A couple weeks ago I had a chance to return to Rangoon in Palo Alto. It looks much the same and the prices have stayed very reasonable. The menu is largely Chinese-American with a sprinkling of Burmese dishes. The other tables around us were mostly eating chicken fried rice, mushu pork, and the like. However, we stuck to the Burmese fare.
We started with an appetizer of fried opo squash, served with sweet and sour dipping sauce. It’s been ages since I’ve last had this type of s&s sauce, and I felt the opo was better without it. William commented that the batter was thin, light and relatively greaseless. Mom said, “you shouldn’t fry that squash.”
Especially disappointing was a dish I’d liked here in the past, coconut chicken noodles. The coconut curry soup base was so thick and pasty, it felt more like mac n cheese. The pieces of chicken were quite juicy, but the overall dish lacked energy and complexity.
We also had lamb curry and a side of coconut rice. Mild and slightly sweet, the curry had a generous serving of lamb cubes. The flavors were rather simple, and it was not nearly as good as the pork curry we tried here years ago. With coconut rice, the combination was too confected. The palada was pretty good, but couldn’t compare to the stellar example I’d had at Pagan in San Francisco a few days earlier.
Highlight of our meal was the green beans with fried garlic and dried shrimp. Nice sear on the beans and some flavor punch from the seasoning elements.
The spice of the green beans against the sweet softness of the coconut rice was a winning combination. From this visit, those are the only two recommended dishes.
With tax and tip, the tab was only $41 for the three of us for more food than we could eat.
2002 post on Rangoon -
565 Bryant St, Palo Alto, CA 94301