With three locations — one each in San Francisco, Oakland and Alameda — there’s no excuse not to stop into Northern California’s Burma Superstar. The eatery, which originally opened in San Francisco in 1992, is credited by many for popularizing Burmese cuisine in the Bay Area.
Start with the mango, lime and tamarind soju cocktail, which is delightfully light and fruity; I felt like I had been transported to a warm summer day on the beach (even though it was actually a brisk 50 degrees outside). Follow it with the Tea Leaf Salad — the most well-known dish of Myanmar, which includes cabbage, roasted peanuts and beans, fermented tea leaves and other tasty goodies — or the Rainbow Salad, which, the menu warns, features too many ingredients to list. The latter comes complete with 22 ingredients, including four types of noodles, fried garlic chips, tomato, green papaya, crispy onions, dried shrimp and more, along with a tamarind dressing.
Another iconic Burmese dish is “mohinga,” a rice noodle and catfish soup. Be sure to try Burma Superstar’s soulful take on the chowder, which, with onions, cilantro, lemon, chili flakes and slices of hard-boiled eggs, is creamy, spicy and tangy all at once — the perfect comfort food.