Isla Vida’s Wood Fire Rotisserie Grill, One Of A Kind In San Francisco
Soul Food With Afro Caribbean Roots
October 15, 2018, San Francisco, CA - Isla Vida, the only Afro Caribbean restaurant in San Francisco with a custom built wood fire rotisserie grill, will open their doors for business on Wednesday, October 17, 2018 at 11am, in the historic Fillmore neighborhood (1325 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115). Isla Vida’s menu is inspired by the islands, people, and lifestyle of the African diaspora. Pulling inspiration from New York, Miami, and Cuba, these places helped the Isla Vida team to re-imagine what soul food in the SF/Bay Area, and more specifically in the Fillmore neighborhood could look and taste like. Expect wood-fired meats like jerk rotisserie chicken, tostones, authentic Cubano sandwiches, made to order churros, plus Caribbean inspired smoothies and cocktails. Isla Vida is Chef Jay Foster’s exploration of soul food, the next chapter in his journey as a chef and restaurateur.
“I opened farmerbrown in the Tenderloin, an area rich in culture that many entrepreneurs avoided. farmerbrown has now been in business for 13 years and we've been dreaming of opening a new place in the historic Fillmore District”, shares Chef Jay Foster. “With Isla Vida we explore the next chapter of soul food, through the African diaspora in the Caribbean. We even custom-made a wood fire grill for the kitchen. Cooking on an open fire let’s us prepare the food the way our ancestors did”.
With no plans to use third party delivery options, Isla Vida aims to provide customers with a high quality service experience, and determine what neighborhoods will be available for deliveries based on the needs of the business. People with ties to the neighborhood are encouraged to inquire about open positions at the restaurant.
“Being born and raised in San Francisco, and more specifically the Fillmore district, this has always been a dream of mine; to employ people in the community that I come from”, shares co-owner Matthew Washington. “Isla Vida is the opportunity for me to do that, and I’m excited to bring island life to the city through food and culture”.
Black-owned businesses used to thrive on Fillmore street. But over the past few years, more and more have closed down. Being a black-owned business and rooted in the community, Isla Vida aims to be a gathering place for locals. They also hope their presence will attract more Black business owners and investors to the neighborhood, preserving the rich heritage and culture of the Fillmore.
For more information about the menu and hours of operation visit www.islavidasf.com
Isla Vida SF
1325 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94115
About Isla Vida:
Isla Vida is a casual Afro-Caribbean grill. The flavors are rooted in the culture and prepared with love and craft. Expect wood-fired meats like jerk rotisserie chicken, tostones, authentic Cubano sandwiches and made to order churros.
About the owners:
The Isla Vida team is comprised of 3 good friends, and co-workers from farmerbrown. Chef Jay Foster, Matthew Washington, and Erin Traylor. Their passion for food and community brought them together to open Isla Vida.
Originally from North Carolina, Jay Foster is the owner of farmerbrown which opened in the Tenderloin (2006), followed by Little Skillet (2008). His knack for soul food and community, have proven to be a key ingredient in the success of his businesses, which continue to thrive after a decade. A farmerbrown satellite restaurant recently opened at SFO.
Matthew Washington is a music producer, (his biggest record produced went platinum Lil Dicky “Save Dat Money”, and features Fetty Wap & Rich Homie Quan), and was a server at farmerbrown for four years. He was born and raised in San Francisco’s Fillmore neighborhood and is still a current resident.
Erin Traylor is originally from Southern California, and the only woman on the team. She has been the operations manager at farmerbrown for the past several years, and will continue in this role at both businesses.