At Irrawaddy Taste of Burma in Stanton, an Orange County city best known for nearly becoming Anaheim’s “sewage farm,” Banny Fong, wife Rosanna, and nephew Fred Phan have produced some of Southern California’s best Burmese food since April.
The strip mall space features colorful photos of Burmese life, parasol chandeliers above the bar, and a name that refers to a river in Myanmar. Fong ran Sakura Sushi in Long Beach from 2003-2011, a good run to be sure, but he’s clearly found his calling with childhood dishes like Own Noh Kauk Swear ($11). This coconut chicken soup is reminiscent of kao soi, but with thick, bouncy udon noodles and divergent garnishes of garlic, shallot, cilantro, and boiled egg. The broth contains coconut milk, but finds balance from earthy spice. I could have slurped this soup all night, had Irrawaddy not also worked wonders with two tea leaf dishes.