Mutiara in Inglewood: Deserves Chowhound love for good Burmese/Indonesian food
I love Burma Superstar in the Bay area and wanted to try some Burmese food down in the Los Angeles area. I found Mutiara Food & Marketin Inglewood listed on another Web site with a lot of positive reviews, so I decided to check it out. It was both great food and inexpensive.
We followed the suggestion of our waiter and got the lamb biryani and a noodle dish with chicken and shrimp. Neither was especially exotic, like the food at Burma Superstar, but they were both well prepared. Nice fresh ingredients and properly cooked. I liked that the biryani had some zip to it but you could still taste the delicate flavors. The noodles were tasty and so were the ingredients. We also got meat samosas and potato samosas that were nice and a nice dish of garlic bok choi.
If I lived here I'd definitely be a regular customer.
Mutiara Food & Market
225 S La Brea Ave
Inglewood, CA 90301
From left to right are the lamb biryani, the noodle dish and the samosa.
Just an update on Mutiara. We picked up a number of dishes here last night and had a good meal.
Lamb Biryani was nicely spiced (cinnamon, clove, turmeric, yogurt) with a big hunk of lamb set in the middle of the rice. This is served with a side of cucumbers and onions seasoned with yogurt, cilantro and green chiles.
Mustard greens with dried shrimp. We originally wanted kankong belacan but the owner apologetically told us that he didn't have any due to sourcing issues. But the mustard greens were probably better than we expected the kankong to be.
Chicken Tikka. I think this was a slight disappointment. While it was perfectly roasted, it didn't have the level of complexity of flavors I'd expect from the spicing or yogurt in the marinade. Two different green sauces come with this.
Mee goreng. Very generous on the amount and the protein in this portion. This is a classic dish from SE Asia where there's typically a prominent dark soy sauce component. Their version was lacking this, but it was very good otherwise.
Garlic naan. Very good version as we expected. Myo Aung definitely knows how to work a tandoor oven. The bread was topped with garlic and cilantro - nice and chewy with just the right amount of char on it.
Potato samosa. We enjoyed this version for its spicing of the potato filling. More turmeric and heat than what we're used to compared to Samosa House in Culver City. It comes with a sweetish red chile-based sauce.
Mutiara is located on La Brea, just south of Manchester. Mutiara has been here going on six years now - we didn't realize how many years ago he had sold Jasmine and moved to this location. The street parking was very easy at dinner time, as not much is open on this block at night. I'm kind of miffed as there was no one in this place, and the food does deserve a lot more attention. Mutiara is halal, as the owner is an observant Muslim. He is very casual, friendly and approachable, so covering the menu relative to one's taste is a breeze.
That explains the similarity. I never tried Mutiara because from what I saw online it looked like a clone of Jasmine which was very close to my house.
TS - my favorite Burmese was at Yoma Myanmar in the SGV, worth the drive if you have the time. They have tea leaf salad (one of the few places in the city that does) and all the other dishes I tried there were really good. Burmese certainly is an interesting and flavorful cuisine.
And just generally speaking, I always felt Inglewood on the whole was underrated and underrepresented on this board. It always struck me as odd - I think the food down in Inglewood kicks ass. The best African, Caribbean and soul food in the city is down there.