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7:15 p.m. Tuesday: Best Place to Eat Burmese Food and Also Get a Haircut 

Hinn Tha Bistro

It's easy to walk past this new Park Street eatery and totally miss it. It shares a roof with the We Are Hair salon, and still looks like the cafe it once was. With a Starbucks opening across the street, manager Nicholas Kyi decided his latte business was doomed, so he went back to his roots and enlisted his parents to start cooking. Specials such as garlic prawns, ginger salad, and palata (a pancake-like bread) began to appear and so did a devoted clientele. Two customers now drive up from San Jose, sometimes twice a week, for the mango chicken with garlic noodles. There are only a handful of Burmese restaurants in the Bay Area, and they tend to serve a blander, Americanized version. Nicholas is determined to be authentic, and won't introduce a new dish until he is sure the necessary spices will be available. Some items can only be found back home, and with the current political situation in the country now known as Myanmar, they are tricky to get out of the country. Hinn Tha offers a full menu of delicious soups, salads, and entrées in the $6 to $9 range (lunch and dinner -- same price); very reasonable considering the fresh ingredients and healthy cooking techniques. The space is attractive, light, and airy (once inside, the hair salon is hidden) and there is an outdoor patio and cozy upstairs. The dinner hours are new and therefore less crowded -- and at these prices can't be beat.

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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