>> Cetana Mon Myanmar Restaurant | Eat the World Los Angeles

Saturday 4 July 2020

Cetana Mon Myanmar Restaurant


EDITOR'S NOTE: An updated version of this article (26 January 2024) is available as part of the Historical section of our Substack page. Check that out here:
With a smattering of locations spread out all around town, the cuisine of Myanmar is not the most in-your-face food in and around Los Angeles, but it is also not the rare find that many Daw Yee-only diners make it out to be. This El Monte restaurant, which took over the former site of Little Malaysia at the very beginning of 2017, has quietly lived like many of its peers, without making any waves in big media.

For anyone who has traveled or lived in Myanmar, some of the strongest sensual memories come from early mornings sitting over spicy bowls of mohinga, the fish noodle stew that is ubiquitous on busy streets. Especially on cold winter mornings, pots are steaming well before the sun comes up and tired faces sit together slurping before work.

Depending on the night you visit, a schedule not quite clear enough to make suggestions yet, dishes can be hit or miss here. One of the unfortunate misses was the mohinga ($6.99, above), a dish that seemed universally praised on the small bit of mentions the restaurant gets online. I suppose if Daw Yee is the only frame of reference you have for the dish, it could be considered well done here, but it certainly will not satisfy those with early morning memories from Myanmar.

The other most well-known Burmese dish tea leaf salad ($9.99, above) is fortunately on the hit list, checking off all the boxes that it must. It is hard to rival the amount of fighting yet balanced flavors and textures that are all at work in this salad, spicy and sour and funky, crunchy and soft and slimy.

On their website they show all the different components of the salad before mixing, a way of presentation that will require the server to mix at the table. Disappointingly the dish arrives pre-mixed, but the high quality of it made up for this.

BIG MISS: Tofu salad ($7.99).

HIT: Shan noodles ($8.99).

HIT: Nan gyi thoke ($7.99).

MISS: Boiled egg in tomato sauce ($8.99).

EL MONTE San Gabriel Valley
3944 Peck Road

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