Banh Mi Che Cali and Seal Beach

Vietnamese sandwiches at Banh Mi Che Cali in Westminster.

A Manic Monday, but also a fun day! Β Started off with my callback first thing in the morning – Abe drove me and we split a Choco-lata-fun Element Bar in the car


It was good (not too sweet) and kept me full for about three hours. Since Abe accompanied me to work, I returned the favor by driving him around in the O.C. to shoot some B-Roll for his documentary:

We stopped by Little Saigon for some Banh Mi.


There are dozens of places to get these Vietnamese sandwiches, but I did some research and heard Banh Mi Che Cali was a good choice. They have locations all over Southern Cali – Fountain Valley, San Gabriel, Rosemead, etc. – this was the one in Westminster, on Brookhurst Street.

Fancy, it is not.


But cheap, it most certainly is.


That would be buy 2, get 1 free. FOR FIVE BUCKS.


And this was the “small” size!

I got the chicken – tons of cilantro, carrots, daikon, jalapenos, and what I thought was mayo (but read was margarine?)


A “Veggie Ham” for Abe.


I ordered another one of these vegetarian sandwiches as the third/free one for later.

Mouth is alive with juices like wine…


And I’m hungry like the wolf!


We ate in the car, because 1. Their seating area wasn’t pretty 2. We wanted to be in the A/C with Julius and 3. We got a huge soda from Jack in the Box next door


I think this is the first Diet Dr. Pepper I’ve had in two years? I used to be a serious addict. Still tasted Just Like Heaven.

Really craving some Fro Yo on the hour drive back, so we used the Yelp App and found Flavory Yogurt, a serve-yourself place


My usual base of fruit (berries, mango, pineapple)


Topped with the yogurt – Banana Pudding/Peanut Butter and Cookies n Cream/Irish Mint


We walked around the town of Seal Beach, which, sadly, no longer has seals.


But boy is it adorable!


A lot less crowded than Laguna, and I liked how the Main Street led directly to the beach area…


…which, unfortunately, we couldn’t get close to…


…sorry, Julius.


So then we walked down to…


…and then we took it higher!

Nah, we didn’t really. We just sat in traffic all the way home and listened to old Madonna songs (we agreed “Borderline” is one of her best).

I wasn’t hungry at all for the Banh Mi so I let Abe have the whole thing and ate a small salad for dinner around 9pm.


Organic mixed greens, frozen asparagus/bell peppers, a couple organic grapes.

A new dressing, courtesy of Girard’s




Well it’s not like I didn’t spend the day eating highly processed foods already. It’s (not) the End of the World As We Know It….(And I feel fine.)

A juicy organic nectarine while blogging before bed


Favorite 80’s song? It’s too hard for me to choose! I love all the one-hit wonder pop hits (Wham’s “Freedom” comes to mind) but groups like The Smiths, The PIxies, and Depeche Mode have held the test of time for me.


36 thoughts on “Banh Mi Che Cali and Seal Beach

  1. Liz @ Tip Top Shape

    Sometimes cheap trumps a nice eating area. And if it tastes good, it is totally worth it to just take the food to your car! That froyo looks good! I have gotten a pretty serious addiction to it this summer. It is just so good!!

  2. Monet

    I often prefer flavorful and cheap food over fancy, expensive food. Those sandwiches would be right up my alley (sans the margarine/mayo spread). I loved seeing the pictures of your day…although busy, it seemed as if you were able to have some high quality moments with those that you love!

  3. Lauren

    I hope the audition went well. You looked adorable!! And the Vietnamese sammies sounds delicious. I still have never had Vietnamese but I’m dying to try Pho.

    Hmm, favorite 80’s song…probably Pat Benitar, Love is a Battlefield. But I was born mid 80’s so my selection is scarce.

    Have a great day Lynn.

  4. Li

    Being a vegetarian was an issue I struggled with in the past not because of the diet, but the questioning of my choice by a close other. It’s really cool and hopeful to see you being so comfortable with your husband’s dietary choice (I presume he’s vegetarian…?).

    The 80’s is a decade of great music. Try Fiction Factory’s “(Feels Like) Heaven”.


    1. Lynn at The Actors Diet Post author

      Oh yes he has been a vegetarian since he was 10! I have gone back and forth as well in the 13 years we’ve been together but I’m just grateful he also doesn’t bash my carnivorous ways. In fact him not saying anything about my eating habits is what helped me recover from my eating disorders.

  5. biz319

    The only bahn mi sammie I’ve had is one I had to make – that looks delicious, althought margarine? I make my sauce with greek yogurt and sriracha sauce – love all the combo of flavors!

    Good luck on your call back! πŸ˜€

  6. Evan @swEEts

    Great pictures! I haven’t had breakfast yet so the sandwiches look even better and who doesn’t love fro-yo??

  7. rebecca lustig

    “it’s not the end of the world as we know it”

    such an important message– everything is ok to eat in moderation.

    Hope you have a remarkable day.
    love love love,

    p.s. those yogurt flavors are spectacular!

  8. Estela @ Weekly Bite

    I’ve always LOVED “Girl’s Just Wanna Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper…

    But I sing super loud when I hear “Your Love” by The Outfield!!!!

    1. Lynn at The Actors Diet Post author

      “I don’t wanna lose your love” is the song I always look for when I karaoke!!!


    you are the cutest hungry little wolf hehe <3
    noshin on sandwiches is always a good plan!
    mmm i think i stared for a good 30 seconds at Choco-lata-fun bar! its 6:30am so thats probably why!!

    that dressing is sort of like one of my fav salsas. its got some preserves in it too but i really love it and i try to tell myself that the world will still exist as i know it after i eat it lol πŸ™‚

    xoxo <3

  10. Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo)

    Oh how fun! I love what I call “Low Brow” places like that and I’ve always wanted to go to Little Saigon. Actually of all of the cuisines, I would say that I am least familiar with Vietnamese- this MUST be remedied!

    Fun with the 80’s theme! You are right- Freedom has got to be one of the best, but then again you can’t NOT see all of the supermodels strutting in your mind as you hear it.

    The photos of you eating in the car are so funny- we have twin photos eating sarnies in the car! I will confess that I love eating in the car. Not sure why. Hee.

    FIngers crossed on your call back!

  11. Deb (SmoothieGirlEatsToo)

    PS, I’m pretty much a froYo addict. I have frequent buyer cards in a special credit card holder and it’s literally bursting πŸ˜€ yumm!

  12. Emily

    Hope your callback went well! Your sandwiches look delish..can’t believe how cheap they were, too!

  13. Ameena

    I couldn’t possibly choose just one 80’s song…Personal Jesus is a favorite but so are all the songs from the John Hughes movies! It was a great decade!

  14. lowandbhold

    Haha, very clever post!

    Love the Pixies! I’m hopefully going to see them in concert next month.

  15. Ravi

    Down pretty ladies around the world
    Got a weird thing to show you,
    So tell all the boys and girls.
    WORD UP!

  16. lequan@luvtoeat

    Loved this post! I don’t even know where to begin so I’m sorry if this turns into an essay.

    First of all, holy moley! Those ARE cheap Vietnamese subs. As I’ve told you before, my bestfriend’s family owns a shop and when they first started out (about 15 years ago) their subs were $2 each. Now they’re $3.75. So $5 for 3 IS a freakin’ steal! And they’re pretty big too! I’m impressed!

    Secondly, cute “wolf” picture πŸ˜€

    Thirdly, tres jealous of your NEW iPhone feature.

    Lastly, I don’t know if I could choose just one 80’s fave as I’m a child of the 80’s. Loved: Wake Me Up Before You Go Go, Anything Debbie Gibson (LOST IN YOUR EYES!!!), Any MJ song of course, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, ok I won’t keep you reading till tonight. Oh and Self Control (80’s?) and Hungry Like a Wolf. I’m not done but for your sake, I am πŸ˜‰

  17. Emily (A Nutritionist Eats)

    I want a bahn mi!!! Wow, that is super cheap. And everyone says CA is more expensive πŸ™‚

  18. Stephanie@ avocado nation

    I laughed out loud when I saw the Electric Avenue sign. Awesome. I have always wanted to try a Vietnamese sandwich but I wasn’t sure what they would be like. Thanks you being the intrepid food explorer and putting it on the blog.

  19. Brittany

    what a great deal : ) I will remember next time down that way (which is often lol) seems like you two had a great time down in seal beach (never thought about seals being there….lol now it makes sense!)


  20. Healthy Coconut

    I know where that restaurant is…I’m often in that area. Have you had Lee’s Sandwich before? I wonder if Banh Mi taste the same or better? I’ll check it out next time, I like getting the sardines sandwich.

  21. sensorydefensiveness

    When I was in elementary school I took vietnamese lessons and developed a love for those sandwiches at a young age.

    I’m a fan of Oingo Boingo personally. Nothing beats a young and ripped Danny Elfman.

  22. carascravings

    Going to a self serve fro-yo place is my dream. I have never been to one…
    It would be my heaven for sure. Though I am pretty sure I would be so overwhelmed by all the flavor selections…I can be quite indecisive.

  23. edenseats

    Am I super immature that the first thing I think of when I saw that nectarine was a but crack? sorry to be vulgar. Lovely pictures and the food looks delicious!

  24. dianacheung

    viet sandwiches make me drooolll but you have to eat them fresh..I’ve gotten them to eat “later” but they are always BLAH!! You got any reheat tips? πŸ™‚

    1. Lynn at The Actors Diet Post author

      Abe reheated his (panini style) with some cheese, pickles, and mayo and LOVED IT

  25. Megan (Braise The Roof)

    Oh man, I need to buy that game. I don’t consider myself much of a video game player, but I have a Wii and I have a soft spot in my heart for the Mario Bros. πŸ™‚

    I can totally relate to the acting woes. I’m also an actor and recently booked a commercial only to have the client “change their mind” at the last minute. Beyond frustrating. At least we actors have a thick skin, right?? Makes us tougher. πŸ™‚

  26. Jessica Jann

    Hey Lynn! I’m a new reader and i stumbled upon your blog and ive been catching up on all your posts! I just wanted to say…I’m obsessed! (in the best possible way).

    Thank you for your encouraging story about going through anorexia, binge eating and overcoming it! bravo to you!!

    plus, i love your daily escapades! keep up the great work!!! ill be reading indefinitely!

    from a new loyal fan!

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