Monday, March 24, 2008

Bay Area - Ethnic Eats

Okay, I'm cutting to the chase here. I love ethnic food (whatever that means exactly, as it seems to me all food probably has some -or many- ethnicities). They have good ethnic food in San Francisco. I ate some it was good.

Out the Door - this is the Ferry Building kid brother of the famed modern Vietnamese spot the Slanted Door; after everything outside at the Ferry Building was sold out (AGAIN), we headed indoors for some samples; we had a steamed vegetable bun, a grapefruit and jicama salad with red cabbage and candied pecans, and a grilled five spiced chicken over rice vermicelli and julienned cucumbers.

The verdict: loved the bun, not overwhelmingly bready like some can be, really nicely flavored stuffing; LOVED the grapefruit and jicama salad (after being in Callie - we're on familiar terms now so I can call it that - I'm obsessed with grapefruit in salad, in fact I made one for dinner tonight...); the chicken with rice vermicelli (basically chicken bun) was just okay in my opinion, not a standout, but Daniel seemed to like it okay

La Taqueria: yes we went again; yes once again we got veggie burritos BUT this time we shared a carne asada taco too, so there.

the taco

The verdict: I still love those burritos; they are just the perfect size and the beans and salsa and avocado are so flavorful that I don't even miss the cream. The carne asada taco was good too, but I have to say, not as good as the ones we had in Brooklyn recently (yeah Brooklyn!)

Burma Superstar - we got there at 5:30 determined to finally sample Burmese food after being stymied by the closing of the NY based Burmese Cafe and by long lines at Superstar during our last SF visit. We were seated right away and went straight to work on the menu. It was difficult though as Daniel and I were dining alone and thus couldn't sample everything we wanted. I knew we had to get a tea leaf salad (salad prepared with imported Burmese tea leaves, tomatoes, lettuce, , fried garlic, sesame seeds, peanuts, and split yellow peas) and then we had the waitress help us chose two entrees - Yellow bean curry (Burmese curry with four home made puri breads) and the chili lamb (pieces of lamb with hot peppers). We had sides of coconut rice and jasmine rice with raisins.

The verdict: the Tea Leaf salad arrived untossed and the waiter mixed the components too quickly for me to take a picture pre-mixed and then I ate too quickly to take a picture post-mixed. This lived up to the hype big time; the tea leaves were moist and pungent, but not at all bitter and the rest of the salad's components complemented their unique flavor perfectly

The yellow bean curry - spicy in non-coconut based red curry; perfectly cooked, lovely cruncy vegetables, amazing when paired with the jasmine rice

The spicy lamb - oh man; so perfectly spiced; so tender and yet so chewy; so, so, so good with the sweetness of the coconut rice; we were stuffed and our noses were running, but we ate the whole thing; just look at those chilies, just look at those beautiful pieces of lamb...

so yeah, we loved Burma Superstar. We ate ourselves into a pre-coma state, and so we went for a walk through the Richmond, when wouldn't you know it, the copious amount of water I imbibed to fight Burmese spice took its toll, so I had to stop at Quickly (a "new generation asian fusion style chain cafe") to use their facilities. We purchased this:

Advertized as a peanut butter waffle, it was...

Two Eggos stuffed with creamy peanut butter and condensed milk. Not even being able to deal with its intense peanut butter smell after superstar, I didn't taste it. Daniel did though. He said it tasted exactly like it looked. Next time I'm there I'm trying watermelon and aloe juice and red bean and tofu pudding!

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