>> Mandalay Eats Burmese Kitchen | Eat the World Los Angeles

Friday, 10 June 2022

Mandalay Eats Burmese Kitchen

MYANMAR 🇲🇲
A full takeout order

COVID-19 UPDATE: This is a commercial kitchen space, orders can be placed for delivery through various apps or for pickup. Give them a call to order directly and avoid fees for business.

Commercial kitchen spaces are starting to hit all parts of the city as of mid-2022, not just the ones most served by Postmates and Uber Eats. Everyone in all parts of Greater Los Angeles loves some delivered food fast, so it is no surprise that decent food, available in quantity and variety from the same location, is becoming more and more of a thing especially as many people are still apprehensive about indoor dining settings.

Back in mid-March, Mandalay Eats Burmese Kitchen became the second Burmese ghost kitchen to open in Greater Los Angeles in 2022, the first of which has already expanded into a real restaurant space. Hopefully Mandalay Eats can do the same, because their food is much better than their predecessor, and is not afraid to use the ingredients that are unfamiliar to western palates and make Burmese food unique.

Burmese tea leaf salad

The unfortunate part of not being able to eat Burmese food fresh, especially the various salads, is that they do not hold up super well to travel. But the chef here is making them right, the Burmese tea leaf salad ($9.95, above) uses plenty of the namesake fermented tea leaves. The only lettuce found in the container is a piece underneath everything, thank goodness.

The spring ginger salad ($8.95, below) is just as good with similar ingredients except for the swap of tea leaves for finely chopped ginger. Unfortunately the avocado chickpea tofu salad ($9.95, top photo, top right) is a little on the soft and sad side, cut too thin and a bit too soupy. The flavors of the sauce are right, but the tofu itself is almost flavorless.

Spring ginger salad

Noodle dishes like Mandalay nan pya and Mandalay nan gyi ($12.95 each, top photo along bottom) hold up decently well to travel, and because much of Burmese food is eaten at room temperature, these make sense for an order. They also let you taste noodle salads that have their origins in the city of Mandalay.

If you were eating it from a vendor there, the pre-cooked noodles would be mixed with the other ingredients, sauce, and chicken in front of you when ordered and served on a small plate for immediate consumption. These restaurant portions are a little bigger, but the sooner you get to them the better.

Mohinga

The dishes that hold up best are the curries and mohinga ($11.95, above), a fish stew eaten in the early mornings as people wake up and make their way to work or get ready for their day. The version here is very nice, fabulously murky and earthy from its fish. Add some more lime juice than the little wedge they give you and spike it with some dried red pepper like they do in Myanmar if you have that around.

Many travelers come home from Myanmar thinking the food is much too oily for their palates, but unfortunately they are just dead wrong as proven by the wondrously oily classic chicken curry ($11.95, below). While you will not get all the banchan-like vegetables and goodies that go with a sit down meal in Myanmar, the tastes and textures of this curry will bring you right back there if only for a moment.

Classic chicken curry

Another dish that will elicit every memory and one specific to one place in the world is the pork and mango pickle ($13.95, top photo far right), a curry with very unique ingredients. Pickled green mangoes are not visible but pervade every bite, a sour answer to the savory and slightly sweet curry. This is a must try if you have never had the dish before, or even if you have. Highly recommended.

So once again, it must be yelled from the rooftops: Please find success and an eventual permanent space so that all of Los Angeles can come and enjoy the foods of Mandalay Eats Burmese Kitchen. Unfortunately the wonderful Yoma Myanmar is not easily accessible for everyone, and another talented chef based in the South Bay could change that story for Burmese food.

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