Burma SuperStar

San Francisco, California

4 / 5 votes

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Traditional Burmese dishes with some Chinese standards. Menu includes a dozen or so vegetarian and/or vegan-friendly options.

Specialties include curries, salads (beware of the shrimp paste), various tofu and veggie dishes, like spicy fried string beans, Indian style fried bread, and other veg-friendly options.

Added by Sharyn Morrow on Aug 20 05 (last updated Apr 24 11)

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Most Recent Reviews

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The food here is excellent! I'm really glad I went with a vegan friend that dines here regularly and could recommend her favorites.

We started with the tea leaf salad, which conde.kedar describes perfectly - expensive, but fantastic! It had a very good mix of textures and flavors and the fermented tea leaves gave it a unique taste. We had a double order, which still didn't seem like enough, but I couldn't justify spending $30 on salad! Unfortunately, they forgot to omit the shrimp on the first order (it's obvious if they do this because you see little orange bits), which was annoying but I liked that they specifically said "we'll get you a different order", versus "let me scrape that off for you" :)

We also went with the samosa soup, which is supposedly their most popular dish. It tastes just like it's called - samosas in soup! The broth is thick and rich and the samosas retain their texture in the soup. 'Twas fantastic! Next, we had the fried yellow bean tofu, which I was skeptical of because I hate soft tofu (which is how the dish was described). The housemade tofu is actually made of yellow beans, not soy beans, so it's not really tofu. It had a much thicker, bean-like texture than tofu, and it was very unique and yummy.

Finally, we ordered the Vegetartian Superstar Noodles, which the waitress recommended. It was a room-temperature dish, and despite my thinking I'd prefer it warm, it was very good. It had every-day ingredients like potatoes, cucumbers, and peanuts, but it somehow tasted like nothing I've ever had before.

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Everyone raves about this restaurant, but I don't think it deserves all the praise it gets. I think it's become popular because: it fills an under-served ethnic niche (where else can you get Burmese food?); is sort of hole-in-the-wall but not entirely (so it feels authentic to foodies, but not so authentic as to scare off unadventurous suburbanites and people afraid of spicy food---you know the type); and it has at least one grand-slam dish in the Tea Leaf Salad.

We started off with a Tea Leaf Salad ($10). We made it vegan by omitting the shrimp. To be fair, this dish is excellent: it's a wonderful mix of crispy, soft, savory and subtle with a mixture of split peas, shallots, lettuce and the delicious, unusual nature of tea leaves. At $10 it's an expensive appetizer (but all the other appetizers are roughly the same price), but definitely worth getting.

We then had a "poodi" ($10) and a tofu vegetable kebat ($11) for our main dishes. Thankfully, Burma Superstar offers brown rice to go with the dishes (albeit at an extra cost).

The poodi is basically potatoes in an Indian-style garam masala/turmeric/onions/garlic/ginger sauce. It comes with four pieces of fried wheat bread (akin to Indian "puri"). This dish was eminently passable and bland. The bread was too hard and the curry itself lacked any depth; it felt watery, really. A coconut milk base might have given this dish more heft and interest.

The tofu kebat was also pretty bland. It was a simply curry/stew with tomatoes and soft tofu (not fried and only barely stir-fried) and some other vegetables. Easily forgettable.

This place is always packed, seemingly no matter the time of day; we came at nearly 3 p.m. on a Saturday and it was still bustling. Groups larger than two can expect long waits.

The service was friendly and prompt.

In the future I'll try B Star, the sister restaurant a block away, which seems to have some more unusual-sounding dishes. On a whole, Burma Superstar underwhelmed me, with the exception of the Tea Leaf Salad, which is legitimately awesome.

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$$ - average


  • American Express MasterCard Visa


  • Chinese
  • Burmese


vegetarian tea leaf salad (before being mixed)

vegetarian tea leaf salad (before being mixed)

samosa soup


11:30am - 3:30pm;
5pm - 10pm
11:30am - 3:30pm;
5pm - 10:30pm
11:30am - 3:30pm;
5pm - 10pm

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