My successful quest to become Lord of the Mohingas by conquering all eight versions in town took me to the very edge of the San Francisco mohinga universe -- and a tiny bit beyond. I say so because mohinga #8 was at Little Yangon, which technically is in Daly City, not San Francisco. It's at "Top of the Hill" (Hi there, Steven Matthew David!) which is as much a part of a San Franciscan's geographic vocabulary as "South of the Slot," and just a few steps from the end of a Muni line, the #14 Missiion. Besides, with the most charming decor and homiest service of any area mohingeria (yes, I made that up) you'll want to take Little Yangon home with you, too.
My mohinga (that's a Burmese catfish chowder, if you are playing catch-up) at Little Yangon came in a ceramic chafing dish-style bowl (an appropriate beanpot-like touch). It had a plenitude of spaghetti-sized rice noodles and a whole half of a boiled egg (rather than the egg slices one sometimes sees in mohinga). The chickpea fritters and cilantro were served on the side, along with a wedge of lime. I gladly made use of all these add-ins to the fullest extent. The broth was deep and rich, more tart than some, and had a nice shrarpness to it with a rare hint of spice heat. I ordered a palata (paratha) with my soup, and it was one of the better versions I have had, browned to a slight char and not at all greasy. It proved useful for mopping up the bottom of the bowl, which I reached in short time.
A week before, I had stopped in at Yamo, the beloved Mission District lunch-counter Burmese food venue I described in an earlier post, for its version of mohinga. As might be expected, Yamo presents the biggest bargain for a mohinga (though not necessarily the best value), with a washbasin-size bowl for $6.00 including tax. Yamo's broth appeared a bit on the starchy side, possibly because I had it at early dinner time instead of my usual lunch time, and it had been sitting on the stove all day; on the other hand, it may just be Yamo's style. The noodles obviously hadn't been sitting in the broth, as they were not overcooked even though they were of the thin, vermicelli style rice noodles. Yamo's mohinga may not be the most elegant version around, but it's a solid, stick-to-the-ribs big bowl of soup, and you can't go wrong for the price.
Thus endeth my grand mohinga tour (though I'll be posting an overview of all eight I've come across shortly). I look forward to giving full attention to my hot list of other noodle delights to try. But if another Burmese restaurant suddenly materializes in my town ans says "Try me!" I'll be SO there.
Where Slurped: Little Yangon, 6318 Mission Street, Top of the Hill, Daly City; Yamo, 3406 18th Street at Mission St., San Francisco