Chef-owner Tiyo Shibabaw, who is of Ethiopian descent, had never eaten Burmese food prior to getting into the restaurant business — as a front-of-house manager at Burma Superstar. Teni East Kitchen is one of those places you couldn’t imagine existing anywhere else, but that makes total sense in the Bay Area: It’s a Cal-Burmese restaurant with an Ethiopian name. For instance, in an otherwise traditional fermented tea leaf salad, tender kale leaves replace the usual cabbage or romaine lettuce. Other highlights include fried chicken wings tossed in house-made balachaung (i.e., Burmese chili oil) and a rich beef cheek curry. Get a side of roti to sop up the extra sauce.
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