Mar 23, 2014

How About Burmese Food for Lunch? Yoma Myanmar in Monterey Park, CA

Burma, or Myanmar is a sovereign state in Southeast Asia with five neighboring countries. Multi-ethnicity gave characteristics to its cuisine. Flavors and ingredients used in Myanmar cuisine are deeply influenced by adjacent China, India, and Thailand. Seafood, fermented/salted items, noodles/rice, and a wide variety of salads are few of the many staple food from Burma. 

Thanks to the cultural diversity in Los Angeles County, on top of Chinese food, Thai food, Vietnamese, and more, there's even a Burmese restaurant located on East Garvey Avenue that's been opened for more than six years. 

I've been missing out!

It's a semi-hole-in-the-wall restaurant especially how it looked from the street -

Decors and the interior are pretty much "old school," but the lady owner kept it tidy and clean -

Menu -

Appetizers (click on the picture to enlarge the view) -

Salad -

I've never seen such wide variety of uncommon items for salad, tea leaf? Sour shrimp? Preserved egg? Might sound funky but they all appear very delicious to me.

Main dishes -

No. 33 Pone Ye Gyi or also known as Pone Yay Gyi, is a flavored paste made from horse gram. No. 36 Hilsa, is a popular silver colored fish in Southeast Asia. 

Traditional noodles -

Chef special, soup, and soft drinks -

Prices are pretty low here at Yoma Myanmar. Many main dishes are only about $5.99 or $6.99, very wallet friendly.

Thai ice tea -

Tea leaf salad -

Interesting flavor, the tea leaves were steamed then fermented, giving a sourish and fragrant taste to the salad. Other main ingredients including freshly chopped tomatoes, cabbage, sesame seeds, peanuts, and one other smaller nuts. The texture is amazing, you get that crunchiness from the nuts and even chopped cabbage. Softer ingredients such as cooked kale-like tea leaves and juicy tomatoes provide another tasty dimension. 

Peanut oil, fish sauce, and some other seasonings were used in the dressing. Take a bite and it's like an aromatic festival in my mouth. Highly recommended. 

Fried fish cake -

It was actually better than expected. Initially we ordered this appetizer just to have something fried to munch on. After one bite, the fish cake revealed itself as a juicy and meaty goddess. Unlike the version sold at Chinese tea shops, Yoma Myanmar's fried fish cake seems handmade and definitely not mixed by a machine from the factory -

Traditional fried noodles -

Regular Chinese stir fry noodles but on a sweeter side. We asked for some chili sauce to eat along with the noodles. The lady owner asked if we want it with veggies. Hmm, veggies? Why not?

At least the vegetable intake for the day was well covered.

Pork with pone ye gyi (fermented soy bean paste) -

Recommended by the lady. It tastes kind of like Indian dry curry without too much spice. The texture slightly resembles hummus, just slightly, in which you get that bean paste feeling from the sauce. 

The pork is fork tender and very flavorful. It's not as spicy as Indian curry and carries cooked bean aroma.

Too much food left so we asked for to go boxes. The lady was very nice and even scooped some more rice so we can have something to eat along with the pork. 

My rating for Yoma Myanmar might not be too high. However, the score was limited on just a few dishes experienced that day. Some hit the spot and some were just about right. There are still many delicious sounding items on the menu such as garlic noodles, water crest sour soup, and preserved egg salad. Hope I'll get to try all these dishes during my next visit. In that case, I'll come back and adjust this rating to a higher level.

Cindy's Rating: 6 (more future visits might bump up this score)

Yoma Myanmar
713 East Garvey Ave (between N. Garfield Ave and N. New Ave)
Monterey Park, CA 91755
(626) 280-8655

Operating Hours:

Monday - Friday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.


  1. Cool! Have not tried burmese food before. Hope to, one day.

    1. It was my first time too, pretty good but the taste is not as strong as Thai or Malaysian food. Both are good tho!

  2. Pone Yee Gyi is made from Horse gram, not from Soy bean. So It should be Pone Yee Gyi (fermented horse gram paste)

    1. Thank you so much for the clarification, I've already corrected the content!