Le Diplomate is a sandwich restaurant in Irvine. It functions as the Hoagie Haven (the legendary sandwich shop near Princeton University) of UC Irvine, with dozens of sandwiches made with the baked-in-house baguettes, all reflecting the school’s multiculti reality: bánh mìs, gyros, heroes and Italian subs. But the best are French-inspired: chicken slathered in a garlic sauce out of Zankou’s; another chicken version finds it given the Cordon Bleu treatment. And then there’s the chicken/broccoli/mushroom combo, something that apparently leads to fights between its acolytes and people who think broccoli doesn’t belong in a sandwich.
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"If the food isn't good," I warned Charles as editorial assistant LP and I went to lunch, "you're going to pay for our meal." "It's GREAT," Charles promised. "Trust me!" We were arguing about Le Diplomate Cafe, across the street fro...