Best Colombian food in the Bay Area?
Have you had any luck in discovering Colombian food yet?? Any updates on this topic? I am looking for Colombian food for a surprise party, but I would also be interested in finding grocery goods- Mi Pueblo really has slim pickings, and the only place I have been able to find panela online are ridiculously expensive....
Unfortunately, Colombian cuisine has not found much traction here in the Bay Area, unlike the East Coast. The few attempts over the years that I have known have either closed or added Mexican/Central American items to their menu. All are "costeño" restaurants, offering what I consider to be the less complex cooking of the Caribbean and Pacific coastal regions -- fried foods ("fritanga"), yuca, arepa, rice and beans.
That's not to say these dishes can't be found elsewhere in Colombia, but the cuisine of Andean highlands (the stews like “ajiaco” and “mute santandereano”, and the lamb dishes), the uber-haggis "lechona tolimense" -- a deboned suckling pig stuffed with rice, peas and other goodies, then slowly roasted over coals, the regional tamales from Antioquia, Valle del Cauca, Bogota and Tolima, the many varieties of potatoes and tubers with their associated dishes, and the barbecue culture ("piquete") of the Llanos provinces, none of these are well known here.
Having said all that, some Latin markets (Mi Pueblo, for example) sell packaged products like pan de yuca, almojabanas, dried "guasca" leaves, and frozen chorizos. It's slim pickings, though.
Except that the chef at Mr. Pollo is Venezuelan.
There's a Colombian restaurant on Valencia between 22nd and 23rd. I've only had their Salvadorean dishes; decent pupusas. El Majahual.
2823 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110
El Majahual Restaurant
1142 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110