Burmese Food in El Sobrante (El Sobrante, SF Bay Area)

After a 15 minute drive from Berkeley, I was at Hornbill Burmese Cuisine. I had my reservations about eating here because almost no one was at the restaurant and the parking lot was empty on a Friday evening. However, my friends told me the previous week that this place was legit, and I trust them.

I’d order the tea leaf salad, Burmese style samosas, palata with lamb curry (the star of the evening), coconut rice, and the garlic noodles again. Next time, I’m ordering a full dish of the lamb curry because the little side dish for dipping our bread in was not enough! Also, the garlic noodles came with a side of what tasted like sweet and sour sauce, but no harm done because it wasn’t poured over the noodles.

Items I’ll pass on are the mango shrimp (super sweet sauce with lots of thickener) and the pumpkin chicken curry. Although the chicken was tender, the pumpkin came in big hunks and was starchy. Maybe this is a dish to try again once winter squashes are in season.

Any item labeled “Burmese” was a hit. Next time, I want to try either the lamb or the beef kabat (not a typo).

If anyone knows anything about the chef and restaurant, please chime in! I should have asked questions while I was there, but between the good food and the good conversation, I didn’t think to do so.


3550 San Pablo Dam Rd
El Sobrante CA 9480


know nothing about the owners, never asked.
was there nearly a year ago (july?)
with any “ethnic” eatery, i try to go with the “specialities” associated with eatery. would avoid generic dishes not
associated with named cuisine.

eats: “teaf leaf salad” (10)
-very salty, was told it was from the fermented tea leafs (over a week).
-also very pungent, almost too strong for me. owner added lettuce, dish was fine.
-was told any burmese dish can be dummed down. thanked them, declined.
-salad was delish.

would only go for the burmese dishes, prices higher but well worth it.

was the tea leaf salad comparable to others you’ve had?

Yes, it was good. I like my tea leaf salad more pungent, and this definitely was pungent. Plus, the garlic slices were freshly fried, so they were very crisp.

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thanks, good to know!

I hope other HO’ers check this place out, especially if you’re nearby. When my friends were chatting with the owner, she said that business has been up and down over the last year - I’d hate to lose this place. I’m still smarting over the loss of Ran Kanom Noodle in San Pablo and kicking myself for not going there more often.

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There’s quit a lot of info about the restaurant here, though it only mentions the chef as being “a well-experienced Burmese chef, having worked for another Bay Area Burmese restaurant for many years.”

Thanks for the info. I’ve added it to my list of Bay Are Burmese restaurants, which has now reached 48.

Thank you for digging up more information about the place! Shan tofu is now on my list of things to try there. I’m a sucker for homemade tofu, and I’ve never tried tofu made from anything other than soybeans.

48 Burmese restaurants in the Bay Area? This is why it would be a hard sell for me to move anywhere else. Thanks for putting this list together. BTW, website for Hornbill points to Grocery Cafe (another place on my “I need to eat here soon” list).

Thanks – fixed the link.