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what's the thing to order at yamo?

I went to Yamo for the first time today and was disappointed--I saw a previous poster had described it as "oily and bland," which described my experience pretty well, except that mine was also salty. Another poster recommended the chicken salad, which sounded great. I'm wondering what else people really enjoy eating there. I had the vegetable "curry," which didn't have many spices beyond salt. I love Mandalay and always get the Mandalay noodle salad, to give you a sense of what I like. Spicy and complicated! I eat meat but don't care for fish and am not terribly health-conscious. Thanks for your suggestions!

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  1. I'm not sure what to tell you. I liked Yamo when I first went, mostly because of the atmosphere. The food was decent, so I returned two or three more times to try different things and was underwhelmed with everything. I did like the mango salad and the house noodles were OK. The chicken soup is a sight to behold, but the enjoyment does not hold true for the taste.

    For a similar hole-in-the-wall atmosphere with exceptional food, I like Loi's (Vietnamese) on Irving out in Sunset. In this neighborhood, I like El Delfin, Lotus Garden, and Chava's, none of which is quite as inexpensive. Yucatasia, which is just a block or so up from Yamo, has gotten some positive mentions here, so I'm looking forward to trying that.

    1. Their Tea Salad is great. Crunchy, sweet, complex -- Good stuff, a little over priced for the size but good none the less. Their Samusas are pretty good too but I prefer the ones at Bombay Creamery. the person next to me had the Chicken salad and it looked just as good as my salad. The house noodles were run of the mill noodles. I plan on trying the cold noodles next time--and the chow fun looked good.

      1. I had the cold noodles the one time I went and they were delicious

        Here's a link to the report from September, and some of the responses have more suggestions:


        1. give this place a try
          burmese food open 8 months ago
          Larkin Express Deli
          452 Larkin st, san francisco
          bet golden gate & turk
          415 474 5569

          1. We went for lunch the other day, shared a tea leaf salad and "cold" noodles ($5.25 each) and a coconut ($2.50). Not the best Burmese in town but good (we ordered the noodles spicy), especially given the low prices and ample portions.

            1. based on this thread i went back to yamo today. i wasn't in the mood to try the cold noodles, which seems pretty popular. i got the chicken noodle soup. the soup was yellow, i suppose curried, with coconut milk. it came with about medium thickness egg noodles, topped with stir-fried chicken, shaved red onion, cilantro, and green onion. pretty basic and quite tasty. the chicken breat slices were pretty well seared in the wok, with seasonings that mimicked the broth. the noodles weren't over-cooked, and still had a bit of bite to them. i have questions about their use of a powdered chicken base-bouillon cubes, maybe. there was a bit of a harsh, salty finish that is still lingering on my tongue. but again, for $5.25...? i'd swing by again as long as there is some counter space. otherwise, i'd move on.

              7 Replies
              1. re: augustiner

                I've had this dish once at Yamo and once at Larkin Express Deli. The version at Larkin Express is much better @ $5.50 per bowl.

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  i called larkin express deli today, largely because of your linked post, but i guess it's not a dinner destination. they were closing as i called at about 4:18 PM. so yamo it was. but i know where i'm going for my next lunch in that larkin st. concentration.

                  1. re: augustiner

                    That soup (and the other one) is pretty much the most boring dish Yamo serves. Try the fish curry, the house noodles, or the cold noodles (which have hot chicken served on top). The beef curry is nice and spicy but a little oily from the homemade garlic oil. Even the chow fun was good. The vegetables are the plainest dish, very mild.

                2. re: augustiner

                  Coincidentally, I also went to Yamo on Monday. Friend and I shared the tea leaf salad....nice crunch, good flavors, and I love the strong tea leaves. Not as "special" as the salad at Burma Superstar, but not as expensive either. A nice beginning to the meal.

                  My friend had the tofu w/ black beans sauce. This was pretty good, typical black bean sauce w/ a good serving of tofu and mixed vegetables. Large serving of rice. I had the same plate, but with curry. Mine included only tofu, peppers and onions. The sauce lacked a bit on flavor, but I added some jalapeno vinegar and some fish sauce (on trays at the bar) and it was a big improvement.

                  Total bill was 17 dollars, including 1 soda. As Augustiner points out, it's not the *best* food ever, but it's quite good and for meals in the 5-6 dollar range, it can be pretty great.

                  I am hoping to eat lunch at Larkin Express today....I'll report back.

                  Dave MP

                  1. re: Dave MP

                    We only just started going a couple of weeks ago. I very much liked "the most boring dish Yamo serves," the chicken noodle soup. The chicken was incredibly tender. I do agree the broth itself could be a bit more complex. We like the noodle dishes, but the tea salad! Husband brought some home on Friday and it is by far the best I've had between the 3 places I've tried: Larkin St., Burma Superstar, and Yamo.

                    The first time we ate there, Friday before last, we had to wait for about 15 minutes for a spot at the counter. The people who finally cleared out were well-known chefs. Nice to know it's a spot loved by chefs.

                    1. re: Atomica

                      i have started going here as well, only having found it by walking by in my neighborhood. i have to agree. their Tea Leaf Salad, tho a smaller portion, is superior to Burma Superstar's. It has cabbage, as opposed to romaine, or whatever lettuce they use, and it's spicier. I also love their Yama cold noodles - the chicken has complex flavors of i think cumin and maybe cinnamon. we're doing take-out tonight. think i'll try the Beef curry with noodles, pot stickers, and maybe the chicken noodle soup or something else - but definitely the Tea Leaf Salad.

                      1. re: Atomica

                        Larkin Express uses a different kind of la pat (tea leaf) than the other places. I prefer it but the other kind has its virtues, too.

                  2. link

                    3406 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                    1. I went to Yamo tonight at about 5:45 hoping to get takeout, only to find the place was shut tight. Their posted hours are Mon-Sat, 10:30-9:30. No "we're on vacation" notes in the windows. Is is common for them to not keep to their hours?