Whenever I visit Los Angeles, my pal Jonathan Gold takes me on a food tour in his green pickup. We stop frequently to try things he knows I can't get in New York, like Oaxacan pig spine in green mole, Thai noodle soups of amazing complexity, and goat birria, served with thick homemade tortillas dripping chile gravy. One day on a sweep through the San Gabriel Valley—after sampling some splendid dim sum suckling pig—we pulled up at Mister Baguette, a Vietnamese bakery that churned out Parisian-style baguettes. You could take the still-hot loaves home, or—and this was what customers lined up for—have them made into banh mi sandwiches. "Gee, if only we had something like this in New... More >>>