At this point in the pandemic, it’s entirely understandable if you don’t know what day of the week it is, let alone what you’re eating for dinner three weeks from now. But when it comes to Burmese, Please!, the monthly pop-up in the Arts District, we’d recommend planning ahead - because the food is simply too good to miss.
Run by chef Jessie Nicely (who also edits the fantastic food magazine Compound Butter), Burmese, Please! has been popping up at places like Smorgasburg and the Far East Plaza over the past few years, but since March’s stay-at-home orders, they’re now takeout-only, operating from inside a shared-use commercial kitchen in the Arts District on the second Tuesday of every month.
Yes, just one day a month.
So how does one actually secure an order? It’s easy. First, give them a follow on Instagram. They post each month’s menu a few days before the actual pick-up date, and when they do, you DM them your order. Immediately. Don’t wait, as slots fill up fast, and once they’re full, you’ll have to wait another month to eat some of the best Burmese food in LA. And no one has time for that.
Burmese, Please! changes their menu each month, here are some of our highlights from our meal on July 14th.
Everybody is looking for new sources of comfort these days, and this giant bowl of coconut curry chicken noodle soup might be our favorite to date. Filled with thick wheat noodles, boiled eggs, split pea fritters, and fried garlic and shallots, it’s a tremendously flavorful, full-bodied dish, and one where the sweetness of the coconut milk is balanced out perfectly with the savory elements. Also, take full advantage of the ngapi kyaw that comes on the side. It’s a dried shrimp powder made from chili, fried onion and garlic, plus salt and oil, that tastes great not just with this dish, but every other one one the menu as well.
Fragrant, pungent, salty, and nutty - this tea leaf salad is one of more unique dishes you’ll eat this summer, and an absolute must-order. Made with fermented tea leaves, fish sauce, fried split peas, fried garlic and shallots, serrano chili, and sesame, this is an immensely complex and fresh dish, and one that pairs perfectly with LA’s permanent late-summer heatwave.
This will be included if you order one of the curries, but we strongly recommend getting a few more on the side. Simply put, this is some of the best coconut rice we’ve ever eaten, and you will absolutely get into an argument with your significant other/roommate/dog over who gets the last bite.
You can get your curry party pack with either chicken, pork (for an extra $5), or potato. We went with chicken, and we weren’t disappointed. It’s a light, deeply fragrant curry, and hits completely different notes than the ohn no khao swè. In case you were wondering if you should get both, the answer is unequivocally “yes.”