Burma Fave

Complementing the food is a sprightly, reasonably priced wine list chosen by maven Alan Goldfarb, including suggestions of wines to match specific menu items. The full bar also offers exotic beers and a wild assortment of cocktails and "elixirs"; I succumbed to the tropical lure of a Chi-Chi (just yummy, and only $4.50) while my friend dove into her banana daiquiri ($4.25).

In Buddhism, "nirvana" is the complete detachment from personal and sensual desires. My companions did not quite achieve it: They'd been looking forward to fried bananas, but the restaurant no longer makes them, offering only ice cream for dessert (in Asian flavors, of course). But I was quite satisfied. Delicious, unusual food at affordable prices makes Nirvana good enough for me.

Nirvana
544 Castro (between 18th and 19th streets), 861-2226. Open Tuesday through Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday to 11 p.m., Sunday noon to 10 p.m., Monday 5 to 10 p.m. Reservations accepted for parties of five or more. Front dining room only is wheelchair accessible. Parking: You're kidding. Muni: 24 Divisadero, 33 Ashbury at 18th, plus F, K, L, M, 35 Eureka, 37 Corbett at Market Street. Sound level: very loud except for back patio.

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