Imagine you just found $20 in the back pocket of your jeans. You could take the cash to your favorite bar and get a cocktail, or you could go to Trader Joe’s, buy exactly six avocadoes, and throw a guacamole party for all your friends (BYOB, obviously). But are all these ways the best use of your newfound treasure? A smarter thing to do is go to Yamo, and, for under $20, you can order a lot of really good Burmese food - and have plenty of leftovers the next day.
Everything on the menu at this cash-only spot is less than $7. And for the cost, the salads, soups, and noodles are delicious and large (we’re talking, “this price must be a misprint because this plate of curry looks like it could feed a 49er” large). We always start with the spicy and crunchy tea leaf salad ($6.50), which is easily one of the best salads in the city. If we’re starving, we also get an order of the ginger, cabbage, and pork potstickers ($4.50) before moving on to the bigger plates. The best value at Yamo, however, are the House Noodles. They're $6.50 for a bowl of garlicky, salty stir-fried lo mein noodles you’ll become more attached to than your AirPods.
The one thing you will spend a lot of at Yamo is time. The two women who run this place crank out dishes faster than you can flip through Bumble, but in the evenings you can expect to wait outside, even if you're ordering to-go.
But the things that make Yamo great outweigh any drawbacks. Where else in the city can you get an appetizer, a salad, and a big plate of chicken or noodles and only spend $17.50? A well-portioned three-course meal like the one at Yamo is a rare thing, like catching a foul ball at a Giants game. So the next time you find a wadded-up bill in your laundry or decide to hit an ATM for the first time in a decade for whatever reason, make the smart choice and come to Yamo for one of the best deals in town.
These pork potstickers are packed with ginger, cabbage, and black pepper, and are a great starter if you want more than just the tea leaf salad.
These tiny fried pockets of flaky dough filled with curried potato are what we want in place of pizza rolls for the rest of our lives.
We love this salad so much that we want pins of it for our backpacks. The fresh cabbage with tea leaves and spicy dressing are fantastic, and the fried lima beans and nuts add a crunch that takes this way over the top. You should order this no matter what.
This salad of long, thick matchsticks of papaya with cabbage, carrots, onion, spicy sauce, and crispy garlic tastes cobbled together and doesn’t fully land. Skip this and get the Tea Salad instead.
Chicken Noodle Soup
Some of the spices get lost in the coconut-chicken broth, but this is still a pretty good bowl of soup. The thick lo mein noodles are filling, so it’s probably the only thing you’ll need to eat for a while.
The combination of sweet mango and spicy sauce will make you want to scrape every last thing off the plate. We wish this had more chicken in it, but between that, the stir-fried bell peppers, and the big scoop of rice, you’ll have more than enough food to be happy.
Yamo House Noodles
We like all of the larger dishes at Yamo, but the House Noodles are our favorite. We want to put them in a Break In Case Of Emergency box for when we’ve had a rough day. You want these. You need these.
Yamo Chili Spinach Noodle
These cold noodles come with tofu that’s been stir-fried in a spicy bean sauce. The mix of hot tofu and cold noodles takes a second to get used to, but when you do you’ll love it.
This fried white fish is smothered in a spicy red curry, and will warm you up like you just wrapped yourself in a blanket that’s fresh from the dryer.