Green Elephant Gourmet

Peninsula and South Bay, California

Reviews

Image for conde.kedar

rating star

Green Elephant is a solidly middling Burmese and Chinese restaurant. That is, it's in a stripmall, not particularly memorable, but not a disappointment either.

For vegans, there's only a few dishes on the Burmese side of things, though there are more options on the Chinese menu. That said, I somehow couldn't bring myself to order Chinese food in a Burmese restaurant.

We started off with the tea leaf salad ($10) a dish that has become famous across the Bay Area, arguably because it was featured on a Food Network show that visited Burma SuperStar, the center of Burmese food in San Francisco.

It was prepared in the exact same way at Green Elephant (tossed in front of you) with the same ingredients (tea leaves, lettuce, tomatoes, split peas, fried shallots, etc.). That said, I think Green Elephant might have gone light on the spices as the tea leaf salad at Burma SuperStar was much more flavorful; the one at Green Elephant was okay, but not bold.

Later we had the Kalahin Curry ($10) and the Poodi ($10) which are the only two vegetarian or vegan Burmese entrees available.

I liked the Poodi quite a bit; it's basically like the Indian "channa masala" dish and, similarly, is served with fried wheat bread (however, Poodi is made with potatoes, whereas channa masala is made with chickpeas). I thought this dish came together well and the bread in particular was well done (it was much fresher and lighter than the overly-dense and crunchy bread served of Burma SuperStar's Poodi). The dish could have benefited from a few small touches, such as fresh diced tomatoes as a garnish, but was otherwise solid and better than Burma SuperStar.

The Kalahin Curry, on the other hand, was not quite as interesting. Basically it was a tamarind sauce stir-fry with a bunch of vegetables (eggplant, cauliflower, carrot). It tasted okay, but nothing I cared to remember the next day.

Kudos to Green Elephant for the prompt and friendly service, as well as the option for brown rice.

Green Elephant offers a nice change of pace but, for vegans, only has a few dishes. If it offered more options it would be worth returning to; as it stands, I would not go out of my way for this place.

Write your review