Burmese, Please

A couple of months ago we were headed down Clement Street in search of a good place to get a nightcap and we couldn’t help be amazed by the fact that Burma Superstar had a hearty group of people outside even though it was 10:30 at night. If this were New York, midnight dining wouldn’t be blog-able, but in San Francisco, especially in the Inner Richmond, restaurants close their doors at 11 and sidewalks are rolled up and put away promptly at 11:30.

We like Burma Superstar and always relish the opportunity to savor the Rainbow Salad and the Samosa soup, but the 2-hour wait can be a bit much and believe it or not, there are actually other places to get Burmese food in San Francisco.

A couple of alternatives in the Richmond District are Mandalay and Pagan Restaurant. Both are little more affordable and neither require some sort of Disneyland-esque FastPass system to get through the line. Mandalay is at California and 6th Avenue, only a few blocks from Burma Superstar and Pagan is a bit more of a jaunt at Clement at 33rd Avenue.

There’s also B Star Bar, a new restaurant from Joycelyn Lee, the owner of Burma Superstar, but Burmese cuisine isn’t its only focus. B Star describes itself as “an eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary Asian fare,” but with fish tacos and a po boy sandwich on the menu we think that Asian fusion might not be a big enough blanket description. In any case, we’ve been twice now and both times we’ve had decent meals—during our most recent trip we had a seared tuna salad (with avocado and sweet potato chips), which tasted a lot like the seared Ahi tuna salads you’ll find on most California cuisine menus, which means it was good, but it also means it wasn’t anything we hadn’t had before. They do have some of the Burmese menu items you’ll find at Burma Superstar such as the tea leaf salad and Burmese garlic noodles, but since Burmese isn’t their only bag, don’t expect a complete Burma Superstar replacement.

Burma Superstar [MenuPages]
Burma Superstar [Official Site]
Mandalay [MenuPages]
Mandalay [Official Site]
Mandalay and Pagan Restaurant [Official Site]
B Star Bar [Official Site]

Photo via http://flickr.com/photos/eliazar/2345898355/

Burmese, Please