Underrepresented national cuisines in the SFBA

excerpts:

The menu also includes items “that aren’t as common,” Osuna said, to provide diners with a comprehensive sense of the country’s offerings. So while khachapuri [a cheese and butter-filled bread with a runny egg] may be familiar to some, ispanakhis pkhali, a ground spinach and walnut spread, could still be a novel find. Diners may also encounter for the first time ingredients like blue fenugreek, dried marigold flowers and wild mountain herbs, all of which play a special role in Georgian cooking.

For those interested in learning more about Georgian culinary traditions, Berlin recommended Carla Capalbo’s Tasting Georgia: A Food and Wine Journey in the Caucasus and Alice Fiering’s For the Love of Wine .
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À Côté’s Georgian dinner series will run from June 26 through July 7. The restaurant is open 5:30-9:30 p.m., Sunday through Thursday; 5:30-10:30 p.m., Friday through Saturday.

À Côté’s oven-baked Adjaruli khachapuri, a cheese and butter-filled bread with a runny egg. Photo credit: À Côté

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Luke Tsai’s first article for the U.S. edition of the Guardian of London is about Eko Kitchen.

excerpts:

And on Sundays, the main attraction is what Adebajo calls her “rice spectacular”: three different rice dishes on a combo plate, highlighted by a version of Nigerian native rice that’s infused with a deep umami kick reminiscent of a dried-porcini risotto – a flavor the chef attributes to the use of fermented locust beans and unrefined palm oil.

These are staple ingredients in any Nigerian kitchen, and they’re part of what makes it difficult to describe the cuisine, with its bold seasoning and distinctive textures, to someone who doesn’t have the reference points. Sure, you can liken the custardy, leaf-wrapped blackeyed-pea cake known as moin moin to a tamale, or you can say that the pounded yams, made with extra-starchy Nigerian tubers, are like sticky mashed potatoes you pick up with your hands. But ultimately, these kinds of comparisons don’t do justice to the cuisine. Moin moin is moin moin. Pounded yam is pounded yam.

Whatever else you might want to say about Eko Kitchen, the food is wildly delicious. There’s the intense spicy-savory quality of the efo riro, a thick spinach stew that you scoop up with hunks of pounded yam. There’s the smoky, tomatoey tinge of the jollof rice; the in-your-face heat blast of the pepper soup. There’s the ayamase, in which beef skin and tripe are slow-cooked to obscene tenderness in a rich, creamy, palm-oil-based sauce.

Eko Kitchen, San Francisco’s first Nigerian restaurant, serves traditional cuisine such as fiery pepper stews and jollof rice. Photograph: Gabriela Hasbun/The Guardian

Eko Kitchen
167 11th Street
San Francisco, CA, 94103

Contact
410-344-3362
ekokitchensf@gmail.com

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IDK Luke was writing for the Guardian. Good for him.

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Thanks for so many tips!

Chef Elizabeth Binder, who is from Durban, used to do South African popup events. One I attended in 2015 was quite good.

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Oh cool! I hope she does some more soon.

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The khachapuri adrjaruli, a boat-shaped bread with cheese, butter and an egg served in the middle, is stirred up before eating at Bevri restaurant in Palo Alto.Photo: Michael Short / Special to The Chronicle

BEVRI
530 Bryant St, Palo Alto, CA
(650) 384-6500
eat@bevri.com

Monday – Friday
11:30 am – 2 pm
5 pm – 10 pm

Saturday
11 am – 10 pm

Sunday
11 am – 9 pm

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The Bluestone Lane cafe chain in SF and Los Altos is Australian in origin, and has vegemite toast and avocado toast (you know, which media says Australia invented LOL)

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Wow they have 5 locations in SF and I’ve never heard of them - clearly I need to expand the neighborhoods I visit.
Other than vegemite I don’t see anything Australian on the menu? I seem to recall there was an Australian restaurant in the Bay Area a few years ago but can’t think of it now.

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They have flat whites, which is Australian, as well as cold Milo. Sometimes they have Australian-themed baked goods, like Anzac biscuits. They’re based in Melbourne and have been in NYC for several years; most of the US branches are still in New York. The expansion here, at least in the Financial District, has been pretty rapid; one store replaced Counter Culture’s storefront on Bush. My big quibble with them is that they don’t take cash, though I believe SF has now banned these no-cash policies.

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Wow, thanks!

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Interesting, thanks for the intel. The first time I encountered a flat white was in New Zealand and as I understand it the Kiwis and Aussies each lay claim to its origination.

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No worries. Also, they do take cash now.

Stockhome, in Petaluma, a Swedish venture from the owners of Plaj

Riceful specializes in Okinawan onigiri, a heartier version of Japanese rice balls.

from Berkeleyside, fourth paragraph of linked article:

*During the soft opening, prices range from $5.50 for the classic Okinawa Onigiri (with Spam and fried egg) to $9.25 for the Unagi Onigiri (a seasonal item with grilled freshwater eel). All sandwiches — which are the size of a burger and are reminiscent of a fully-loaded musubi — come loaded with Spam and egg, but Chen said, based on customer feedback, they’ll consider new menu items, including vegetarian and even vegan fillings. During the soft opening period, Riceful will open at 11 a.m., but Tang said hours may fluctuate as the couple works out kinks in the operation. He also said based on feedback so far, they may drop prices slightly, although they’ll generally hover around $6-7, as many ingredients are imported from Japan. Expect a grand opening in about a week.

Riceful, 2435 Durant Ave. (near Telegraph),
Berkeley

Authentic or not, Amawele (along with most of the other Rincon Center restaurants) has been renovated out of existence. So scratch that one.

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I think it was “South” at 330 Townsend St.

Closures:

  • Booniepepper Islander Grill (Guam)
  • Bissap Baobab (Senegal)
  • Belga (Belgium)
  • Amawele’s South African Kitchen
  • Sweet Fingers (Jamaica)
  • Smoke’s Poutinerie (Canada)
  • Scotch Bonnet Food Truck (Jamaica)
  • Kaya (jamaica)
  • Jayakarta (Indonesia)

Soon to be closing:

  • Borobudur (Indonesia)
  • Specialty Foods (Caribbean & African groceries)

Additions

Aw, too bad about Borobudur. I went there a few months ago and the food was pretty good.

They were by far better of the two Indonesian closures!

The large number or closures my script picked up led me to do some manual yelp searches for new and missed places:

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I checked the website because I thought I saw somewhere that BB was remaining open. The website says they have moved next door to their Little Baobob, 3388 19th St./SF

Anybody have in-person confirmation that BB is still alive?

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