Com tam, in Vietnam, describes a dish that includes broken rice. When cooked, the individual grains become softer than intact rice prepared to the same recipe. Broken rice rice also readily takes on other flavors; often it serves as a bed for grilled pork. Here the rice is tossed with tomato, pickled cucumber, carrot, daikon, and roasted scallion, and accompanied by fried catfish ($9).
The catfish, also available in one of the restaurant's various banh mi, was labeled "Hanoi-style." It's likely that the Vietnamese-born owner, absent this day, came from some more southern part of the country. However, the two folks on duty, one a Filipina, one a fellow from Nepal, didn't know for sure.
Broken Rice (previously known as Banh Mi)
580 Grand St. (Lorimer-Leonard Sts.), Williamsburg, Brooklyn