Monday, July 09, 2007

Restaurant Review: Green Elephant Gourmet

Tea Leaf Salad

Pic taken by my friend S before the tea leaf salad was all gone!

Star of the evening: Chinese eggplant

Everyone seems to be talking about the famed Burma Super Star in San Francisco. I have been there a long time ago, and have been wanting to go back ever since all those glowing reviews about the new management came out.
Now given that I live in the Peninsula, found Green Elephant Gourmet which a Yelper said was the closest to the SF Burmese hangout this side of the bay! Whats that you say? A Burma Super Star alternative in Palo Alto? Now I surely could not pass this one up!!

I finally got the opportunity to visit this wonderful restaurant with some friends last month and we were not disappointed!! The friends accompanying us are vegetarians , so it always a treat to find great vegetarian food which looks as good as it tastes.

We started with a Tea Leaf Salad, which was actually quite good. A tea leaf salad consists of lentils, sesame, peanuts, lettuce (or at times rice) with sauces mixed in at the table. While the salad was really good, it lacked a bit of spice. A bit of chilli added the much needed kick to this dish. We also got the samusas, which were just Ok.

For the entrees, we really liked the Chinese eggplant and Garlic Chicken! Both these dishes were cooked to perfection with the eggplant emerging as the real superstar :)
All the entrees paired extremely well with the brown rice and jasmine rice we ordered. Apart from the eggplant, the service was another aspect that was superb here. Our friends have a baby (R), where the servers went out of their way to make sure R was comfortable and yes, us as well!

We skipped dessert only because we thought we were too full, but of course that didn't stop us from stopping next door at Rick's icecream which is only the best ice cream I have ever had! Ok saving that one for a different post :). Coming back to the Green Eelephant Gourmet, their wine and drinks menu was pretty standard, nothing off the charts really.

The decor was relatively upscale compared to what we were expecting, with one oddity: there was this huge beautifully laid out table with ornate silverware at the entrance of the restaurant. As time went by we noticed that no one was assigned that table, where it seemed like a mere prop! Never quite seen anything like that at a restaurant before!!

All in all was a very pleasurable dining experience and will definitely go back for more! The only drawback is that its located in yet another strip mall (sigh), but on the other hand the advantage of THIS particular location is that its right next door to the Rick's Ice Cream shop!

My Ratings:
Cuisine: Burmese
Food: Mmm Mmm (very good!). Decent portions. Enough options for vegetarians!
Decor: Yay.
Service: Yay Yay.
Price: Yay. Quite inexpensive, about $12-16 per entree.
Would Go Again: Yay Yay Yay!
Website: Could not find one. Physical Location at 3950 Middlefield Road. Palo Alto, CA 94303


Asha said...

Looks interesting,never tried Burmese food before!:))

Anupama said...

Dhana, I just read your post on Suralichi wadi. Just 2 things: Firstly you have changed my name from Anupama to Ashwini. That's OK It just made me smile. Secondly did'nt you steam the chickpea flour by placing the chickpea flour directly in the cooker? Did you not pour it first into a steel vessel and then place the vessel in the cooker?

Dhana said...

Thanks Asha. Burmese food is really good, where its an interesting mix of Indian, Chinese and their own unique flavors.

Anupama, I am so sorry about the name mixup! Thats what happens when you write a post before coffee ;). I just changed it. As for the chickpea flour, I did steam it but didnt add enough water via the buttermilk I think :(. Even then tasted g8 as it was a really good recipe!

DEEPA said...

Nice reading .Burmese food yet to be tasted ...

Jyothsna said...

Never tried Burmese food. Now I need to consult some recipes I have and try them :)

Dhana said...

Thanks Deepa. Burmese food is quite tasty!

Jyothsna, do let me know if you try it!

Mary said...

Even though I live in SF, I work down the peninsula. So it's nice to know that there's some place comparable to Burma Superstar if I feel like Burmese with the co-workers.

Dhana said...

Mary, would love to know what you thought if you do end up going!