Photos by Hannah Levenson

Hannah Levenson, Editor-In-Chief

After a long day of doing homework—in other words procrastinating, staring at my ceiling for hours on end, and watching compilation videos of puppies becoming friends with monkeys—I convinced myself that my hard work deserves a reward and set off to Burmatown.

When I approached the establishment, a crowd the size of the entire town of Corte Madera is lined up outside.

Outside, groups of people are munching on appetizers to endure the wait. Benches outside make the wait slightly more appealing. Take notes Burmatown: heat lamps may be a good investment, since it was literally freezing outside. California winters, am I right?

The wait does not deter me; I take it as the perfect opportunity to live it up in Corte Madera, the NYC of the West Coast, and the most hyped up place around. The 20 minute wait quickly turns into 45 minutes, then an hour, then an hour and a half.

As I begin to feel hungrier and hungrier, I deeply regret getting to the restaurant at the prime time on a Saturday night.

Two hours later, a table is finally ready. Inside the restaurant is cramped, but the small size provides the perfect opportunity for me to get to know my neighbors.

Both the individuals sitting at the table to my left and at the table to my right loudly pointed out the similarities between Burmatown and the highly acclaimed Burma Superstar in San Francisco to the waiter, who seemed extremely used to people making this “perceptive” observation.

Initially, I felt that Burmatown was just another restaurant hopping onto the Burmese food bandwagon. After visiting, it is clear that the restaurant has a contemporary concept that fully diverges from other Burmese establishments.

Since I arrived on the later side, the chicken curry was no longer available. Though the selection of items on the menu is limited, the enticing specials are where Burmatown shines.

Options from this menu including the garlic noodles with shrimp and asparagus, dashi broth with mixed veggies, and the pan-seared kingfish in spicy black bean sauce. There is something for everyone to order, even your gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, paleo, nut-free, can’t-eat-anything friend.

Even though the food took a while to come, the Burmatown baos (3 for $16) were well worth the long wait.

The sweet, soy marinade of the beef baos; creamy shrimp baos; and the tangy veggie baos are equally matched in flavor. The cloudlike bun perfectly complemented the fillings, creating the perfect “taco,” as the restaurant describes the delectable dish. All of the baos are topped with mixed greens and slaw.

Mixed right at the table, the tea leaf salad ($12.5) provides peak entertainment. Back off Benihana: your onion volcano is nothing in comparison.

The tea leaves are not the dominant flavor of the dish, and it more closely resembles a typical, Western salad. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the subtle flavor and delicious symphony of textures. Accomodations can be made so that it is vegetarian as well.

Dessert items, such as the guava panna cotta and the Burmese coconut cake, also do not disappoint. Like the rest of the menu, these options splendidly integrate Western and Eastern flavors. Personally, I preferred the indulgent panna cotta over the dense cake, but both desserts are delicious.

Options are on the pricier side, but the refined flavors are well worth the extra cost. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, Burmatown is a great place to go to impress your date. Wink wink.

Reservations can be made for groups with six or more individuals, but the rest of us will have to wait. Avoid my past mistakes and please do not arrive at 6 p.m. You’ll thank me later.

If you are willing to brave wait, next time you spend a night on the town, make sure to check out Burmatown.

You won’t be disappointed.