B Star Bar
Burma SuperStar owners have opened a second location up Clement. No signage yet (just says "B"), only open about a week.
We went last week - twice. On Wednesday, we wanted Pho, but didn't want to drive out to Sunset, but we remembered new construction where Clement Bistro (maybe, don't remember the old name) used to be and thought...they looked close to opening. So we stopped by. Didn't know it was BSS #2 until after we ate and started to chat with the staff.
We had Chicken Satay, Garlic Noodles with roasted duck, and a basmati rice claypot with roasted chicken. The satay was simple but well prepared, with a good sauce. Garlic noodles very good with just enough red pepper spice to give it a kick (see below). Basmati rice claypot was very good, a little too much cardamom for my taste. Rice was a little chewy too, but it was a clay pot so sometimes chewy is good. Manager brought us out a coconut ice cream with mint shavings and thai ice tea to pour over the top after we started to chat. She said they don't have a desert menu yet, but still working on it. I hope the coconut ice cream makes the cut, it was awesome.
Went back on Friday with 2 other friends because we thought they would like it. Ordered Fish as Chips, Lotus Chips, Agedashi mushrooms, Green tea salad, Garlic noodles (again-it was that good), pork dish with fried egg, and another entree that slips my mind. Fish as Chips were fried until crunchy small silver fish (don't remember what kind) very good especially when dipped in the accompanying curry sauce. Salad was identical to BSS version. Agedashi mushrooms had an excellent coating on them, better than most agedashi tofu coatings I have had in recent memory. Other entree dishes were good, but not as memorable as the first visit.
They are obviously still going through start-up pangs. They seem to have some electrical issues with the lights flickering annoyingly all night. Food prep was good, service was excellent. I hope that over time they will evolve the menu a little bit and settle on the better dishes and maybe experiement with some others that are not quite there yet. They definitley have the enthusiasm.
Nice report, tyler! Going twice in one week says a lot. Wine and beer available?
Burmese . . . it's the new Thai. Is the menu Burmese or more pan-Asian?
I got take-out from B Star last week. The menu is sort of Asian fusion with a Burmese flair. I stuck with the more Burmese-style dishes, since they sounded better. Some of the menu items (like green curry salmon pot pie with salad, fish tacos) just seemed out of place on the menu.
Pumpkin Croquettes - 3 croquettes made with Kabocha squash filling and coated with crispy crumbs; quite tasty
Tea Leaf Salad - made with romaine lettuce, which I believe differs from the original, but otherwise had traditional ingredients; it was good, but very oily (the ingredients were already tossed together)
Rice Noodles with ground chicken, tomato, and peanuts - can't remember what the real name of this dish is, but it was very good
Clay Pot Chicken Biryani - this tasted a lot (exactly?) like the Burmese chicken casserole at Burma Superstar; delicious
Service was extremely friendly. There weren't many diners eating yet (at 7 pm on a Tuesday). The decor is hip and modern and they have soju (I think, or else it was sake) cocktails. Don't know if they are going to get a full liquor license. The wine selection was definitely better than you'd see at your average Asian restaurant. I will definitely go back.
We had family members who wanted to hit Green Apple Books, so B Star seemed to be about right for an early dinner for a party of nine without reservations. The menu has some Burma Superstar favourites and some new ideas which are still gelling. But we appreciated the space, and the service was very friendly, if a little deer-in-the-headlights at times. My half-bottle of Navarro Edelzwicker was not in fact a half-bottle, but a carafe, but it tasted fine and I didn't mind. The samusa soup and chicken biryani seemed identical to BS, but there was romaine lettuce in the tea leaf salad. I can't remember if this was the case at BS, but I thought it worked well at B*. The devilled tea eggs with sriracha aioli is a clever idea and visually quite striking, but the aioli is runny, meaning you can't bite into it without having the filling run out (as we all found out the hard way). A bit of work on this dish will fix that. The lotus chips were tasty, as were croquettes of kabosha squash.
Not all the new mains worked. Miso-blackened cod could have done without the blackening, but the golden beets, asparagus, and braised endive beneath were nice, as was the fish once I flaked off the charred exterior. See Jyet noodles with shredded duck came with a big heap of chili flakes on top. My kids can eat pretty spicy food, but this spooked them, and they fished most of it off, but the remainder of the dish lacked flavour. We barely dented the menu; there are a lot of options, and servings are generous, so there was a lot of food to take home. We'll definitely be back. The atmosphere is nice and I hope the inventiveness pays off. --PR