. Americans may have grown to appreciate boba tea in the past couple decades, but most remain unfamiliar with the myriad drinks populating these shelves. They’re similar in the sense that, swimming within the sugar-sweetened drinks are gelatinous seeds and candies, to suck through straws to add a bit of tapioca-like chew.

I can’t pretend to grasp fully the breadth of dessert drinks available at K Sandwiches. The easiest to translate include a green tinted sugar water loaded with basil seeds and strips of agar jelly, and a brown-tinted beverage populated by rambutan, a small fruit similar to lychees. One of the more colorful offerings includes che banh Lot, green strips of pandan jelly sharing what appears to be coconut milk with hot luu, which it turns out are mock pomegranate seeds, complete with a nuggety jicama center.

An assortment of Vietnamese dessert drinks found in the K Sandwiches cooler

This visit, I picked up something called sam bo luong, which looks less like a sweet beverage than it does a savory soup. This clear, yellowish brown liquid is made chunky by the presence of pearl barley, seaweed, lotus seeds, and dates. Somehow, this all works together, with sweeteners, to taste light and refreshing on a warm day, as most of these drinks are designed to do.

It’s safe to say I did not expect to try such a thing when I woke up that morning, but I had made a clear choice by the time I made it to the counter to order. However, even then, I did not expect to order a sardine sandwich. I’d never even noticed it there, a little further down the bánh mì menu.

A pair of traditional, pork-based bánh mì, featuring the likes of pork belly, pork loaf, ham, and pâté

But one of the most glorious things about K Sandwiches is that virtually everything costs less than six bucks, so at the last minute I added the sardine bánh mì to my lunch. This would turn out to be the finest decision I made all day. With all the aforementioned sandwich accoutrements, mayonnaise included, the small sardine filets came off tasting like a more nuanced canned tuna. Though an afterthought to my order, it will change the way I think of sardines forever. This was the sandwich I wound up washing down with sam bo luong on the K Sandwiches patio. The tried and true pork and pâté bánh mì would become a snack to enjoy later, at home. I may never decide which I like better, but it won’t stop me from trying.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

A People’s Cuban Christmas Tale, Hirie and Tribal Theory, Snow N Glow Holiday Festival

Events December 2-December 4, 2021
A sardine bánh mì, on a flaky-crusted baguette, from K Sandwiches in Linda Vista
A sardine bánh mì, on a flaky-crusted baguette, from K Sandwiches in Linda Vista

We hadn’t planned on stopping at K Sandwiches. But as our car crested the hill at Linda Vista Road, and its sign came into view, our reactions were spontaneous and simultaneous: let’s get lunch.

Place

K Sandwiches

7604 Linda Vista Road, San Diego

Minus a couple years the counter shop was closed following a kitchen fire, K Sandwiches has been a staple destination for bánh mì since it opened in 2006. And not just for denizens of the high school, college, and hospital campuses that surround it, but for all of San Diego. Even in a city that boasts several quality Vietnamese sandwich shops, K stands out, thanks in no small part to the supremely flaky crusts on baguettes it bakes in house.

This was going to be a relatively routine sandwich order, each of us eyeing the usual bánh mì, featured at the top of the menu, made with the likes of sliced pork belly, pork loaf, and pâté. These, along with the standard toppings of pickled carrots, daikon, jalapeños. cilantro, and mayo, have always been more than enough to keep us coming back over the years.

K Sandwiches has been a San Diego bánh mì staple since 2006.

If I were going to be playful with my order, it would more likely involve something from the cooler of southeast Asian dessert drinks. Americans may have grown to appreciate boba tea in the past couple decades, but most remain unfamiliar with the myriad drinks populating these shelves. They’re similar in the sense that, swimming within the sugar-sweetened drinks are gelatinous seeds and candies, to suck through straws to add a bit of tapioca-like chew.

I can’t pretend to grasp fully the breadth of dessert drinks available at K Sandwiches. The easiest to translate include a green tinted sugar water loaded with basil seeds and strips of agar jelly, and a brown-tinted beverage populated by rambutan, a small fruit similar to lychees. One of the more colorful offerings includes che banh Lot, green strips of pandan jelly sharing what appears to be coconut milk with hot luu, which it turns out are mock pomegranate seeds, complete with a nuggety jicama center.

An assortment of Vietnamese dessert drinks found in the K Sandwiches cooler

This visit, I picked up something called sam bo luong, which looks less like a sweet beverage than it does a savory soup. This clear, yellowish brown liquid is made chunky by the presence of pearl barley, seaweed, lotus seeds, and dates. Somehow, this all works together, with sweeteners, to taste light and refreshing on a warm day, as most of these drinks are designed to do.

It’s safe to say I did not expect to try such a thing when I woke up that morning, but I had made a clear choice by the time I made it to the counter to order. However, even then, I did not expect to order a sardine sandwich. I’d never even noticed it there, a little further down the bánh mì menu.

A pair of traditional, pork-based bánh mì, featuring the likes of pork belly, pork loaf, ham, and pâté

But one of the most glorious things about K Sandwiches is that virtually everything costs less than six bucks, so at the last minute I added the sardine bánh mì to my lunch. This would turn out to be the finest decision I made all day. With all the aforementioned sandwich accoutrements, mayonnaise included, the small sardine filets came off tasting like a more nuanced canned tuna. Though an afterthought to my order, it will change the way I think of sardines forever. This was the sandwich I wound up washing down with sam bo luong on the K Sandwiches patio. The tried and true pork and pâté bánh mì would become a snack to enjoy later, at home. I may never decide which I like better, but it won’t stop me from trying.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

San Diego aggressive rollerbladers return in strength

Big Wheels invade Balboa Park, Liberty Station
Next Article

Another generation discovers Perry’s Cafe

Large portions of breakfast staples stand out beneath the freeway
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close