Daw Yee Myanmar Café – Monterey Park

Daw Yee Myanmar Cafe - Monterey Park

Instead of grilling in the backyard or heading to the beach to celebrate the Fourth of July, The Astronomer and I spent our random Thursday off from work lunching at Monterey Park’s Daw Yee Myanmar Café. It somehow seemed fitting to celebrate America’s birthday over Burmese food. Mmm, freedom.

Daw Yee Myanmar Cafe - Monterey Park

We first encountered Daw Yee Myanmar Café’s impressive cooking at the 626 Night Market and were stoked to finally visit the brick and mortar location. The restaurant, which is named after its owner Daw Yee, specializes in homey Burmese fare served in a bright and modern setting.

To start, we shared the lahpet thohk ($6.95). The beautifully plated Tea Leaf Salad was comprised of sesame seeds, shredded cabbage, diced tomatoes, chilies, crispy lentils, fried garlic, roasted peanuts, and of course, fermented tea leaves.

Daw Yee Myanmar Cafe - Monterey Park

The salad was a veritable cornucopia of textures, flavors, and freshness. The fermented tea leaves brought a distinct funkiness to the table, while the legumes offered a punch of crunch. The salad was a touch too stinky for The Astronomer, but I wholly embraced it.

Daw Yee Myanmar Cafe - Monterey Park

We both agreed that the kima platha ($5.95) was nothing but awesome. Comprised of a flaky flatbread (platha) stuffed with Masala-scented beef, the kima platha was impressively crisp and expertly seasoned. The spicy ketchup served on the side brought all the flavors together. These golden hot pockets were tops.

Daw Yee Myanmar Cafe - Monterey Park

We couldn’t resist ordering the mohinga ($5.95), a noodle soup considered to be the national dish of Myanmar. The orange-tinged catfish broth was quite mild, while the noodles were standard rice vermicelli. The bowl was garnished with fresh cilantro, half a boiled egg, and lentil fritters.

The broth came alive with a few extra shakes of fish sauce, but was missing a certain oomph that would have made it irresistible.

Daw Yee Myanmar Cafe - Monterey Park

The Lamb Curry ($7.95) was totally solid. Slow cooked in Masala spices, the meat fell off the bone with ease.

Daw Yee Myanmar Cafe - Monterey Park

To sip throughout the meal was a tall mug of malasong ($4), a sweet and chunky coconut milk number brimming with colorful jellies and tapioca. A close relative of Vietnamese chethis dessert disguised as a beverage suited me just right.

The Astronomer and I thoroughly enjoyed our four-course lunch at Daw Yee Myanmar Café this afternoon. We found the cuisine’s South and Southeast Asian influences comforting and familiar, while the various twists and innovations kept our attention. After getting our feet wet, The Astronomer and I plan to seek out and learn more about the foodways of Myanmar.

Daw Yee Myanmar Café
111 North Rural Drive
Monterey Park, CA 91755
Phone: 626-573-8080

There’s much more to eat in marvelous Monterey Park:

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