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I recently found myself back in the Bay Area for work, and i’ve been eager to further my culinary exploits.

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Mingalaba was recommended as excellent Burmese cuisine in nearby Burlingame, a beautiful city in San Mateo County. Burlingame is known as the “City of Trees” due to the number of trees within the city (18,000 public trees – Wikipedia). I immediately noticed this as I spent much of my youth in Bloomington, Indiana. A “Tree City” for nearly 20 straight years.

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I wanted to try the Burmese tea to start, which I was told is like a Thai Iced Tea. It was basically the same thing, I couldn’t detect a difference in the tea blend, if there was one. Great presentation though, no complaints. 

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One of the things I like about carrying a camera around is people notice, and seat you quickly, and for some reason our food came out far quicker than the other tables 😉

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Our first dish was a Lahpet, a pickled Tea Leaf Salad. I’ve had this dish at a few other restaurants and this was an excellent authentic rendition. Full of crunchy roasted peanuts, sesame, cabbage, and crisp fried garlic. 

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It was brought out separated, as most of the dishes were, and then mixed table side. I loved this dish. 

We next had a Burmese Beef Curry, which was not as spicy as I would imagined but filled with good flavors. It seemed more like a stew than a curry, but I was voracious and loved the rich flavor. 

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The rainbow chicken reminded me of Kung Pao chicken, sweet and nicely cooked. This dish didn’t really do much for me. 

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Normally I don’t really do heavy carbohydrates at dinner with the exception of rice dishes and Ramen. The Burmese noodles we ordered were really delicious – mixed with a spoon and a squeeze of lime at the table.

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Our side dishes were a coconut rice, and Burmese rice with cashews and fried onions. The Burmese rice was great; fragrant thai style rice with loads of cashews. I would of liked these sides a little hotter, but the flavors were on point. 

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We were given a complimentary mango dessert(which I didn’t see anyone else getting); nothing to write home about and most likely had been sitting loosely covered on the refrigerator shelf for a while.

I was anticipating something a bit creamier, more pudding like. It was a lovely gesture, and our service here overall was really good. 

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I will most certainly go back to Mingalaba, the food and service were solid, as well as the dining options. 

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