1775 Fulton St
San Francisco, CA 94117
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jannah

Neighborhoods: NoPa
Cuisine: Middle Eastern, Healthy, Salads

Offer Available!
grubalicioussf photo

grubalicioussf

 San Francisco, CA
 

Chef Yahya Salih brings Middle Eastern fare to Fulton Street

Note: Closer to two and a half stars right now, but I’m sure it will earn a full three stars once a few details are addressed. They didn’t serve a couple items that were supposed to come with our dishes e.g., lavash bread and bulgar. Servers needs to be better versed on the menu. I bet things will run more smoothly soon.
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Jannah, a word that means “paradise” in Arabic, also is a new Middle Eastern-California eatery on Fulton near Masonic, the latest project from Iraqi-born chef/owner Yahya Salih (Yaya Cuisine).

My dad and I decided to have lunch there a couple of weeks ago, the day after they opened. The interior is simple, with walls of white clouds against blue sky contrasted against wooden chairs with green seats and matching tables.

We ordered a number of dishes to be shared, but chef Salih personally came to our table and explained that we ordered way too much food. So, we cancelled the chicken tikka marinated with thyme, with rice and vermicelli on the side. It’s a good thing we did, as the portions were large, and we barely finished our food.

The lunch entrees, affordably priced at $9, consist of a variety of Jannah specialties, phyllo dough dishes and tikka kebabs. Salads and appetizers are $3. There are a couple of $6 pizzas on the menu as well, including Safeehat Falafel with a garbanzo crust, pesto, eggplant, roasted bell pepper, green and red onions, shiitake mushrooms, tomatoes, feta and goat cheese. Dinner prices are a couple dollars higher.

Not everything on the menu was available yet, but what we did sample was enjoyable. Service was friendly but had some kinks – nothing that better familiarity with the menu items and ingredients couldn’t fix.

Jannah enriches the neighborhood’s dining landscape, and there are multiple reasons why I would return for another meal:

-Tasty Middle Eastern fare. It’s a cuisine that I don’t frequently prepare at home, so it’s always a welcomed treat.

-Casual and comfortable setting. The dining room offers ample elbow room between tables, and isn’t overcrowded like so many restaurants are nowadays. It’s a place I would take the kids for a quick, easy meal or for an informal gathering with food shared family style.

-Affordable. They give you large portions for the price, and lunch is a particularly good deal.

-Affable owners. Yahya Salih and his wife are a lovely couple, so it will be a pleasure to return and chat with them again.

Jannah

We started with the Jannah, a pleasantly sweet mix of marinated cucumber, eggplant, green onion, and roasted bell pepper with a pomegranate molasses.

Dolmas

Next, we had the Dolmas, a surprisingly large plate of 8 big pieces of yellow squash, onion, eggplant, and swiss chard stuffed with diced lamb, rice, tomato, clove and ginger. It was served in an appropriately tart tamarind sauce. The sweetness of the squash and onion in particular balanced the acidity of the sauce nicely.

Maskoof

More like two and half stars, actually. The Maskoof, or lightly smoked trout marinated in allspice, curry, tomato paste and sundried lime, was pleasant but a tad dry. It came with rice and a heaping portion of steamed broccoli, cauliflower, squash and carrots, the latter which didn’t do anything to enhance the dish, other than add color. Bulgar is available in lieu of rice.

Lamb tikka

In the Lamb Tikka, there were five hearty chunks of meat marinated in mint plated with a mound of rice and again, an abundance of steamed veggies. All tikka kebabs come with a choice of three side dishes: hummus with assorted veggies and lavash bread; rice and vermicelli with fresh vegetables and eggplant ratatouille; and Middle Eastern salad and fresh vegetables. We had the platter of hummus, tabouleh, onions with sumac, pickles, tomatoes, salata, and pickled cauliflower. It normally comes with lavash bread which we didn’t get a chance to sample that day, but the other items were good, especially the creamy hummus. Honestly, we wish they had given us a little more of these interesting, flavorful little sides to accompany our entrees rather than those plain steamed vegetables.

House made teas

I was tempted to have a glass of Salmon Creek Wine since it was such a great deal at $3 a glass, but I decided to try the house made raisin tea with mint. Dad ordered the sweet house made Arabic tea, although we ended up trading because he found the Arabic tea too sweet. We both liked the raisin tea which I asked chef Salih how to make. In a very simple process, he steeps black raisins and fresh mint in the refrigerator for 10-14 days in water, and then it’s ready to serve.

Tags
Middle Eastern Takeout Delivery
Tips
  • Wine and beer is happy-hour cheap all the time, but there's also a list of interesting homemade juices like raisin with mint and sun-dried lime.
  • Street parking can be tricky; if you go during peak time, it may be worth coordinating your grocery shopping trip at the Lucky across the way so you can use their parking garage.
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jannah  Restaurant Reviews

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jannah is located near the cities of Hayes Valley, Mission District, , Chinatown, and Haight Ashbury.
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