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Jul
11
Isla Vida Afro-Caribbean Restaurant - Black Owned

By Phyllis Bowie

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Guava Wood Fired Ribs

In San Francisco as the population of African Americans is at a low 3% and steady decreasing. So when a Black owned restaurant opens in the historically Black community in the Fillmore, I celebrate, promote and support them with enthusiasm. Isla Vida is one of those rare restaurants. Specializing in the broad spectrum of African Diaspora through Afro-Caribbean eats. By far the Guava Ribs are my favorite. GUAVA RIBS VIDEO

Isla Vida Exterior Video This may sound strange but they had me at the Water Carafes filled with a Fresh Pineapple Spear and a Orange Slice! As soon as I walked in I felt like dancing the Mambo. The service was friendly and warm. I ordered the Guava Spare Ribs which were meaty, tender and seasoned with Cuban inspired spices. Video Grand Opening Meal I also ordered the Avocado Mango Salad with Sliced Ribeye. Ribeye Video The salad was on a bed of Black Beans and the generous amount of sliced Ribeye was seasoned to perfection topped with fried Plantain Chips. When in San Francisco I highly recommend Isla Vida a bit of Afro-Caribbean in the Hood in the 'Mo. Living with Phyllis supports Black Owned Businesses especially in gentrified Urban areas, like the Fillmore in San Francisco.

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Mango French Toast

BBQ Guava Baby Back Ribs - Yes, these wood fired Ribs are available during Brunch at Isla Vida Afro-Caribbean Grill. Last Saturday I ordered the Guava Ribs with a side of Congri and the Hibiscus Iced Tea Cocktail. Video of Brunch When I interviewed Chef Jay he told me he had so much fun creating the Guava BBQ sauce. And it shows. The sweet peppery savory sauce compliments the tender wood-fire charred ribs. The coconut Pancakes were light and fluffy with a special warm coconut syrup, absolutely delish!

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Coconut Pancakes

They are always adding new innovative items to their menu. The other day I dropped by to get my usual and becuase they had a big catering gig there was no Jerk Chicken. Was I disappointed? Yes, but I want their restaurant to be successful and keep the doors open, so catering is a good thing. Alexis made me feel much better when she suggested her personal favorite Jerk Red Snapper. Video Jerk Fish Plated OMG ! When I say this is now my favorite, I mean it. The snapper was light flakey and juicy. The Jerk seasoning was just right so it complimented the taste of the fresh fish. It was topped with a grilled pineapple fresh salsa that took this dish to another level. All the sauces are created and made in house by Chef Jay. Video Plantain Chips There were 2 sauces one was a haberno vingerette and the other was called Ahi - a spicy cilentro and jalepeno sauce that complimented the fish to perfection! Video of Alexis Jerk Red Snapper. They also now serve a complimentary Amuse- Bouche of plantain chips with another great herb and pepper based green sauce! Jerk Red Snapper Video

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Jerk Red Snapper

It's the little things that I enjoy. Like the freshly cut tropical fruit that came with my meal and the fresh pineapple infused water. The bright smile and warm welcome from Hostess Alexis keeps me coming back. I love celebrating a Black Owned Restaurant in the Fillmore! Isla Vida an Afro-Caribbean Grill is gaining a great reputation on good friendly service and great fresh innovative food. So Saturday morning after picking up your produce for the week at the Fillmore Farmer's Market with the tote drop by Afro-Caribbean Grill Isla Vida for Guava Ribs or Coconut Pancakes or those delish Hash Browns.

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Isla Vida Tote

You may see me doing the same, so definitely say "hi"! Thank you, Chef Jay Foster and Matthew, for allowing me and my camera in your kitchen. Full review and interview coming soon to The Living With Phyllis Urban Food Show. A special shout out to Alexis for the innovative Hibiscus cocktail! Yes, y'all they now have beer and wine, and enjoy the new Happy Hours 3-6.

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Isla Vida - Chef Jay and team



@islavidasf
Isla Vida
1325 Fillmore Street
San Francisco Open Tuesday - Sun
11am - 8pm
Weekend Brunch a must
.
. *****A Living with Phyllis Critic's Pick*****
Food: ** Very Good
Service: *** Excellent
Cost: $$ Moderate


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