Daw Yee Myanmar Cafe

A tiny Burmese restaurant opened just a stone’s throw away from Yoma in Monterey Park. Two Burmese restaurants within blocks of each other — was that just a coincidence?

Unlike Yoma’s dark and dank interior, Daw Yee’s is bright and colorful with vibrant seat cushions, gold-colored table ornaments hiding toothpicks, and still glossy menus. Will and I have been back several times and each time we left satisfied.

First, we ordered the one thing we always want to get at a Burmese restaurant: fermented tea leaf salad. This one came neatly plated in sections, which were mixed together table-side. There was a generous helping of fermented tea leaf, just the right amount cabbage, and some crispy soy beans to give it additional crunch. We ordered this without fish sauce so that it was vegan and I didn’t think it was missing anything.

Tofu Thoke and Tea Leaf Salad

Another one of my favorite Burmese salads is tofu salad (thoke on the menu) which is a misnomer. Instead of soy based tofu, this is finely ground chickpea flour and water molded into blocks and sliced. The slick texture makes it seem like tofu, but the bright yellow color shows that it’s not. I find that it’s also a little softer and creamier than your average tofu. This too was tossed in dressing and accompanied sliced cabbage and fresh herbs for a cold refreshing bite. (Ask for no fish-sauce for a vegan-friendly version.)

Daw Yee Myanmar

Then there’s my go-to dish that I order regardless of whether it’s breakfast time or not: mohinga (not pictured). The version at Daw Yee is decent, but not my favorite. It has the hearty rich texture I like, but I prefer it with a little more spice or funk. Maybe I’m too used to the one that comes in a styrofoam bowl at Jasmine Market in Culver City.

Daw Yee Myanmar

For dinner one night, we ventured away from our Burmese staples and tried some curries. Will ordered the vegetable curry, which had okra, eggplant, radishes, and some other vegetables in a thin curry broth. I got the egg curry, with its four deep fried hard-boiled eggs and a thick, spicy tomato sauce. It hit the spot but was so filling that I could only eat two eggs before getting full.

Egg curry from Daw Yee for dinner.

We also ordered the chickpea fritters as an appetizer. If you liked crunchy, deep-fried things (and who doesn’t?), this is the way to go. These little disks of chickpea had a satisfying crunch on the outside while still being gooey and hot on the inside — a Burmese latke.

Daw Yee Myanmar

 

Daw Yee is a great addition to the neighborhood.  The food has been consistently good even if the service is sometimes awkward or strange.  The hot loose-leaf tea is also surprisingly good, almost like a fresh young pu-erh.

Daw Yee Myanmar Cafe
111 N Rural Dr
Monterey Park, CA 91755
(626) 573-8080

Green Village

The family and I went to Green Village for dinner over the weekend. The place was fancy compared to most of the Chinese restaurants we go to and the prices certainly reflect slightly more upscale decor.

Green Village

We started off with a cold plate of koufu (vegan). It’s a famous Shanghainese dish made out of wheat gluten, bamboo, mushrooms, and other vegetables. This version at Green Village was really good. The texture of the wheat gluten was soft and crispy at the same time and the flavors were just right.
Green Village

Then came the soy sheet roll (vegan), which I thought was one of the better dishes of the night. The rolls contained chopped up baked tofu and was served on a bed of cooked spinach with edamame on top. It’s a pretty common vegetarian dish, so I’m not surprised they could do this well.
Green Village

My dad ordered the fish with Chinese spinach. It wasn’t anything special. The fish was some generic white fish and the Chinese spinach definitely wasn’t fresh. It tasted the same as the Chinese spinach we buy frozen from the market.
Green Village

For a vegetable dish, we ordered the eggplants with long beans (vegan). Other than the sauce being a bit too sweet, these were great. They must have some crazy heat in the kitchen because the eggplants were cooked to perfection: slightly burned on the outside, soft on the inside. Only a wok with high heat can do that. The string beans weren’t bad either.
Green Village

Lastly came the Shanghai short ribs. I think they forgot to put in this order because we didn’t get it until ten minutes after we asked about them when we were almost done with our meal. These were pretty generic tasting and nothing special; I can see them being served at PF Chang’s.

Overall, I thought our meal at Green Village was disappointing. Shanghai has a lot of famous vegetarian dishes, but there weren’t a lot of them on the menu. Considering the quality of the food here, I’m glad I didn’t order the xiao long baos. I’d rather ditch the fancy decor and high prices and go across the street to Mei Long Village for much better Shanghainese cuisine.


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250 W Valley Blvd
San Gabriel, CA 91776
(626) 576-2228