I said I was taking a break from San Francisco brunch after having my last one at Kitchen Story, but I never said I'm breaking from dinner too. Sherry took me to B*Star Bar which is the sister restaurant of the ever so popular Burma Superstar down the street with the never ending line. I'm not at all interested in waiting so I'll take the sister restaurant.
|How kabocha we get outta here?|
Burma is located in Southeast Asia near Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia. Southeast Asian food is my favorite type of cuisine. The food from all these countries really gets my taste buds tingling. Burmese food is new to me though. In America, we see many Thai and Vietnamese restaurants but Laotian and Burmese food is rare. I relish any opportunity to try a new Southeast Asian cuisine. We caught the tail end of happy hour which runs from 5-7PM on Mon, Weds, Thurs, Fri so these are happy hour prices. Happy Hour is now only Weds and Thurs according to their website.
($4) B Sprouts -fried brussels sprouts with furikake, popped rice, fish sauce, and parmesan
Undeniably the best way brussels sprouts has ever been prepared. I'm not even over-exaggerating for the sake of enthusiasm. This is actually so good. Before this, I thought brussels sprouts pan fried with some pancetta, grapes, and drizzled with maple syrup was super good. These B Sprouts just killed it! How do I get some popped rice to put on everything now? And how do you get fish sauce not to caramelize or make the sprouts soggy?
($9 for 2 pint) B Star Sangria - apples, lychee, seasonal fruits, soju
We ordered this pitcher of sangria because I wanted to drink and Sherry said she would share with me. Her idea of sharing is half a glass so yay for a whole pitcher of sangria to myself! Did not get drunk though but had a tasty journey towards mild intoxication. By the way, lychee absorbs a lot of alcohol.
($5) Spicy drunken steamed mussels - Mediterranean mussels in a tomato chili sake broth
These mussels were pretty good. This dish at any restaurant should be served with some bread. Other than that small bit of meat, there's nothing else on the mussel that you can eat, which means it's all about the sauce. One simply can't enjoy the sauce without some bread. I tried to use the lotus chips as bread. It was not the same.
($7.75) Kabocha croquette - kabocha squash with roasted red bell peppers, curry spices, and panko bread coating.
This dish did not leave much of an impression. Not good but not bad. The kabocha flavor was lost in everything else.
($9.50) Tea Leaf salad - romaine lettuce, ginger, garlic, peanuts, sunflower & sesame seeds, tomatoes, lentils, jalapenos, dried shrimp, fish sauce, and fermented tea leaf
All the ingredients get tossed together table-side resulting in what you see above. Tea leaf salad is probably the poster child for American Burmese food. The fermented tea leaves were a bit more pungent than I imagined it to be. There were enough fresh ingredients like romaine and tomatoes to balance it all out but again, I wasn't expecting a mild shrimp sauce-like dressing on a salad. It was alright. I will still eat it again. This is the kind of dish that will grow on you.
($4) Lotus chips - fried lotus chips seasoned with chili sauce
This was ok. Not as addicting as I think it was intended to be. Mostly tastes like sweet potato chips.
Mango and coconut ice cream scoops
Tastes exactly as it sounds and as good as it looks. Definitely hits the spot for exotic flavored ice creams.
I highly recommend B*Star Bar for food, ambiance, value, and service. We ordered mostly Happy Hour items and a few regular menu items. However, the price of these dishes on the regular menu is still not too bad. I think the appropriate category for this restaurant is Asian Fusion tapas. Small plates will get you full and satisfied. The wait staff is good looking and very accommodating. I enjoyed my first encounter with Burmese cuisine and will definitely come back for more.
Soap Box Ranting Time
I forgot the price of the ice cream and it's not on B Star's website so I perused the Yelp photos hoping someone would post this dish and its prices. It annoys me greatly when I go to Yelp hoping to get photos and information on dishes only to get some crap like this. It is extremely useless when my eyeballs have to wade through sentences about you and your shitty day and how your bf or girlfriends wanted to go to another place instead but here you are settling to eat at the restaurant you will now begin to review. And then it took OVER 5 minutes for you to be seated. And then there was a hair in your dish but the management didn't seem to care. But at least the entree was savory. And then when the bill arrived, you were not given a discount for the pain and suffering you felt from the hair in your food. And OMG you are never going back here again and all of Yelp should back you up by clicking "cool" or "useful" on your post.
Please, help make Yelp a more useful community by listing happy hour times, prices of dishes, and highlight in bulleted format a few notably good or bad dishes you want other diners to know about. If your experience was particularly horrendous due to some fault of the business that you think they will repeat again with other customers, write a paragraph or so about why. Ain't nobody got time to read through your other shit.
Don't even get me started on people who take selfies of themselves at home getting ready to go to a restaurant or club and then tag the place on Instagram...
B*Star Bar was a lovely place. Let this review not be marred by my annoyance of useless user generated content on social media platforms.