No reservations. No, we’re not talking about my favorite Anthony Bourdain show, we’re discussing the policy for Burma Superstar [309 Clement St San Francisco, CA 94118]. They open at 5PM for dinner and there was a small gathering outside the restaurant 10 minutes prior.
Uh oh. The space is small, I was hoping we would make it for the first seating and we just eeked in with the last table for two. Pro tip! Get there a few minutes before open time. I’ve only had Burmese cuisine once before at a little hole in the wall joint in Upstate NY. I remember the potent and unique flavors, I was excited to see what a popular restaurant would have in store. We ordered two apps and split a salad, the portion was perfect. Jeff went for the lettuce cups with a pork hash. It was a very generous serving of flavorful meat and veggies, fun and interactive to make into little lettuce tacos – or just to spoon in your mouth.
We tried the platha and curry dip which was really tasty! The platha is a multi layered bread which had a lot of depth and a wonderful texture.
The big reason to come, believe it or not, is a salad! I’m not the biggest salad eater, so whenever a restaurant can create a salad that keeps my attention, it’s really something. There are two popular salads, the Rainbow and the Tea Leaf. We’re saving the Rainbow for another visit, this time we went for the Tea Leaf which was exceptional. It has many components to it and comes neatly organized at first,
but they deftly will toss it up for you tableside.
My favorite part had to be the fried garlic which added a powerful crunch and burst of flavor. The yellow beans, peanuts, and sesame seeds also helped keep things interesting. The lettuce, tomato, and jalapeños were fresh as can be. The two most distinctive elements were dried shrimp and fermented tea leaves, which created an earthy, tangy situation. It was a great salad! If you can’t make it to the SF location, there are two more – one in Oakland and the other in Alameda.