Banh Mi from Noodle Bowl

“Asian Sandwich” doesn’t quite do justice to the $3 masterpiece before you. This meaty torpedo, filled with warm slices of barbecued pork, crunchy carrots, pickled daikon, mayonnaise, pate, cilantro and a sneaky slice of jalapeno was made by a true sandwich artist.

Nestled into a grilled Costeaux Bakery baguette, you will brave Santa Rosa’s afternoon traffic jams, give up your primo parking spot and maybe even drive across town for one of these tasty banh mi. It is that good.

The home of this little whopper is the unassuming Noodle Bowl (821 Russel Ave, Santa Rosa, 843-5256). Open just three weeks, owner Kong Eav is an eager Empire College tourism & hospitality grad who clearly did his homework when it comes to tasty pan-Asian eats.

Though the restaurant bills itself as Cambodian, the menu ranges from Vietnamese pho, banh mi and rice plates to Chinese chow fun, curry, steamed buns and egg rolls, Japanese family-style shabu shabu (meat and vegetables cooked at the table in a flavored broth) and Cambodian pan-fried crepes called banchev.

Nothing on the menu (aside from the family-sized shabu shabu) is over $10 and many dishes are under $5. The prices, however, aren’t reflected in nicely-appointed interior and friendly service. A delicious deal.

Noodle Bowl, 821 Russel Ave., Santa Rosa, 843-5256. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Limited delivery, as well as catering and party trays available.