I love trying new Asian restaurants. My love of Thai, Vietnamese, and Japanese is well-known. I recently saw mention of a new restaurant near Scottsdale and Shea that serves Burmese food. Little Rangoon labels themselves as "Taste of Burma" on their menus. They tout that Burma shares borders with Bangladesh, India, China, Laos, and Thailand and that their cuisine has been influenced by this proximity. Since that sounded really good to me, I put it on my "to-do" list.
A couple weekends ago, Tara suggested we try Samarkand on a Friday night. We got there at 7:30 to find it closed. This would become a recurring theme for the little Uzbeki place. I was in the mood to try something new, so I suggested Little Rangoon. We headed over and found them in the same plaza where Sushi on Shea, Tapino, Claim Jumper, and others call home at 70th St and Shea. We parked underground and took the escalator up to the restaurant.
We entered the restaurant to find only a handful of tables occupied. The space is very pretty, minimally decorated, but enough to convey it's ethnic leanings. A very friendly waitress seated us and we looked over the menu. The descriptions of the menu items made most of them sound very enticing. I love fresh spring rolls and they listed several offerings with either roasted duck, butter dipped prawns, or tofu. They come two per order and you can't mix and match. I wanted to try one duck and one prawn, but the waitress said they had to be the same. We settled on the roasted and shredded duck meat glazed with Hoisin sauce. For entrees, garlicaholic Tara got the Si Gyet Kauswer (Garlic Noodles) - Fresh egg wonton noodles tossed in fried garlic oil and scallions with either roasted chicken (Tara's option) or roasted duck. I opted for the Singapore Noodles - Rice vermicelli stir fried with pork, shrimp, shredded carrots, celery, onions, tumeric, and ginger. Tara got a Coke and I think I stuck with water.
The spring rolls arrived first. They were... boring. Filled mostly with chopped iceberg lettuce with small amounts of the other fillings and thin strips of the duck. Neither of us could discern much flavor from the duck and the lettuce drowned out any other flavors. Pretty much any Vietnamese or Thai place that offers spring rolls offers more flavorful ones. Not a good start.
Our meals came out shortly after we finished the rolls. Tara's noodles looked like they had a lot of garlic, but again, there was no flavor. Her dish also seemed to be more on the lukewarm side of things. She prefers her food to be searing or at least hot. I took a bite and agreed that it was very bland.
My noodles had a strong yellow hue from the turmeric but neither it or the ginger added any flavor. The temperature of dish was fine. Everything seemed cooked well, but there was just no flavor.
Service was fine. The waitress was very helpful when we asked numerous questions about the menu. Drinks were kept filled. No complaints there.
Overall, we hoped for far more bold flavors from a place that says they combine Thai and Indian influences at the very least. Prices aren't bad, as both our entrees were $8, but you can certainly find much better food for the same price elsewhere.
7000 E Shea Blvd Ste 1580, Scottsdale, AZ 85254
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