Our friends came into town this weekend, which meant a FULL weekend in the city! I would have updated the blog sooner, but Sunday night I had some lesson plans to do and Monday night I was busy watching the Ducks almost win the BCS National Championship. I still love them and always will. I may have only gone to U of O for one quarter, but everyone in my immediate family has at least one degree from there, so I’ve pretty much been a Duck fan my whole life. ANYWAY.
First order of business was actually getting to the city. I love that it’s just a 15 minute train ride into Union Square!
We actually got off the train in the Mission because it has a concentration of pretty good food. We met up with another friend who lives in the city and found ourselves at Dosa. (995 Valencia Street)
Obviously, they serve dosa, but they serve other things too. We started with lassis (I got mango, Mike got salty) and then the camera went into hiding because the light was horrible and so I could concentrate on the food!
I got the paneer and peas dosa, which came all wrapped up like a burrito, with sambar and coconut chutney on the side. I kind of wished I’d gotten the masala dosa instead because mine was so filling, but it was still pretty good. I have definitely had better sambar, but it was still a pretty solid dinner.
On Saturday we started out with shopping in Union Square (always dangerous), then walked through Chinatown.
It always makes me crave fruits and vegetables.
We then found ourselves in North Beach.
This neighborhood makes me want carbs and lots of them.
And then we just kept walking…almost stopping here for a drink
…but continued on until we reached Fishermans Wharf.
The only time I’ve been to this area in the last couple years is when I’m running through it (dodging tourists), so it was kind of weird to be walking around like I was one of the tourists (which I guess technically I was?)
I just got a polarizing filter for my camera and was hoping I’d be able to use it, but of course, this being San Francisco, the sky was gloomy and gray.
We somehow resisted the stylish San Francisco fleeces and Alcatraz T-Shirts and made it to the park in front of Ghirardelli Square.
By then it was getting dark and we were ready to start thinking about dinner, which meant a bus ride to the Richmond district, home of Burma Superstar! (309 Clement).
There was a LONG (like almost 2 hours) wait, so we went to a nearby pub to pass the time.
I already knew I loved this neighborhood, but The Bitter End Pub (441 Clement Street) made me love it even more. The bartender was from Northern Ireland (amazing accent, obviously) and the beer selection was pretty awesome.
FINALLY it was time for dinner!
We started with some fried tofu dish that we devoured before I got the camera out, but it was GOOD. Next up were two salads.
The tea leaf salad had a great mix of flavors and textures. It was the first time I’ve ever eaten tea leaves in food and I loved the way the earthy flavor played off the crisp lettuce and salty peanuts. The dressing was a tiny bit too oily for me but the flavor made up for that.
The rainbow salad was described on the menu as having 22 ingredients, which made me worry for a minute that there would be way too much going on, but in reality, it was a perfect mix of textures and flavors and the slightly sour tamarind dressing tied everything together perfectly.
The okra and egg curry definitly seemed heavily Indian-influenced and I LOVED it. The hard boiled eggs looked like they’d been fried then mixed with the sauce, and the rich tomato gravy was perfectly spiced.
I have a few Burmese students, and when I asked them what their favorite dish was, they pretty much all said Mo Hinga. I couldn’t try it because it has catfish in it, but all the non-vegetarians at the table said it was awesome.
I really liked the whole meal, but I’m not sure how authentic it was. I liked that the menu indicated which dishes were traditional Burmese food, while the others (I’m assuming) were creations by the chef. The service was friendly and attentive without hovering, and it seems that they are trying hard to preserve a down-to-earth vibe rather than a “we’ve been all over Food Network and are kind of a big deal” snobbiness, which I definitely appreciate.
Sorry I don’t have a recipe for you today, but I’ll be back soon with some OUTSTANDING potato pancakes…get ready!