Burma Superstar Founder Launches Burmese Food Truck

Categories: Street Eats
Burmese_Gourmet_TeaLeaf.JPG
Jonathan Kauffman
Burmese Gourmet's powerful tea leaf salad, $5.
Three weeks ago, William Lue put three signs up on the food truck he has rented on Townsend and Fourth. The first, "Burmese Gourmet," he moved over from his Concord truck when he decided to break back into the San Francisco food scene. The second is a white board listing the day's specials: catfish chowder over noodles, grilled pork with garlic noodles, samosas, and tea leaf salad. The third sign extols the salad's many virtues, most notably a jolt of caffeine."Whoever thinks salad is boring needs to try this!" It says. Nothing costs more than $5.

Lue, who talks newcomers through the menu, says that he founded Burmese Superstar in the 1980s before selling it to a second chef who in turn sold it to Desmond Htunlin and Joycelyn Lee, who have turned the Richmond restaurant into a phenomenon. His chef, Allen, moved to the States five years ago.

Burmese_Gourmet_Truck.JPG
Burmese Gourmet's rented truck.
Allen's catfish chowder is mild and creamy, the meat dissolving into a turmeric-yellow stew flavored with lemongrass and ginger juice. His tea leaf salad, though, is all too potent: A palm-sized tangle of fermented tea leaves, densely vegetal and a little bitter, is mixed together with iceberg lettuce, tomato wedges, sesame seeds, roasted peanuts, and fried chickpeas. It's the kind of salad you'd expect to buy on a street corner, not the more refined, delicately crunchy versions at Mandalay and Burmese Kitchen. And SFoodie, having eaten half a portion, raced back to the office and is now pounding away at the keyboard with the force of a hundred men.

Lue changes the menu every day, so tomorrow he's going to be serving a mixed seafood stew, and the grilled pork on his menu alternates with grilled beef. The rented truck parks at the corner (in front of Limn) every weekday from 11:30 to 2:30 p.m., though when he finds a permitted space in SoMa, he'll drive his orange truck from Concord over the bridge for good.

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6 comments
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hungry
hungry

This truck has been missing from Townsend & 4th since the new year. Does anyone have any insight on the disappearance?

Clsalepost
Clsalepost

He did not "found" Burma Superstar. He used to own a restaurant in the space that Burma Superstar currently occupies over 20 years ago. He is trying to associate himself with Burma Superstar which tastes a hell of a lot better than this truck!

Sesameyllc
Sesameyllc

Yeah, so funny, the first thing he says to you when you go to the truck is that he started Burma Superstar...I told him I know the owners then, he started to back down on what he just told me..I think he used to have a restaurant on Clement Street over 20 years ago and now he is trying to make folks think that he had anything to do with Burma Superstar and that his truck food would taste even remotely similar which is totally inaccurate.

Alice
Alice

Everything on the menu is $5, which is actually affordable for a food truck. I've loved everything I've tried, from the Tea Leaf Salad to the Smoked Pork over noodles. I'm so glad to find an affordable Asian place (other than HRD) in SOMA! Oh, and William is really friendly. Stop by before they sell out, which has been happening more and more lately.

UrbanUndead
UrbanUndead

AW YEAH. Hopefully the closer-to-me part of SOMA!

Mobile Gourmet
Mobile Gourmet

sounds delicious, also sounds like you enjoy ethnic foods - come try Peruvian from Sanguchon or Cuban From Babaloo or Indian from Munch India this Saturday 10/15  form 4-8 at Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton.

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