San Francisco’s Burma Superstar is a Burmese restaurant that I wish was located in the Los Angeles area. Seriously, I really wish there was one in LA.
It was no surprise to me when my friend and I met up with Local Foodie and his son while queuing the line at Burma Superstar. Next to him was, coincidentally, a couple of other Foodies from the Los Angeles area. The Local Foodie, who frequents Burma Superstar, gave us a lot of suggestions on what to order and all while enthusiastically explaining how everything tastes so good. It was obvious he was a Foodie, because he also knew of the intricate details of Asian food like the spices in Northern Chinese cuisine. Only a Foodie with a passion for eating out would know the meticulous details of Asian flavors and spice. He also had this penchant for television programs like cooking, food travel, and food culture. Yeah, this guy was one of us, a Foodie, so his recommendations were welcomed.
He suggested that we try the Vegetarian Samusa soup, which is a curry soup with broken pieces of falafel and potato samusa. After tasting this soup, I noticed that the very essence of this soup is being a “leftover" soup; in other words, a soup that made with scraps of leftovers. It is a thick broth soup with a hearty dose of rich curry flavor. I see why it is a favorite, because the warm curry spice is comforting to eat.
The Tea Leaf Salad (aka Lahpet Thoke) is perhaps the most popular dish on the menu and a recommendation of our Local Foodie Friend and our Server. It’s a national dish of Burma what consists of a unique blend of nuts, grains, lettuce, a lemon wedge, and imported pickled tea leaves. The lemon juice and tea leaves act as the vinaigrette for this salad.
At first, it was hard to get used to the many textures of this salad, but I soon got used to it after eating a couple bites.
Traditionally, this salad is supposed to be last course to be eaten as the mix of ingredients and the fibrous tea leaves simulate digestion.
The Superstar Vegetarian Noodles with julienne tofu and plenty of fried garlic and shallots, peanuts, and chili oil. This has to be one of the most amazing vegetarian cold Asian noodle dishes that I have ever eaten. Wow!
The very last dish we ordered was the Chili Lamb. I actually have this affinity for Cumin Lamb; a Northern Chinese specialty that I always seem to order when I dine in Los Angeles. What’s the spice level like? How much cumin or red chili pods are added?I was so curious to know what the Burmese version of this dish tasted like so I ordered it.
Wow, what a contrast! From what I could taste, the lamb was marinaded with a little sugar and cumin and just a hint of red chili oil. During the stir fry process they add some onions and a handful of red chili pods. The meat, by itself, has no has no spicy heat taste. However, when you accompany a piece of meat with a red chili pod and eat it, you’ll find, like I did, that it elevated the entire flavor palate of the dish. Incredible!