Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Spring Break Part IV: SF Eats

Since I have so many SF eats, today I'll put them in superioreaterority order.

1. Red Blossom Tea Company
Ok, so usually I never rank beverages over food. But for this particular weekend, Red Blossom Tea Company stole the show. Red Blossom is an upscale tea shop located on Grant St. a few blocks from the Chinatown Gate. Inside, you'll find rows and rows of exotic teas in massive metal jars and very cute and classy ceramic, clay, and cast iron teaware.

I wasn't planning to buy any tea, until the owner, Alice got me to start sniffing some chai. One whiff got me going crazy. Pretty soon I had her filling bags with chai, lychee black, and genmacha teas.

The tea urns

Teaware can be as addicting as buying shoes...

The owner, Alice was super sweet and very friendly. We got into a conversation about how we looooove whole milk and then we got a little crazy and talked about sweetened condensed milk! Ohhh no you didn't! Anyways, she's really cool. I will definitely come back for more.
I also bought some o-cha paku's (disposable tea envelopes). These o-cha paku's are perfect for work! They're especially great for the fine chai teas.

My HAWT teas

2. Mandalay Restaurant
Although my brother and I were craving Burma Superstar, we decided to check out Mandalay Restaurant on Friday night. Before getting to the Mandalay, I called ahead to see how long is the wait. The lady who answered was very sweet and went ahead and put our name down on the list. I like how you can call in and put your name down on the waitlist at these Burmese restaurants. Once we arrived, we were immediately seated! Yay!

Mandalay is pretty roomy inside. Definitely gaudy. The Christmas decorations are still up.
I think my mom helped with the interior decorating

There were some definite highlights and some ok moments at Mandalay. My Ginger Lemonade was super good. Tasted like the most refreshing Lemonhead I've ever had. The Lap Pat Dok, Burmese Tea Leaf Salad was interesting. The tea leaves had the consistency of pureed grass. Now if I had eaten the tea leaves alone, it would most likely taste just like pureed grass. But the strength of the other ingredients adds so much more. What an ingenious concoction of ingredients. It's a very light and refreshing salad, but the tea salad is definitely an acquired taste. Our appetizer, the balada (fried pancake) reminded me so much of our platha we had at Burma Superstar. The curry dipping sauce with the balada was very very yummy. I pretty much got full after stuffing my face with the balada. Our entrees, the mango shrimp and Burmese Beef Curry were just ok.
Ginger lemonade cleanses your palate. You need to with Burmese cuisine.

Lap Pat Dok, Tea Leaf Salad: Burmese tea leaves, toasted with lentil seeds,
grounded shrimp,
fried garlic, green pepper, sesame seeds, peanuts, and dressing. (photo:

This is the remix

Balada, fried pancake with a curry dipping sauce

Mango shrimp

Burmese beef curry

Now, I don't want to compare Burma Superstar and Mandalay Restaurant, but it's hard not to. Both Burmese restaurants are only a couple blocks apart and both restaurants serve the a lot of the same dishes. I definitely think both restaurants have great service. However, Burma Superstar pays more attention to their entrees. As of now, Burma Superstar is my favorite SF joint. Mandalay would be my alternative Burmese restaurant if I didn't want to wait the 90 minutes for Burma Superstar. That's just my opinion.

4. El Toro Taqueria
Ok, I admit that I didn't really go to El Toro. I sent my brother and dad over to El Toro while I shopped at my favorite Mission District boutique, Therapy. I asked my brother to get me a chorizo burrito, but El Toro doesn't make chorizo burritos. Boo!

El Toro's my brother's favorite burrito joint. My burrito was ok. I'm still looking for that perfect Mission District burrito. I'll be back Memorial Day Weekend...stay tuned.

Pastor Burrito - the chorizo burrito alternative. It was still yummy.

5. Milano's Pizzeria
Milano Pizzeria is a Inner-Sunset local favorite. The Sunset District is becoming one of my favorite places to eat since there are a lot of yummy mom & pops and it's so close to my brother's place. Milano's Pizzeria makes a killer crust. With hints of sweetness, the crust is close to perfect. The pizza's are topped with cheesy gooeyness and fresh toppings and their red chili flakes are super spicy. I like how the owner just sits in the corner and smiles at his customers. He is the Godfather.

Our family usually never agrees on which places make the best pizzas. Well, that was until I started bringing them some Village Pizzaria Pizza's from Larchmont. We all agree that VP makes the best pizza's in LA. So when all of us agreed that Milano's is our #2 spot for pizza, it was a miracle. We love to disagree, but Milano's would not let us!

After arguing over toppings, we finally settle for sausage and peppers.

Mama style garlic bread. Super gooey and garlicky!

7. Crepevine
You know I love crepes, so one night we were back at Crepevine. I had a really good experience the last time I had my Jamaican dessert crepe. This time I ordered the Siena, crepe filled with nutella, strawberries, and nuts and served with whipped cream and ice cream. The strawberries were bland. Next time I'll stick to the Jamaican.

I thought it was strawberry season.
6. Pork Store Cafe
The Pork Store Cafe is last on my SF Good Eats list for this trip. It placed last not because the food wasn't great, it's because I am not a big breakfast person. PSC is all about breakfast.

The wait for Pork Store Cafe is ridiculous over the weekend. Fortunately, we came on a Friday around 10am and were seated within minutes. Inside you'll find a counter and several tables. It Pork Store Cafe is always packed.

I ordered a la carte items, scrambled eggs and cheese (a childhood favorite), pork chops, and apple sausages. The pork chops were ok. Nothing special. The apple sausages were ok too. My dad had his hawaiian boy Portugese sausages, which were super yummy. Jer's sausage patties were also yummy!

Can you find my dad and brother?

My "ok" breakfast.

Ok, that was Spring Break in SF for you.

Red Blossom Tea Company
831 Grant Avenue
San Francisco, Ca 94108
(415) 395-0868

Mandalay Restaurant
4348 California St.
San Francisco, CA 94118

(415) 386-3895

El Toro Taqueria
598 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA 94110

(415) 431-3351

Milano's Pizzeria
1330 9th Ave
San Francisco, CA
(415) 665-3773
*Cash only

624 Irving Street
San Francisco, CA 94122
(415) 681-5858

Pork Store Cafe
1451 Haight St.
San Francisco, CA
(415) 864-6981


Susy said...

I was reading your blog and you asked if there are some burmese restaurant in the LA area...and you're in luck, there is!

here are a couple of my suggestions:

Chinese/Burmese food

Romantic Steak House
119 E Valley Blvd
San Gabriel, CA 91776-3518
(626) 307-5558
closed Tuesday..

Very Authentic Burmese food

713 E Garvey Ave
Montery Park, CA 91755
(626) 280-8655

Thai, Burmese & Laos Cuisine

Golden Triangle Restaurant
7011 Greenleaf Ave
Whittier, CA 90602-1305
(562) 945-6778

I've been to all 3 but I like Romantic Steakhouse the best!

Jeni said...

SUSY...Oh wow! Thank you soooo much!

Kirk said...

Hi Jeni - Wow, another food-fest! sounds like you had alot of fun - I enjoyed the name "Pork Store", sounds like my kinda place!

Colleen Cuisine said...

Nice post Jeni!
By the way, if you like Ginger Lemonade, Trader Joe's has a super-delicious ginger lemonade. It instantly feels like summertime when you drink it. Very refreshing!

Jeni said...

Ohmygosh Kirk...your life is a food fest! I can't believe how much you and the missus gets to eat!

Colleen...I'll be heading to TJ tomorrow for some ginger lemonade. Thanks girl!

eatdrinknbmerry said...

wait Romantic Steak House on valley blvd is burmese???

jeni, i like how you use the word 'hawt' to describe food. you're so porny haha.

BoLA said...

What a whirlwind of food! Great post, as always! Haven't had Burmese before...sounds yummy! :)

Jeni said...

Dylan...have you been to Romantic Steak House?? haha...if you tried those teas you'd think they were hawt too.

Kristy...I know I feel like I only go up to SF to eat. It's my new food playground! :)

Anonymous said...

Romantic Steakhouse has the best soup. Unfortunately, they had to close, due to the city wanting to renovate that block. Boo!! Ok, well, I just heard that it re-opened (different location...thanks Jimmy for finally opening up!!), but it might have a different name. That soup was so good!

Jeni said...

Hey Anonymous...thanks for the info. I've been wanting to check out Romantic Steakhouse for some time now! Just keep me posted!

Anonymous said...

Hey guys I was wondering if anyone could tell me where the new location for Romantic Steakhouse is? I loved the old one soo mucch, and have been craving the food forever. A phone number or address would be great thanks a million- just post it up or my email is


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