2011 Fall Dining Guide By Tom Sietsema
Sunday, October 16, 2011
"The left side of the menu is Chinese food, the right side is Burmese," coaches the waitress at one of the most personable restaurants I know. Veer to the right, and you can't go wrong, not when the dishes include a zesty salad of julienned ginger and carrot that pops with fried lentils, and tender pork with pickled mango. They are two of the many reasons Burmese cooking is such a draw and Burma Road, in Gaithersburg, is such a delightful ride. Don't get me wrong. The Chinese selections are tasty. Warm crumbled chicken eaten with cool lettuce leaves makes a nice entry point, and shrimp tossed in mayonnaise and garnished with caramelized walnuts shows a decorator's touch. But I can get such dishes many places, and these take a back seat to coconut noodle soup bobbing with chicken bites and scored squid golden with curry and hot with jalapeno. In a hurry? The food, prepared by two Chinese and three Burmese chefs, shows up quickly. Need privacy? Ask for a perch in the alcove to the side. Throwing a party? Consider one of the two big, round tables in the back of the mint- and moss-colored restaurant.