Wait times at this eatery are long but dishes are delicious..
Like black licorice or, say, capital punishment, people generally fall into two opposing camps when it comes to this Bay Area Burmese mini chain: either you are willing to wait countless hours for a taste of the signature samusa soup, or you simply don't get the hype. Judging by the near constant crowd of people in front of each of the empire's three no-reservations locations, there are enough people who love it to continue with the expansions. The newest Oakland location is friendly and casual in the same manner as the others, with a variety of table sizes and styles to suit different party sizes. And those familiar with the menu from the original Clement Street hangout will notice all their favorites here as well--Burmese specialties like the deconstructed tea leaf salad, shrimp kebat and egg curry, as well as more Asian fusion-y dishes like sesame chicken and lettuce cups--plus a selection of beverages like a white sangria filled with exotic fruits. Is the unique food worth the wait? Plenty of people seem to think so.