This was so close to being a 5-star experience it's heartbreaking.
Burmese cuisine is unusual, even for the Palo Alto area, which has restaurants of almost every ethnic group. If you have never tried the cuisine, you are in for a treat.
My wife and I went with another couple ... which worked out nicely as we ordered 5 dishes and shared ... each one a novel taste experience. One particular dish ... a salad containing (among other ingredients) tea leaves (!!) was a particularly pleasant surprise.
The decor featured photos of the Burmese people and was welcoming, service was exceptional (the waiters were fully attentive, water glasses were promptly refilled, all the dishes were brought in the order we requested and all were hot), our reservation was honored, we were seated ahead of the walk-ins which doesn't always happen, and the price was quite reasonable ($40 per person with tax, tip, and drinks) considering this was a 2 1/2 hour dinner (we were not rushed) in downtown Palo Alto on a Saturday night.
So what's not to like?
Well we brought along a special bottle of wine to celebrate the evening, but discovered to our dismay that the restaurant charged a $25 corkage fee! When we asked about this we were told "this is what the other restaurants in the area charge" which is not a responsive answer, and also happens NOT TO BE TRUE. In fact ... if the wine had been Australian, we would have been charged a $25 "screwage fee" which pretty much describes what tRangoon Ruby does to people who bring their own wine.
As a matter of policy ... so as not to encourage this sort of thing, three of us got different glasses of wine (one abstainer) and the total bill was $30 - so it was only slightly over what they would have made if they poured us our own wine ... and they wound up with 4 customers who had the edge taken off a perfect evening.
A corkage fee, even in Palo Alto, should NEVER be more than $15 (and is $15 even at upscale neighboring restaurants like La Strada). These guys are way out of line here.
So they lost a star.
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