Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Newa Taste Of Nepal & India – C-Momos And Mo' for the Tenderloin

"C-Momos" (momos with chili sauce)
San Francisco may never develop a "Himalaya Heights" neighborhood, like Jackson Heights in Queens, NY where you can find two dozen places serving momos within a short stroll from a single Metro station, but with the recent opening of Newa Taste of Nepal & India in the Tenderloin we have as least four venues to enjoy the delicious meat-filled dumplings in San Francisco.

Fried Momos at Newa
Newa is a casual spin-off of nearby Red Chilli, a more formal Nepali & India restaurant around the corner.  There are four momo offerings at Newa: steamed chicken, vegetable, fried (chicken) and something called C-Mo: Mo (we'll get to that).  On an initial visit I had the fried momos, having previously enjoyed the steamed chicken momos at sister restaurant Red Chilli. The fried momos turned out to be chicken as well, and deep fried, though they were not overly greasy. The chicken was well seasoned and the supplied orange-ish colored dip (different from Red Chilli's) had a nice heat level to it. On my departure. I asked the young woman at the cash register about "C-Momos," which, she explained, are also chicken momos with a savory topping.

A little Googling proved  that "C-momos" are actually a thing, with the "C-" apparently shorthand for "chili," and that put them at the top of my list for today's return to Newa. This, I've now decided, is the momo option to go for at Newa. The same chicken dumplings, but steamed and searingly hot, are drenched with a spicy sauce replete with tomato chunks, onions, chilis and spices I couldn't identify. The dish was so tasty that I could barely wait for the momos to cool enough to eat, and left me with the regret that that I hadn't ordered a made-to-order naan bread to soak up the remaining sauce.

The establishment's name, Newa, refers to the indigenous people of the Katmandu Valley, and to a cuisine (also called Newari) which is a subset of Tibetan cusine. In fact, only one dish on the menu is called out as Newari, Newari Khaja, which appears to be a Thali-like mixed platter. Overall, it looks to my uneducated (in this culinary area) eye to be a typical Nepali cum Indian affair, with a small Nepali menu and a vast array of Indian goodies.

The place is small and takeout oriented, with only two hand-made shareable wooden tables. I'd suggest visiting off-peak if you want to eat onsite.

Newa Taste of Nepal and India
407 Ellis St. at Jones St.
The Tenderloin, San Francisco

Sunday, January 31, 2016

50 San Francisco Bay Area Burmese Restaurants

In an earlier post, I documented 10 places to try Burmese food in San Francisco, thinking it quite remarkable. If fact, I was only showing the tip of a iceberg. When I decided to expand my list to encompass the entire Bay Area, I was astounded at what I found. At the time of my first compiling the list I found 27 restaurants in the SF Bay area with at least part of their menus devoted to recognizably Burmese fare, but the list keeps growing with new discoveries and new openings.

Dates and nature of updates to the list will be noted at the bottom

B Star Bar
127 Clement St.
San Francisco CA 94118
(415) 933-9900

Best of Burma
146 E 3rd Ave.
San Mateo CA 94401
(650) 259-9339

BOBO Drinks Berkeley
2037 Shattuck Ave.
Berkeley CA 94707

Burma Bear
1727 Haight St.
San Francisco CA 94117
(415) 463-5592

Burma Bear
325 19th st,
Oakland, CA 94612

Burma Bistro
2135 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95050
(408) 372-5422

Burma Cafe
63 Saint Francis Squar
Daly City CA 94015
(650) 992-6363

Burma House
1810 Milmont Dr
Milpitas CA 95035
(408) 791-6737

Burma Love
211 Valencia St.
San Francisco CA 94103
(415) 861-2100

Burma Ruby 
326 University Ave
Palo Alto CA 94301
(650) 285-2770

Burma Superstar
309 Clement St.
San Francisco CA 94118
(415) 387-2147

Burma Superstar 
4721 Telegraph Ave
Oakland CA 94609
(510) 652-2900

Burma Superstar 
1345 Park St
Alameda CA 94501
(510) 522-6200

Burma Town
60 Corte Madera Ave
Corte Madera, CA 94925
(415) 945-9096

Burmese Kitchen
3815 Geary Blvd.
San Francisco CA 94118

Donut Delight Oriental Pastries
34554 Alvarado-Niles Rd
Union City, CA 94587
(510) 429-1358

Golden Burma
15 Boardman Place
San Fancisco CA 94103
(415) 735-8282

Green Elephant Gourmet
3950 Middlefield Road
Palo Alto CA 94303
(650) 494-7391

Grocery Cafe
2248 10th Ave
Oakland CA 94606
(510) 763-5405

Hornbill Burmese Cuisine
3550 San Pablo Dam Road
El Sobrante CA 94803
(510) 964-4293

Innya Lake Retaurant
586 San Mateo Ave.
San Bruno CA 94066

Kyain Kyain - Main Main Kyay Oh
3649 Thornton Ave
Fremont CA 94536
(510) 574-1819

1312 Saratoga Ave
San Jose CA 95129
(408) 682-0777

Ledu Resaurant
749 Hickey Boulevard
Pacifica CA 94044
(650) 355-8218

Little Yangon
6318 Mission St.
Daly City CA 94014
(650) 994-0111

Ma's Burmese Kitchen (Supper Club)
Various SF locations
Book via Feastly
(415) 851-4807

4344 California St.
San Francisco CA 94118
(415) 386-3896

1213 Burlingame Ave
Burlingame CA 94010
(650) 343-3228

MOH Kitchen 
1244 S Abel St
Milpitas CA 95035
(408) 262-3333

Myanmar Tea Garden 
41063 Fremont Blvd
Fremont, CA 94538
(510) 687-1288

Pacheco Bistro
1333 B Pine St
Martinez, CA 94553

3199 Clement St.
San Francisco CA 94121
(415) 751-2598

645 Clay St.
San Francisco CA 94111
(415) 398-2338

Rangoon Ruby
1000 Sixth Ave.
Belmont CA 94010

Rangoon Ruby
1219 Burlingame Ave.
Burlingame CA 94010

Rangoon Ruby
445 Emerson Street
Palo Alto CA 94301
Tel: (650) 323-6543

Rangoon Ruby
680 Laurel Street
San Carlos CA 94070
Tel: (650) 592-1852

Rangoon Ruby
1608 Polk St.
San Francisco CA 94109

Royal Rangoon
2628 Telegraph Ave
Berkeley CA 94705
(510) 647-9744

Sapphire Asian Cuisine
475 Sacramento St.
San Francisco CA 94111
(415) 984-0428

Starline Social Club 
645 W. Grand Ave
Oakland CA 94612
(510) 593-2109

Sweet Mango
1040 Willow St
San Jose CA 95125
(408) 293-2268

T-28 Bakery and Cafe 
1757 Taraval St
San Francisco CA 94116
(415) 682-8200

Tender Loving Food
393 Eddy St.
San Francisco CA 94563
(415) 770-9396

Teni East Kitchen
4015 Broadway
Oakland CA 94611
(510) 871-4435

The Refined Palate Burmese Cuisine
19 Orinda Way
Orinda CA 94563
(925) 566-4877

TW Burmese Gourmet 
2217 San Ramon Valley Blvd Ste F
San Ramon CA 94583
(925) 838-3918

Wanna-E Food Truck
Various - see website
San Francisco
(650) 438-4581

3406 18th St.
San Francisco CA 94110
(415) 553-8911)

Yangon Restaurant
1136 Broadway
Burlingame, CA 94010
(650) 348-8848

[Edit 8/02/16 to add Teni East Kitchhen]
[Edit 7/19/16 to remove Lil Burma food truck, retired on Golden Burma's opening]
[Edit 7/5/16 to remove Shwe Myanmar in San Rafael, closed]
[Edit 6/5/16 to add previously overlooked Ledu]
[Edit 6/4/16 to add Golden Burma]
[Edit 5/12/16 to add Burma Bear's Oakland branch]
[Edit 5/12/16 to add Hornbill Burmese Cuisine
[Edit 3/31/16 to add Paparikas]
[Edit 3/29/16 to add BOBO Drinks Berkeley]
[Edit 3/16/16 to add previously ovelooked Belmont Branch of Rangoon Ruby]
[Edit 3/16/16 to add Tender Loving Food]
[Edit 1/31/16 to add Burma Bistro and Donut Delight, remove double counting of Royal Rangoon]
[Edit 1/31/16 to add Ma's Burmese Kitchen, Burma Bear and Royal Rangoon]
[Edit 12/09/15 to add Starline Social Club][Edit 6/23/15 to add Yangon Restaurant]
[Edit 3/13/15 to add Wanna-E food truck]
[Edit 1/23/15 to add two new pending locations for Rangoon Ruby. Current tally 36]
[Edit 1/20/15 to reflect Burmese Kitchen now open at new location]
[Edit 1/9/15 to add Burmatown]
[Edited 12/29/14 to reflect that 4th location of Burma Superstar opened under the name "Burma Love"]

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Bini's Kitchen Brings Momos And Other Nepali Delights To The Heart Of The Financial District

Geezericious is back! I've abandon plans for a new blog (whose name was too long and pretentious) and bring back this one (which was its seed to begin with). I will, of course, continue to update my other blog, Full Noodle Frontity, but there are more foods than noodles, more cuisines than Asian, and more things than food that contribute to the experience of a wanderer in the city. 

In the ethnic street food capital of the universe, Queens NY, one can step from the No. 7 Metro train at the 74th St-Broadway station and find 20 places to enjoy momos, the Himalayan contribution to meat-filled dumpling culture, within a 5-10 minute walk. San Francisco's Financial District will never become Himalayan Heights West, but BART's Montgomery station is now only 19 nearby dumpling shops behind the competition, thanks to Monday's opening of Bini's Kitchen, almost at the very top of the subway station's stairway.

Bini's Kitchen is the creation of Binita Pradhan, a Nepali chef who is a product of Caleb Zigas' La Cocina incubator for low-income food entrepreneurs. Her restaurant is the latest "Brick and Mortar" restaurant by a La Cocina graduate, and probably the earliest such success, coming barely three years after she entered the program as a single mother in near poverty. In the interim, she has developed a healthy catering business, and is a regular (and well-loved) tented vendor at Off The Grid's Fort Mason Center venue, as well as appearing at events like the San Francisco Street Food Festival and the Outside Lands Festival.

Bini's Kitchen is located in a small but functional and not unattractive outbuilding that backs up against the east wall of the McKesson Plaza Building, also known as 1 Post St.  If you are on Market St. and looking for it, just peek around the corner of Minamoto Kitchoan (not a bad suggestion for dessert).

Bini's Kitchen's opening menu is very similar to the one you will be familiar with at Fort Mason, with a few additions, including momos with a pork filling, alongside her turkey and veggie momos, all with a spicy tomato-cilantro sauce. There's the Nepali chili known as kwati, her ever-popular gorkha chicken and various combinations served with jeera pulau (rice).  She's still in a shakedown period, but will be adding other options over time. You can wash down your lunch with chai, or with her wonderful mango lassi.

If you are already a Bini fan, you'll be happy to know where you can find her five days a week from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM. If you don't know Binita, or have never had Nepali food, you are in for a treat on both scores. Bini's Kitchen is already getting slammed at lunch time, so stop by in the afternoon for a snack and a schmooze with Bini. Tell her I sent you.

Where? Bini's Kitchen, 1 Post St. at Market St., right by the BART station entrance.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Azalina Eusope To Bring Malaysian Street Food To Twitter Building

Azalina Eusope and Chef Suvir Saran at La Cocina Night Market

Azalina Eusope, proprietor and chef at Azalina's Malaysian, will be opening her first brick-and-mortar space in the restaurant/market complex being developed on the first floor of the historic Market Square building on Market Street between Ninth and 10th Streets. The building is popularly known as the Twitter Building after its primary tenant.  For a descendant of five generations of Penang, Malaysia street food vendors, she'll be in pretty good company; her restaurant is being developed alongside projects by Dominique Crenn and the AQ team in the midst of what can be envisioned as a mashup of the Ferry Building Marketplace and Eataly.

In addition to providing tasty snacks at street food and food festival events, Azalina has had plenty of chances to show off her cooking chops in more formal settings, including a series of popups at Wise Sons Deli, a Monday night guest chef stint at Jardiniere, extensive catering, and cheffing at Twitter. The latter was undoubtedly a primary factor in her being offered the space.

Azalina's Bebola Curry
By happy coincidence, Azalina will be working across the street from Suvir Saran. The two met through Suvir's participation over the years in food entrepreneur conferences at La Cocina (of whose incubator kitchen Azalina is an alumnus) and have become close friends. Saran, an India-born New York Michelin-starred chef (for Devi) will be relocating to SF and opening a restaurant in  the NEMA building across 10th Street from the Twitter building.

No specific opening date has been set, but September is a target for the Market Square restaurant openings.

I've known Azalina since her first appearance at Off the Grid in 2010.  She is at once one of the most personable and hardest working people I have ever known and I have no doubt she will succeed.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Ten Places To Try Burmese Food in San Francisco

Mohinga (catfish chowder) at Burmese Kitchen
San Francisco is blessed with Burmese food choices, more so than any other city in North America, and perhaps the entire English-speaking world.  Below is a list of 10 places to try Burmese food. All have Burma's most well-known "exotic" dish, fermented tea leaf salad, and all except B-Star Bar and the pop-up at Jonas on Hyde have Mohinga, the catfish chowder considered Burma's national dish. Except where noted, all are open for both lunch and dinner.

I cheated a little with Little Yangon; it's technically in Daly City, but I included it because it's accessible via Muni (#14 lines).

4344 California St., San Francisco
(415) 386-3896

Burma Superstar
309 Clement St., San Francisco
(415) 387-2147

3199 Clement St., San Francisco
(415) 751-2598

Burmese Kitchen
452 Larkin St., San Francisco
(415) 474-5569

3406 18th St., San Francisco
(415) 553-8911

B Star Bar2
127 Clement St., San Francisco
(415) 933-9900

Sapphire Asian Cuisine3
475 Sacramento St., San Francisco
(415) 984-0428

Jonas On Hyde4
1800 Hyde St., San Francisco
(415) 775-2517

Lil Burma5
SoMa StEat Food Park
428 11th St., San Francisco
(415) 636-1818

Little Yangon
6318 Mission St., Daly City
(650) 994-0111

1Burmese and Thai; open for dinner only
2Asian fusion, with some popular dishes from sister restaurant Burma Superstar
3Lunch only; order from "Made To Order" menu, NOT from steam table 
4Burmese Pop-up with limited menu, Tues-Sat dinner only 
5Food cart, permanently stationed at SoMa StrEat Food Park