B-Star Report - Inner Richmond [SF]
Three of us had dinner at B-Star tonight. It was my first time eating there and I thought it was pretty good overall.
From 5-7 on weekdays, it's happy hour, which means deals on various drinks and appetizers.
We had a reservation for 6 PM, but we arrived late at 6:15, which seemed like it was okay. At that point, restaurant wasn't that busy, and really never got that busy until close to 8.
Shared a pitcher of a drink made w/ beer, lemon and ginger, but I forget the name of it. It was refreshing, though I had just biked across the entire city which might have positively influenced how much I enjoyed it.
Brussels sprouts appetizer (happy hour price of $4) was, in my opinion, outstanding. The sprouts have furikake, fish sauce, popped rice, and parmesan, and the flavor combo was great—slightly sweet, lots of umami. Generous serving, too.
Pratha w/ dipping sauce was good as well. The pratha itself was freshly fried and fluffy, though the cup of curry sauce was tiny. We had to request a second cup of it, which we ate in its entirety as well.
Tea leaf salad was good, but I definitely like Mandalay and Burmese Kitchen versions better. This one had a lot of lettuce, and arrived pre-mixed (all we did was squeeze lemon). However, I guess I should give credit to the folks at Burma Superstar for introducing me to tea leaf salad in the first place, and the BS/BSt version is still very good.
Pork and Pumpkin stew - tender pork, somewhat starchy kabocha squash, and a mild curry sauce. This was nice, but I would have liked a bit more nuance to the flavor. It was comforting, but not very memorable.
Kau Soi was advertised as "medium spicy" but it was flat-out mild (though I suppose we could have added more chili). This version was less-soup like, and more resembled the Burmese versions of this dish (ohn-no khao swe) than it did the Thai versions I've had at Thai House Express and Amphawa on Geary. I liked it overall, but still would give the nod to the equivalent dish at Mandalay.
This was plenty of food for 3 of us, though we ate all of it and still had room for dessert down the street (boba at LovingHut and chocolate-covered-banana at Toy Boat Dessert Cafe.
Bill at BStar was about $65 before tip...so, not super cheap, but not a bad deal thanks to the happy hour specials.
Ate here again last week. We sat in the back dining room (a converted garden?) which I didn't realize existed. It's actually a pretty big place!
The brussels sprouts were again excellent. Probably the best prep of brussels sprouts I've tried at any restaurant, ever.
Mussels were in a soup-like tomato-based sauce which was great. Mussels themselves were plump and fresh, serving was generous, and overall flavor was great. My main complaint is that they don't really have any bread for dipping. We used rice instead, but good baguette would be better.
Spicy Chili Fish were pretty good, though a tad greasy. We ate the fried smelt whole, and I liked the bits of fried garlic.
The dishes above are all pictured here.....we also had tea leaf salad (good, but like I said last time, not as good as Mandalay or Burmese Kitchen) and the veggie version of the garlic noodles (totally boring and by far the worst thing we ordered).