Category Archives: San Jose

A Journey Into Exotic Burmese Cuisine in San Jose

Table-side salad tossing at Kyusu Burmese Cuisine in San Jose, California

Tableside salad tossing at Kyusu Burmese Cuisine in San Jose, California

Hamburgers, pizza and fried chicken seem to have been around forever. But all these North American classics are but newborns compared to a cuisine that’s 1,000 years old. So why in all my considerable years of exploratory grazing have I never tasted Burmese food?

Kyusu Burmese Cuisine, in San Jose, California, of all places, offers a chance to rectify this. Unfortunately, I’m lunching alone and thus regretfully have to pass over some enticing curries, stews and noodle dishes.

Instead, I zero in on a Burmese classic—an exotic-sounding tea leaf salad ($9). It features a combination of ingredients I’ve never seen before: pickled tea leaves, fried beans and garlic, sesame seeds, sesame oil, dried shrimp and marinated cabbage. My server arrives with all this on a plate and proceeds to carefully toss it tableside with a spoon and tongs.

Ready to tuck into this most exotic tea salad

Ready to tuck into this most exotic tea salad

Time to dig in. The taste is as unusual as the combination. It’s both wet and crunchy, slightly astringent and bearing an unusual, umami-like flavour; maybe it’s the pickled tea leaves.

Overall, it’s well worth the adventure. Now, I just have to find more Burmese eateries and friends to explore the menu with.

Kyusu Burmese Cuisine
1312 Saratoga Avenue, San Jose, California
Wednesday to Monday lunch 11:30 am-2 pm, dinner 5 pm-9 pm. Closed Tuesday
Kyusu Burmese Cuisine on Urbanspoon

I’m a Content Puppy at San Jose’s Happy Dog

Joe delivers my pork pineapple sausage at Happy Dog in San Jose

Joe delivers my pork pineapple sausage at Happy Dog in San Jose

I’m parked somewhat precariously at a 10-minute-only stall in front of a 7-Eleven near San Jose State University. Joe, the manager at Happy Dog next door, says it will take seven minutes to prepare my pork pineapple sausage.

The good news, then, is my dog will be made to order. The bad is I’ll only have three minutes to choke it down or risk a ticket, tow or reprimand. So, I’m keeping one eye on my watch and the other on proceedings as Joe lightly grills a fresh French roll and walks the grilled dog aboard. I add a squirt of mustard, a sprinkling of sauerkraut and a healthy dose of Joe’s homemade, crunchy pickled cabbage.

“If it’s a good dog, you don’t need ketchup,” he declares. Agreed. Still, by the time everything’s loaded up, I’ve got scant seconds to legally choke the hot dog down. But with the first bite through the bursting skin into the meaty goodness within, my efficient resolve dissolves. “Screw it. I’m savouring this puppy.”

Happy Dog
284 South 11 Street, San Jose, California
Daily 11 am-10 pm, except 9 pm Sunday. Cash only
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