One of only 2 Nigerian restaurants in the Bay Area as far as I know, Golden Safari has gotten some press recently, including a review in the East Bay Times back in June: www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/a-golden-safari-through-nigerian-cuisine/Content?oid=26672020 We went on Saturday specifically to celebrate my birthday. It’s a spare place with a few tables, located in the heart of downtown Hayward; they seem to do quite a brisk takeout business.
My friend got the jollof rice with chicken, I got the ayamashe “designer” stew, and my wife got the ogbono (bush mango) and okra stew with goat. I loved my dish; it contained different cuts of beef (including some which were mostly cartilage) cooked down so that it had a deep, earthy flavor with a bit of heat. The white rice it came with was a perfect bland foil. My friend’s jollof rice was fine, and if you’ve had the Senegalese version you’ll find that this one is not as hot. My wife loved her stew, which came with fufu, but I found it had an unpleasant soapy aftertaste. I don’t know if that was due to the ogbono or the locust bean that’s also in it.
We were hoping to get ginger beer to drink (they ask you how spicy you want it), but unfortunately they were out. My dining companions got the hibiscus drink instead; it was sweet but not cloying, and differing somehow from the Mexican jamaica drink in a way I can’t describe.
The servers are friendly, but definitely don’t go if you’re in a hurry. Menu is here: http://goldensafari.net/