Just four weeks ago, Hubert Lim opened the doors at Burma Bear, a Burmese eatery tucked into one of the vendor stalls at Second Act Marketplace.
Lim is a former registered nurse who grew up in San Francisco and launched Burma Bear late last year through pop-ups and catering gigs. What started as a fun hobby got a positive public response, and the business has been growing since.
Asked how he likes working in the Haight now that he's opened up shop, Lim said that it's going pretty well. "There are cool people, it's close to Cole Valley, and the neighborhood is changing for the better," he said.
"Burmese is a hot concept right now," Lim said, "and we're hoping to put our own spin on it." Burma Bear is a twist on Lim's family recipes, passed down over time. He said the current bestsellers are the Hawaiian-style pulled pork. "But my best dish is the baby back ribs."
Another hot seller, of course, is the tea leaf salad, which is now also available ready-made on Good Eggs.
Burma Bear's plans for the future include a launch for delivery via Caviar in a couple of weeks, and an eventual shift into a space that can accommodate a full kitchen. The only limitation Lim finds in his current spot is having to work in tight quarters. "It's hard trying to do the full menu I want to do with the space," he said, but for now Second Act is a great spot for him to set up camp and prepare his ultimate vision: a fast-casual brick-and-mortar where patrons can build their own rice plates.
Looking for some cooking inspiration, we asked Lim about his essential ingredients for everyday cooking. Lim said that fermented tea leaf, tumeric, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, and a mix of star anise, cardamom and cinnamon are his go-tos in the kitchen.
Burma Bear is open at 1727 Haight Street from 11:30am to 7pm Monday through Thursday, and from 11am to 5pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It'll be closed today and, as with many other spots in the neighborhood, closed tomorrow for the Thanksgiving holiday.
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