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Peri-Peri and Pepadew

The Kalahari Cafe


 FoodFoodFoodThere are precious few African restaurants in San Diego. Just a handful of Ethiopian restaurants serve the cuisine of the continent, but now there's a new Gaslamp diner, Kalahari Cafe with the food of South Africa. Owner Megan Sussman admits that most customers don't have a clue about what she serves, and she gets a lot of jokes asking for Giraffe steaks and Rhinoceros burgers.

 But trying the spicy, fragrant Kalahri cuisine, there is actually a lot of familiar food, but with a twist. The Seared Ahi Salad is one of the ten dollar lunch specials, with a nice spice kick. I tried another special, the Mahi Mahi sandwich, with blackened fish and a spicy tartar sauce and it is first rate

But if you want the true taste of the Kalahari, you need to check out the dinners. Mrs. Eater had the Kalahari Kebab, with lamb marinated in a creamy curry sauce served over Peppadew rice, which is a sweet chili with a mild heat level and an excellent flavor. We ate out with Mark Burgess, who runs sandiego.com on our unknown visit, and he had the Peri-Peri Shrimp. The dish was incredible, with a moderate heat level, and the flavor that the East African spice adds is amazingly good. The only drawback was that the dish was twenty-five bucks, and only had about ten medium shrimp....Mark left lunch hungry that day. Our service was a bit on the slow side as well, but I'd still have to rate Kalahari a tentative approval, with it's excellent flavors and unusual, creative cuisine.

Details »
  • City: San Diego
  • Phone: 619-234-5555
  • Name: Kalahari Cafe
  • Address: 729 4th Ave.