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Burma Love Comes to the Mission 

Wednesday, Jan 7 2015
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Burma Love Comes to the Mission

I grew up in an Indian-Burmese household, and my mom was an awesome cook. Though she mostly made northern Indian curries and biryanis, my mom would often cook up a mean mohinga (Burmese catfish chowder) and mix up a tasty lahpet (tea leaf salad). So when I moved to San Francisco eight years ago, I was thrilled to find that both of these dishes could be found at Burma Superstar — and that the restaurant's versions tasted spot-on.

But living in the Mission, I soon learned that my cravings for the food required time and a trek: a 20-plus minute, a $20-plus taxi one-way only to wait in a cold, cold line for upwards of two hours (first world problems, I know, but still: problems) at Burma Superstar and its sister restaurant, B Star, in the Inner Richmond. Well, Burma Superstar fans rejoice: The new location on Valencia just opened, perfect for a foggy San Francisco night or to cure the ill effects of a hangover. It's called Burma Love, and it's delicious.

Burma Love is much larger than Burma Superstar, with two long dining rooms as well as a bar (full liquor license is pending). The atmosphere is a little more modern and swankier than the original, and the menu prices are $2 or $3 more expensive (analogous to the 16th Street Lers Ros compared with its original Larkin Street location). But for me, the lack of a line and proximity for those living closer to the city center are well worth the extra few bucks on the bill. Plus, the quality is better (the chicken and lamb are organic).

If you've never had Burma Superstar, or Burmese food, here's a solid order that'll make you look like you grew up eating the stuff: Come with three or four people, and start with the flaky buttery roti with curry and the tea leaf salad (duh). For the main course, get the warm catfish chowder soup (mohinga); it's the national dish of Burma, and make sure to dress it with a squeeze of lemon and spice it up with dried chilis. Finish with a spicy and sweet Burmese shrimp curry with a side order of coconut rice. You'll leave stuffed, satisfied, and happy.

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Omar Mamoon

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