First Bite: Aung Maylika Brings a Taste of Burma
The new Pleasant Hill spot offers Burmese cuisine to diners.
Burma Superstar has for 15 years all but defined Burmese cooking in the Bay Area. The more familiar foods of India, China, and Thailand (all bordering countries) are echoed in Burmese dishes and give the cuisine broad appeal.
At Aung Maylika, the crunchy, zesty ti leaf salad—which Superstar has made famous—is offered in a rice version (a Burmese custom is to use small balls of rice as an eating utensil). The result was sensational comfort food: chock-full of nuts and seeds with playful notes of savory ferment and shrimp essence.
Our remaining dishes batted .600. The sweet-spicy mango shrimp; garlicky noodles with BBQ pork; and crispy lettuce wraps with a mélange of chicken, mushrooms, and hoisin sauce were all stunning. But the palatha (fried bread) came with a desultory vegetable curry sauce, and the garlic eggplant was drab.
Aung Maylika’s dining room is comfortable if not cozy, and the service on our visit was welcoming if a little too earnest.
1050 Contra Costa Blvd., Pleasant Hill, (925) 822-3230, aungmaylika.com. Lunch and dinner daily.