Underrepresented national cuisines in the SFBA

Welcome to HO! An epic first post! Do you live here for good now?

I had thought Dish Dash (at least the one in Sunnyvale) was run by Lebanese. Are they actually Saudis?

Oh, We should talk about regional Indian. At some point I was thinking about pulling a @Hyperbowler and do a Regional Indian discussion

But never got around to it. But I must say there is a wealth of regional Indian, especially in the South Bay. So please feel free to start such a discussion! Separately I still need to get around to posting about Annachikadai, the thali on banana leaf place in Mountain View.

1 Like

Well @Yimster reported here that CWD is no longer Fijian:

Nice contribution, but with one quibble: I wonder if making fish and chips with Icelandic haddock makes a restaurant Icelandic.

These are great, thank you! Have you found anything here that you haven’t found in New York?

I will try to check out Fiji sweets soon.

How is the food at Paprika?

How did I miss Armenia? I believe Royal Market is Armenian owned too. Considering our proximity to Fresno, it’s surprising to have so few Armenian restaurants.

I was surprised to find more than six Argentina and Cambodia restaurants, which is why I hadn’t included those in the original post.

HForgive me if I mess up with the interface… new to this!

But yeah, I’ll be living in SF for the next 4-5 months :slight_smile:

That’s right re: Dish-Dash; that said they have dishes that tend to transcend boundaries, like Mansaf. If you want strictly Saudi fare, here’s a feastly event you may want to check out: https://eatfeastly.com/meals/d/191385328/the-real-middle-eastsaudi/?rf=fwebbrowpopu


I’m definitely grabbing for straws here, but they also have Icelandic pancakes and ale I believe. You may have better luck with Icelandic groceries at Nordic House in Berkeley perhaps.

1 Like

Yeah, I’d say Pacific Islander food is much tougher to come by in NYC. I haven’t tried Paprika yet to be honest - just had Hungarian from Cafe Europa which was frankly just ok.

1 Like

Mea culpa! I was going by their main posted menu and didn’t drill far enough down into the specials menus and submenus. I did find gravlax and something indentified as “Swedish Pancakes (Icelandic, of course)” (which was on the same submenu as Joe’s Special and Huevos Rancheros}.

A truly eclectic menu :slight_smile:

[edit to add] There appears to be a sister restaurant in San Ramon, Katy’s Korner, with a similar menu. So now we have two putative Icelandic restaurants.

1 Like

ChiliCali in SF too. They are a popup every sunday evening. Seems to have positive reports. Has anyone been?

Budiman also sometimes sells their food at the nearby Ori Deli.

Chilicali Chef Siska Silitonga occasionally presents a traditional North Sumatra feast called a “lontong.” It consisted of a series of entrees served family style two sauces to spoon over the food. I enjoyed one such banquet at one of her popups. It was a highly informative experience with Chef Siska explaining each dish as brought out and solicited reactions and questions during the meal. I highly recommend it.


Corrected menu link (that one’s a 404 now).

Karelian pies (from Finland if I understand Paolo’s Tweet) @ Kantine SF. Lots of Other Scandanavian dishes.

Karelia = far eastern Finland and the ethnically Finnish areas across the border in Russia.

1 Like

A friend posted pictures of an Abyssinian restaurant in San Diego. The dishes look Ethiopian, and the small Wiki entry says that that injira, that spongy pancake, is a staple. Google returns a closed South Bay place, Abyssinia, and then links to several Ethiopians. ![Abyssinian|700x525]

1 Like

I don’t know why I can’t see the photo. Let’s try again.

In Santa Rosa, My Abbysisinia


It’s very good. I went with a group a few years ago and we tried meat as well as vegetarian. All of us enjoyed it.

1 Like

Is Abyssinian cuisine distinct from Ethiopian, and if so how and why?

Northern Ethiopian Amharic (and I believe Tigrean) speaking people in Ethiopia refer to themselves as “Habesha”, which was historically westernized as Abbysinia to refer to the people and country. Since most Bay Area Ethiopian immigrants, if not US in total, are Habesha I don’t think referring to the food as Asbyssinian would provide anything different.

There are some regional variations in foods and staple goods in Ethiopia, but I don’t believe that’s represented in Bay Area restaurants thought the dish names may vary.

My Abyssinia’s menu looks typical of local ethiopian restaurant, and with the exception of Doro wot, which is eaten mostly at holidays, is typical of what I ate in Addis Ababa and Tigray

1 Like

Café Ohlone is scheduled for an August opening at 2430 Bancroft Way, Berkeley, inside University Press Books.

I’m not sure if Ohlone food falls into the category of “national cuisine” for purposes of this thread but it certainly is “underrepresented.”

photo below: Venison backstrap cooked with bay laurel and yerba buena, blackberries, mushrooms and bitter greens. Photo: Mak-‘amham

excerpt from about middle of article:

Many Ohlone ingredients are used in various ways in different dishes. Acorns are used to make soup (paamu) and flatbread (yuu-pitlaš). Bay laurel (sokoote) flavors roasted meats, sauces and stews. Yerba buena (čawrišim), which belongs to the mint family, is used as an herb to flavor dishes and an ingredient for tea. Medina said the repetition of ingredients has a purpose. “So much of our culture is based on pattern, repetition. This is a way that our culture become cemented and solidified in our identities.”

Café Ohlone
grand opening slated for August
Café Ohlone by Mak-‘amham will be inside University Press Books
2430 Bancroft Way (between Dana and Telegraph), Berkeley

will be open three days a week, most likely 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Thursday through Saturday


Fri-Sun popup in SOMA. Lagos flavors its said.

1 Like