Authentic Burmese Food

When pressed, Sherry Dung will admit that when her family opened Mandalay in 1984, the tea salad was a bit of a hard sell. “We had to explain to customers that Burmese food was a combination of Indian, Chinese and Thai flavors,” she says, “but with a unique preparation in our own style.”

The city got the memo. While Burmese restaurants are rare elsewhere in the country, here we've embraced tea salad and coconut-curry noodles. Equally remarkable: The 28-year-old Mandalay, now encrusted with knickknacks and Christmas ornaments, has not settled into a customer-pleasing rut. (Read more at Tasting Table)

Familiar fans of authentic Burmese cuisine will find plenty to please their palates here, reveling in these zesty, spicy, and tangy dishes that often include catfish or coconut. For something completely different, discover the Burmese salad–a virtual cacophony of flavor, with pickled mango, cucumber, and toasted garlic in one version; crunchy tea leaves, roasted peanuts, plum tomatoes, jalapeño peppers, and crispy fried lentils in another.