Cheap Eats 2008: Myanmar

Why go: The recent cyclone has fixed Myanmar—or Burma—as a place of tragedy. This tiny cafe offers a chance to experience the other Myanmar, a country of teemingly alive flavors, particularly the rich, aromatic soups and pungent, intricately textured salads.

What to get: Pickled tea-leaf salad, a knockout of a dish with a smoky, slightly sour taste that lingers long in the mind; ginger salad; shrimp-and-bean-sprout salad; gram-fritter salad, the fried gram-flour patties covered in chickpea gravy; onho kaukswe, coconut-curry soup with fresh egg noodles; pork with fresh mango; mohingar, a curry-and-lemongrass-scented fish chowder spooned over noodles and doused with lime juice; chili belly pork, a fiery stir-fry of slab bacon.

Best for: A light and lively dinner. Vegetarians will rejoice at the wealth of options on the menu, and nonvegetarians will hardly miss their meats with so much to try that’s interesting and good.

Insider tip: Abandon your notions of what constitutes a typical meal. Instead, build your dinner around appetizers, salads (most are big enough to feed two or three), and a couple of hearty soups.

Open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner.

See all Cheap Eats 2008 restaurants

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.