Yamo Restaurant Does Burmese Food Right, and Cheap

Nestled in between a corner liquor store and Lily’s Beauty Salon rests a tiny hole in the wall with metal grates on the windows and a small doorway, exposing a diner style kitchen and just a row of bar stools to sit on. Most people walking by don’t expect much, or even see it at all, like me. But on a rare sunny day in the city, my friends Sugi, Julio, Melissa and her daughter, Sol, met up to have a lunch date.

This tiny restaurant is where we met. This tiny place called Yamo.

Melissa and Sugi swear by it, and confessed to me that they eat here about twice a week. When I peered inside, I saw every bar stool occupied and a line of customers against the wall.

Why?

Because folks, I gotta tell you, Yamo is a gem. A hidden treasure in a city of great eats. Its greasy, its casual, and its cheap. It’s what I imagine real Burmese street food to taste like.

The five of us, we got down.

Two orders of Pot Stickers; filled with pork, cabbage, and carrots

An order of Vegetarian Egg Rolls (not pictured because we ate them too quickly)

An order of Mango Chicken on a bed of Steamed Rice

Yamo House Noodles topped with fried garlic and chicken

And Curry Prawns and Mushroom, Onions, and Green Peppers (again, sadly not photographed due to rapid consumption).

All for $30. What a deal.

The women cooking could’ve smoked any competitor on The Food Networks Chopped, that’s how fast they were. Seriously, I think we only had to wait a matter of minutes. The joint was too packed to eat inside, plus it was gorgeous out, so we grabbed a pile of napkins and chopsticks and we walked a few blocks to a children’s park so Sol, whose 2 1/2, could play.

We found a couple of benches, situated ourselves, popped the lids off the to-go containers and feasted.

The food was SO good.

The Pot Stickers had a nice outer crisp but still had chewy dough in some places, and the sauce for them. HOLY CRAP. It wasn’t just your typical sweet chili sauce. It was a thinner spicier version with chopped up fresh ginger. It was to die for.

The Egg Rolls, were pretty amazing, nice crisp and flakey with tons of vegetables. In case you were wondering, yeah, we used the pot sticker sauce on them too. Duh!

Julio tried to commandeer the mango chicken, but after a few dirty looks from 3 ladies and a baby, he shared. The first bite explained why he was hesitant to share. It was fantastic! The chicken was moist, the mango sweet, and the vegetables (sugar snap peas and water crescents among the lot) were still super crunchy, which is vital!

The curry shrimp was Sol’s favorite, little darling was stuffing whole shrimps in her mouth only after realizing they were too big, thus forcing me to fish it out and hold it while she took modest nibbles. The curry was more like a light glaze as opposed to the typical thicker version, but on a hot day, it was perfect in not weighing us down.

Now, on to those Yamo House Noodles. Wow. Just wow. The fried garlic. The Fried Garlic. THE FRIED GARLIC.

Lord.

It was so crunchy, but still so pungent and fresh. It was just phenomenal. The noodles were thick, albeit a little greasy, and the chicken plentiful, there was also a generous sprinkling of green onion on top, which, if you didn’t know, is one of my favorite onions and methods of adding some extra freshness to a dish.

When we were all finished we all acted like children, playing house on the jungle gym, running around and screaming, and making friends with other little kids. Sol was THRILLED. Especially when I let her try on my lipstick, so we could play grown ups.

We finished our outing with a cold treat from the ice cream man

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Thank God Sol let me get in on this Neapolitan ice cream sandwich, which was also delicious.

Basically, if you’re in the Mission, go to Yamo for a great meal. Or, if you’re not in the Mission, head over to the Mission, for a cheap, amazing meal at Yamo.

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Great Balls of Fire!

As you can see from my previous post, last night we had our tropical Cuban feast. There was obviously too much food, though we were starving Matt and I only made a dent in the dishes. So what is the money conscious college couple to do? Make deep fried rice balls with the leftover coconut rice. Duh.

Take said fantastic leftover rice out of the fridge. If you do not have rice in your fridge from a previously cooked feast (hopefully my Cuban tropical feast), please make some rice, and take it out of the pot.

Make sure your rice is somewhat sticky/starchy. Cause now you are going to roll it into compact little balls – if they somewhat resemble a large spit wad – you’re doing it right.

(The brown spot on the middle ball is a few grains of rice with cinnamon on them, not gross. Promise).

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A Tropical Cuban Feast

While at work on Monday, I decided that I wanted to make something a little different for dinner. A creation all my own, that didn’t require exact measurement or concise portions. Because really, a girl has gotta live every once in a while. I wanted something hearty but fresh and fairly healthy. I started thinking about the protein for my dish and decided that shrimp would be the perfect low fat meat for the meal. But how to flavor them?

Then it hit me. A garlic lime marinade for a savory tropical punch. But how to cook them?

On a skewer of course. Chop up and add some pineapple, red bell pepper and red onion and baby, you got one colorful stick of food.

Then I really hit my stride with the side dishes, after confirming with a chef friend of mine that the ingredients I wanted to incorporate would in fact be complimentary. Fried plantains, black beans, and coconut rice sounded extremely mouth watering.

But first, the appetizer.

Navel oranges, with the peel cut off sprinkled with salt, pepper, and crushed red chili flakes. The combination is undeniable.

Start by cutting your oranges in half. Then to make them sit flat on a plate, slice the peel off the other end. Next cut the rest of the peel off in 5 strips, to make the orange a pentagon.

Put a DASH of salt, a sprinkle of pepper, and a few good pinches of red chili flakes.

Voila!

I would say 2 pieces (1 orange) is good for one person. Since it was just Matt and I, 2 full oranges were sufficient. Had to save room for the main course, of course.

The type of shrimp you want to use is up to you. I used fresh, uncooked, unpeeled shrimp. They were however de-veined, because I’m not down to deal with shrimp poop. Because I was going to be staking them my first task was removing the hard shell and tail. (Actually that was Matt’s first task, what a gentleman).

He turned this…

Into this!

This is about 1/2 pound of shrimp so to get a good marinade I used 4 limes and 4 cloves of minced garlic. Put it in a small bowl with a lid, shake it for just a minute and then let it sit.

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