Le Voov! Restaurant Review: Rangoon Ruby ?
Rangoon Ruby (Burmese)
680 Laurel Street, San Carlos, CA 94070 Tel: (650) 592-1852
(Also have locations in Belmont, Palo Alto, Burlingame, and San Francisco)
Traditional Burmese food is quickly becoming the rising star of Southeast Asian cuisine, surpassing even sushi and Thai food in popularity throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Under the experienced guidance of Chef Max Lee, Rangoon Ruby captures the pure essence of authentic Burmese cuisine with flavors influenced by Thai, Indian and Chinese traditions. The plates are served family style (shared) and beyond being delicious with great, unique flavors, the presentation is lovely. Similarly, the décor of the restaurant is elegant and well thought out.
The attention to every detail from cucumber infused water, the white linens, the warm ambience, and the attentive wait staff, creates a truly memorable dining experience.
We enjoy the outdoor seating because we can bring our dog Otter-Pop with us. The waiters always bring out a fresh bowl of water for her and makes her feel like a welcome guest. Thank you for being a dog-friendly restaurant!
During our recent visit the night carried a slight autumn chill to the air, so we decided to warm up a bit with a bottle of St. Francis Merlot. The full-bodied, deep berry tones of the wine filled the bill as we began the difficult process of narrowing down our entrées from the expansive menu.
We opened our pleasurable gastric experience with the traditional Tea Leaf Salad.
Tea Leaf Salad – ‘This salad is a popular traditional treat unique to Burma. A mix of Burmese tea leaves, fried garlic, yellow beans, peanuts, sesame seeds, lettuce, tomato, jalapeno peppers and dried shrimp. This special salad will awaken your taste buds.’
The salad arrived beautifully plated in organized sections. Our waiter took the time to explain the various fresh ingredients, then proceeded to mix the various ingredients together for us at the table. The delicious blend of tartness, crunch from the garlic chips and nuts, along with the earthy, rich flavor of the dressing made for a distinct and intriguing co-mingling on the palate.
We learned that the fermented tea leaves are imported from Burma to ensure the finest quality and the consistent, authentic flavors of the dish. This salad is large enough for two people to split easily and exceeded our expectations.
Both Brian and myself enjoy flavorful, spicy cuisine from around the globe, so the Minted Jalapeno Pork was a natural choice for our next course.
Minted Jalapeno Pork – ‘This dish is simple in preparation yet packs a lot of flavor. Minced pork with fresh mint leaves, garlic, ginger and jalapenos.’
The bright mint flavor in contrast to the concentrated tones of ginger and garlic made this an instant winner for us. The pork was tender and the overall flavor was refreshing in an unexpected way. Don’t be intimidated by the ‘jalapeno’ in the title, as it’s fairly mild in overall heat, yet huge on flavor.
We then moved on to the Basil Chili Lamb – ‘Strips of lamb tossed with dried chili flakes, fresh chili and onions; finished with basil.’
I have always enjoyed the delightful dance that occurs between basil and lamb. This dish is packed with onions and spice in a most beautiful, creative way. The dark, rich sauce is fiery and distinctive, which paired perfectly with the tender juiciness of the velvety lamb.
Our final entrée was the Ruby Shrimp – ‘Wok sautéed shrimp served with onion, garlic and jalapenos’
This dish is a shrimp-lovers dream! The large prawns are juicy, exploding with flavor and spice. Cooked to perfection, the tender prawns maintain their succulent sweetness. Again, the jalapenos are not overwhelming, rather, they add to the intense, earthy flavors of the onions, garlic and other seasonings.
The wait staff at Rangoon Ruby is attentive and pleasant, and the ambiance makes one feel relaxed and happy! As noted previously, everything on the menu sounds extraordinary, and we look forward to expanding our review with each visit to Rangoon Ruby. Our amazing gal pal *Elisa turned us on to this little treasure in San Carlos. Cheers! Please see my About page for details regarding *The Sisters.
During Our Upcoming Visit, We’re Going To Try: Mango Salad, Palata, Rangoon Lemongrass Salmon, Lamb Kebat, Ruby Stringbeans, and the Garlic Shrimp & Eggplant. We also want to enjoy the authentic coconut water served traditionally with a simple straw. Please visit Le Voov! again soon for our updated review!
Helpful hint: Rangoon Ruby is bustling at all hours, so reservations are a must. Thankfully, they use Open Table!