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Sapphire Lounge [San Francisco]


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Restaurants & Bars 13

Sapphire Lounge [San Francisco]

mariacarmen | Aug 10, 2012 12:36 PM

I looked around this board, couldn't find anything about this place. Friends took me last night for a birthday happy hour. The place has been through a few incarnations - a couple of asian buffet-type places, and once a Spanish tapas kind of place. Now, Burmese. "Lounge" is stretching it - the feel of the place is cafeteria-ish. It's cavernous, with t.v. monitors playing sports, loud dance music, overhead spotlights that get too bright, and a big, curving full bar. A very young crowd - and not your typical FiDi types. Not great ambiance, but the food is really good. Their happy hour is from 4-7:30 p.m., and ALL food items are $5.00 a plate. They have cocktail/beer specials as well. The food portions are very generous. I loved their version of tea leaf salad - very fresh, distinctive tea leaf flavor, crispy-crunchy, with a little bit of heat (it could be a lot hotter, for me - and probably could do without the tomatoes which i'm never sure if they are typical?). In fact, i picked up some for lunch today, and noticed that it IS an asian-buffet-type place during the day! your standard chinese buffet - the steam tables were hidden behind a floor-to-ceiling curtain last night. The tea leaf salad is not on any menu i could see at lunchtime, but it took just a few minutes to make me one to go.

For happy hour fare, we loved the samusas, crispy chicken wontons, pot stickers, garlic chicken, crispy lentil cakes, and crunchy citrus chicken. Everything was very tasty, especially the wontons, pot stickers and garlic chicken - we liked these so much that we ordered them, as well as the tea leaf salad, again. The owner came over to talk to us and then made us a complimentary bowl of monhinga - fish chowder, described as rice vermicelli noodles in a lemongrass fish soup, garnished with cilantro and a boiled egg. I need to explore more of the menu (though it will be difficult not to order the tea leaf salad every time - it just feels like such a healthy option!) to try other Burmese dishes. I'm so glad i found out about this place, right around the corner from my office.

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