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Radio Africa & Kitchen (San Francisco)

No trend has been more popular in the San Francisco food scene in the last couple of years that than the pop-up where culinary school graduates as well as amateurs test out their recipes and restaurant concepts in borrowed locations and usually only for limited amounts of time. Now more and more of them are moving on to setting up their own full time brick and mortar restaurants.

Where as in a a pop-up it’s common to serve only until all your supplies run out  and to not always have a full menu such rules don’t apply for a regular restaurant and there is a higher level of consistency and service expected.

While Chef Eskender Aseged may have just transitioned from having a pop-up to a restaurant he clearly has learned much in his 20 years in the industry and it shows in the food and service at his new restaurant. The menu may be small but every dish felt thought out and well prepared.

Now located in a new condo building right by a T-line station in the Bayview and with easy parking on the street the restaurant is modern but not trendy and they focus on a small menu that will change weekly. Bayview may not be the go to neighborhood for many diners but it has a small but always increasing food scene with most restaurants being at very reasonable price points.

We had no problem walking in and getting a table but as the word gets out I hope this places fills up with people that enjoy good food. There was a nice mix of people ranging in age from little kids to distinguished looking silver hair ladies and gentlemen and a mix of Latino, African Americans and Caucasians.

Every week the menu consists of 4 smaller dishes and 3 larger ones. They don’t have a beer or wine license yet but are fine with people bringing in their own.

We got two smaller dishes and two entrees.
We started with a Shitake and crimini mushroom wot crostini with English peas, Manchego cheese and basil ($9) . The bread through out our meal was really good and they didn’t skimp on the mushrooms.
The second starter was Albacore tuna kitfo with chives, mitmita, creme fraiche and jicama ($10), which was pretty much a tartare with Ethiopian seasoning. It was served with some of the best jicama I’ve had in SF. This was a very good solid and delicious dish. Kitfo is usally made with raw beef which some folks balk at so this is a good way to try the seasoning of kitfo, the mitmita in a more accessible preparation.

The entrees were both very good. The French Spouse has the vegetarian option, a Jerusalem artichoke “souffle”, with Ethiopian spiced lentils and butternut squash (15) Each element was good on it’s own but together they really worked great together.
I had the lamb (18) which was so tender and flavourful and the seasoning gave just the right amount of heat and really brought out the flavour of the lamb. It was served with couscous and zucchini.

The portions for all the dishes were large and you could be quite satisfied with just ordering two larger entrees. We were too full to try the sole dessert option.

Another I liked is they are using Square to do their credit card transactions. It’s saves money for the restaurant, the consumer and you immediately get an emailed receipt.

I look forward to coming back regularly and trying all the different menus.

Radio Africa & Kitchen
restaurant at 4800 Third Street

First Hate mail

Hi there to IP: 69.249.77.100, c-69-249-77-100.hsd1.pa.comcast.net
I would put your name but I don’t have the bad manners you do. Just an FYI I now have all the info I need to know everything about you, your name and address. I hope you are enjoying that cold weather.

Anyone who thinks a women deserves to be murdered is a sick sick person so I hope you seek medical help or remove yourself from this world.

Trial Date set and my need to cook returns

Pretty much since May when my communication broke down completely with both the victim’s advocate and the prosecutor for my sister’s murder trial, with the prosecutor telling me she didn’t have “any legal responsibility to share any information about the trial with me” and leaving a highly unprofessional voice message to me, I’ve been in a holding pattern. Scared and disgusted by the behavior of the prosecutor and her underlings and yes still determined to be there to represent my sister and all that she lost when she was murdered in cold blood.

Finally in August through checking the court website, I’ve got a date that the murder trial will start but being like most sane average people having no experience with the court system let alone a murder trial, I have no idea how the process works.

I get the feeling for the prosecutor who has never left the state she grew up in and ended up getting her law degree at a local fundamentalist ultra conservative school that has barely managed to hold on to it’s accreditation that is just another job for her. It’s clear she relishes punishing people and gets off on having power over someone’s freedom but I get the feeling that the victims don’t even matter to her. She is like chefs that are so in love with culinary technique that they don’t even think about whether anyone will enjoy eating their food and often don’t even think about the diners at all. Sometimes those chefs are brilliant and people flock to their restaurants inspite of their behavior and sometimes they are brilliant flops able to convince some investors but always blaming outside forces for their lack of success. I am hoping with every ounce of my being that the prosecutor will the former and not the latter. I can stand any personal injustice from this loathsome person if she is indeed about to convict on what is practically an open and shut case.

Eric Ripert and a Blender

Posted on

I am sure I am not the only one who could watch this video on repeat. Eric Ripert is one silver haired fox who seems to be a nice a person as he is a chef. His food and his manners have always delighted me.

A story of Fennel

two simple salads with big taste

After having a meat marathon on a recent trip to NYC and the memories of overcooked fatty meat of Virginia I had been needing some meat detox. Add to that the 75 degree weather we have been having and salad was the answer.

Growing up I hated black licorice with a passion. Which was a sad thing as sweets except for ice cream (allowed since my mother was convinced our bones would break from a lack of calcium, were pretty absent in our house). Some how only the worst candies were in our house. Hard candies that seemed if they were made stale and lacking in flavour or odd textured soft candy with flavours like anise or licorice.

So with my hate for licorice I avoided fennel for most of my adult life until I went to a restaurant on Capital Hill in Seattle three years ago. There I had a salad that changed my mind about fennel forever. I had a radish and fennel salad with geoduck. The geoduck was a throwaway ingredient but the crispness of the salad and the flavour of the fennel was so satisfying.

My version is probably simpler than the one I had but I like it. I often add other ingredients based on what’s in my crisper or what fruit is ripe.

Fennel and Radish Citrus Salad

1 large fennel bulb, trimmed
1 bunch of pink radishes
1 bunch of red radishes
2 oranges
1 lemon
optional herbs, mint or basil

With a mandolin or food processor, thinly slice the fennel and the radishes, it’s fine if the slices aren’t perfect but you do want them thin and then mix the slices together. Break the oranges into segments and then cut the segments in half. Juice or ream the juice of the lemon and pour it over the radishes and the fennel and add the oranges. the citrus from the oranges and the lemon are a bright contrast to the licorice flavour of the fennel and the soft texture of the orange is a nice contrast to the crispness of the radishes and the fennel. You can add fresh mint or basil to add another element of flavour.

This salad is crispest in the first couple of hours but can last for a week.