After the Sichuan cooking demo at Contra Costa College, I headed to the other side of 880 to El Sobrante to check out the local Burmese place for lunch. Hornbill Burmese Cuisine has been open a little over a year. Originally serving Burmese and Thai, the menu is now nearly all Burmese.
The strip mall where its located is home to several other eateries and was pretty busy during lunch hour. Luckily, Hornbill has its own parking spaces demarcated. The restaurant itself is enormous, big enough for a banquet or to set up a dance floor.
I started with the tea leaf salad, $10, and asked for not so much lettuce. I opted for the addition of dried shrimp (pulverized to powder). The server asked me before mixing it at the table if this was the right amount of romaine lettuce. I'd say it was okay, just enough to loosen up the composition. The tea leaf was the mulched type rather than whole leaf, but it was marinated well with some fish sauce and a touch of chile. Bits that should be crunchy were, and I liked that this was heavy on the fried garlic. Fresh jalapeños chiles were seeded and slivered, and did not have much bite to them. Nice job on this dish.
Then coconut chicken noodle soup, $10, that was a large portion topped with hard-cooked egg, shaved red onion, crispy noodles and cilantro. The curried soup base was meatier than sweet, the way I like it, and creamy with coconut milk. I did not need to add acid to counteract sweetness. I did though ask for chile flakes to spice it up. Noodles were very limp, unfortunately.
To drink, I had the Myanmar milk tea, $2.50, that was on the weak side.
My server was very sweet. There were only six other lunch customers on the Friday I was there. This place deserves more business than that. Do check it out when you visit this part of the world.
Hornbill Burmese Cuisine
3550 San Pablo Dam Rd
El Sobrante, CA 94803