Food Adventure Team

Exploring San Francisco, one restaurant at a time.

Archive for the 'Burmese' Category



4348 California Street (at 6th Ave.)
San Francisco, CA 94118

Suggested by Brendan

In attendance:


Burmese food! A first for me. Conclusion: delicious. A little like Thai, a little like Chinese, some hints of Indian. Thoroughly Southeast Asian. Supposedly it’s like Lao food, but since I’ve never had Lao food that doesn’t mean much to me.

Overall, everything was delicious. My only gripe would be that the food wasn’t quite spicy enough. That’s saying a lot, considering Kateri and I had to fight tooth & nail with Reed to NOT ask for extra-super-no-really-I-can-handle-it-even-though-I’m-white spicy. We did agree that he could order one dish spicy–the basil prawns–but he didn’t do it emphatically enough I guess because it was the least spicy of the bunch! In fact it wasn’t spicy at all. Still very tasty though.


  • Samusa (with Chicken or Vegetarian) – A mixture of grounded curried meat and potatoes
    Yum. Nice and crispy with tasty innards. Pretty much the same as Indian Samosas. (Funny how the Eritreans have sambusas, the Burmese have samusas, and the Indians and Tibetans have samosas.)
  • Balada – Burmese crispy pancake with curry dipping sauce
    If there’s one thing I know, it’s that I love fried food. This pancake was no exception. The curry sauce was good, if not a little bland, but when combined with the spicy red pepper sauce they put on the table at the beginning of the meal, it was divine.


  • Rainbow Salad – Salad prepared with eight ingredients served with house special dressing

    This is the only thing I didn’t try because it didn’t look appealing to me. (No meat? Cold? Pickled things? Not my cup o’ tea.)

  • Basil Prawn – Our fresh basil leaf sauce is fragrant and created in our chef’s oriental wok
    As mentioned above, not spicy enough, but delicious and very basil-y. I wish there were more shrimp; between the four of us, we each only got two shrimp. The dishes were pretty small — which is not to say we walked away hungry.
  • Mango Chicken – Pan fry chicken sauteed with fresh mango, onions, and green chili
    My favorite! Tender white meat chicken with generous chunks of sweet, perfectly ripe mango. Only gripe: difficult to get a hold of mangos with chopsticks. Wait, do they use chopsticks in Myanmar, or have they switched to forks, like Thailand?
  • Mandalay Beef – Fried beef slices sauteed with garlic and chef’s delicious hot sauce
    I’m pretty sure this is the beef dish we got. Unfortunately, I’m writing this a few weeks late, so I can’t remember for sure. It was very tasty, though.
  • Rice – Instead of plain white rice, Mandalay gives you a selection of about four different types of rice. We got the coconut rice and the saffron rice. Both were delicious, in very different ways. The coconut was nutty and slightly sweet. The saffron rice was more savory.


The desserts aren’t listed on Mandalay’s website, so I’ll do my best to remember what they were.

  • Little rectangles of cream of wheat, sprinkled with poppy seeds. I have no idea what these were called, but they were quite tasty indeed! A little sweet, but not too sweet. Some might call it bland, but I really enjoyed its subtle flavors. The poppy seeds added the perfect amount of crunch.

    Backlit confection. Photo by Josh

  • Mango Sticky Rice. A classic. Delicious as always. Rich, creamy, sticky, coconut sticky rice, topped with cool, perfectly ripe mango. One of my favorite desserts of all time!
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