The Burmese eatery is introducing Silicon Valley to its cult-favorite tea leaf salad and mohinga while offering new dishes and cocktails rooted in bold Asian flavors.

At the Menlo Park location, diners can expect a blend of legacy dishes served at all Burma Love locations and signature items specific to Burma Love Menlo Park. Courtesy Burma Love.

Menlo Park’s growing Springline development has added a renowned San Francisco restaurant to its lineup of eateries: Burmese restaurant Burma Love, which opened July 19. The new establishment is Burma Love’s third Bay Area location and first restaurant on the Peninsula. 

Burma Love is part of the Burma Food Group founded by Desmond Tan. The restaurant group’s presence in the Bay Area dates back to Burma Superstar’s opening on Clement Street in San Francisco in 1992. Two decades later, the Burma Food Group has grown across the Bay Area to include three Burma Superstar locations, three Burma Love locations that serve as the contemporary younger sister to Burma Superstar and one Burma Bites location serving casual to-go style Burmese cuisine.  

Bryanna Yip, Burma Food Group’s brand manager, explained that the Burma Love name is already very familiar in San Francisco, so opening an outpost in Menlo Park meant seizing the “opportunity to tap into a new demographic and new neighborhood.” Burmese food is a relatively “untapped and unexplored” cuisine that the restaurant group wanted to introduce to the Peninsula, Yip added. 

At the Menlo Park location, diners can expect offerings that differ slightly from Burma Love’s restaurants in San Francisco. The menu is a blend of legacy dishes served at all Burma Love locations and signature items specific to Burma Love Menlo Park. Burma Love classics include the tea leaf salad, Burmese curries, a multi-layered bread called platha served with various dips and mohinga, a cod stew known as the national dish of Southern Burma. 

Executive chef Jarvis Yuan, former owner and chef of Palo Alto Chinese restaurant Mandarin Roots, which closed in late 2022, created the restaurant’s signature dishes, which are rooted in Burmese flavors with a contemporary Southeast Asian flair. Yuan expanded the menu, adding a crudités plate with Burmese goddess dressing, Andaman crudo made with Hokkaido sea scallop and a rich lamb shank curry.  

Burma Love’s innovative dessert menu can be attributed to Culinary Institute of America-trained pastry chef Naomi Kakatin. Rooted in specialty Asian ingredients, the offerings take a creative approach to dessert. The Golden Land includes cubes of calamansi curd and earl grey shortbread garnished with cardamom crumble and a blueberry yuzu compote. Playing off of a classic lava cake, the Burmese Bonfire merges lava cake with the components of a s’more, infusing the dish with Burmese flavors such as green tea. 

Every Burma Love restaurant features a location-specific, adventurous cocktail menu. Each cocktail is an elaborate amalgam of bitters, florals and spices, resulting in experimental combinations. Sip on the Last Harp in Bagan, made with awayuki strawberry gin, hibiscus syrup and egg-based froth, or opt for The Lady, a refreshing cocktail with notes of green apple and Thai basil.

The restaurant space is an open concept, with natural accents echoing the warmth of the dishes themselves and features a full bar with high-top seating. Murals painted by Lux Create that depict Burmese cultural landmarks decorate the walls of the restaurant. 

With its new Peninsula eatery, Burma Love aims to challenge taste buds with a collection of bold flavors – a mixture of sweetness, spice, tang and smoke – and educate the community on the creativity of Burmese cuisine.

“One of the most important aspects of the (Burma Restaurant Group) brand is education,” Yip said.

Burma Love is one of nine eateries planned at the Springline development. The Burmese restaurant’s opening was accompanied by the opening of Barebottle Brewing Company July 20. 

Other restaurants that have opened at Springline include Andytown Coffee Roasters, tapas bar Canteen and grab-and-go cafe Proper Food. There are still four other eateries debuting later this year including Robin, which offers high-end omakase and is slated to open in early August; Italian restaurant Che Fico, which plans to open in late summer along with Italian market Il Mercato di Che Fico; and contemporary Mexican restaurant Mírame. 

Burma Love’s current hours are 4-9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 4-9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, with plans to offer lunch and happy hour. 

Burma Love, 1302 El Camino Real, Menlo Park; 650-250-5660; Instagram: @burmalove.

You May Also Like

Schmear campaign: Peninsula bagel shops with East Coast roots prepare for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur feasts

How a former theater producer staged her dream cider bar on the Coastside

Beers, brats and Bavarian revelry: The Six Fifty’s guide to Oktoberfest 2023

‘I don’t leave the kitchen for two days’: Meet the team making baklava and moussaka for the masses at the Belmont Greek Festival