Had dinner with my friend Enric at Radio Africa Kitchen last week, a roving restaurant that pops up these days at Coffee Bar in the Mission, on Friday nights. I love nomadic restaurants! Maybe it's cause I love the Limited Edition concept-- there is something exciting in it. Remember when my friend Momo would host Bonjin Diner in a little record shop in Greenpoint? They are always so fun and really brings a community together.
Chef Eskender Aseged started Radio Africa Kitchen in his own home six years ago. Since then, he hosted dinners at Velo Rouge Cafe in the Inner Richmond, and now sets up shop weekly in Coffee Bar. He was born in Ethiopia, and his cooking is inspired from the flavors of his youth, as well as the Mediterranean.
We walked in a there were turn tables set up, with speakers blaring afrobeat. The space is very industrial, lots of cement, so the music added warmth and character.
The day's menu. You can get the tasting menu for $40, or just order a la carte. Either way, it was very reasonably priced.
Prawns and white bean tagine with preserved lemon and red chard.
The lemons gave this a slightly sour sparkle, and the chard balanced it out with the bitterness. I liked that it was a bit soupy.
Mushroom wot costini with fava beans and Manchego cheese.
This was AWESOME. The mushrooms were slow cooked and the flavors, earthy. The bread turned soggy from the heat, but we loved it this way! I love the color contrast between the green of the beans and the browned mushrooms.
Sauteed rainbow trout with pistachio crust and wild rice.
That tomato confit on top there really rocked. The fish was cooked perfectly--loved that crisp from the skin.
Roasted leg of lamb with roasted summer squash, ratatouille and Israeli couscous.
LOOK AT THIS LAMB! Superbly cooked. I need to see BRIGHT PINK from my red meats, and this dish was pretty perfect all around.
Chocolate decadence with berries and hibiscus essence.
This was basically a cold dark chocolate flourless... slice of heaven. Butter. All butter. BUTTER!!! Fucking decadent for sure.
Dinner was excellent. We didn't really know what to expect, and all the dishes were really well done-- all friendly flavors (not too spicy, not too salty). That mushroom crostini is worth going back for, for sure. They have a selection of beers and wines by the glass, and bottles, so it's not just coffee!
I am not very well-versed in African/ Ethiopian cuisine, but hope to explore more in the Bay Area-- I hear there are some awesome spots here!
RADIO AFRICA KITCHEN
at Coffee Bar, every Friday 6-10pm
1890 Bryant Street
Between 17th & Mariposa Streets
San Francisco, CA
For reservations, call 415.420.2486 or email firstname.lastname@example.org