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Walnut Creek Magazine

Add Jaranita to a San Francisco Day Trip Itinerary

Feb 08, 2021 02:27PM ● By Fran Miller


Few outings can restore and revive like a quick trip across the Bay Bridge. A walk along the Marina Green, with its Golden Gate and Bay views, is the perfect antidote to the ‘stay at home’ and ‘shelter in place’ blues. Add a take-out or outdoor dining meal to the itinerary, and the excursion becomes a mini vacation we all crave. Take things a step further by choosing a restaurant with a menu that transports. Newly opened Jaranita, for instance, highlights the authentic flavors of Peru within its Marina District environ where a spacious parklet allows for communally safe dining. Or order take-out, and bring a bit of South America back with you to the East Bay. 

Jaranita is the latest from the award-winning La Mar Cebicheria Peruana culinary team of the Acurio International Restaurant Group that owns and operates more than 50 restaurants  throughout the world. Jaranita is spearheaded by Executive Chef Javier Cussato and General Manager Kenzeo Mpoyi, who together share more than 15 years of combined experience working for the collection of fine restaurants. 

Creative and colorful murals by local artist Bernadine Preetha Saint-Auguste line the restaurant’s walls, but until the time when interior dining resumes, guests can enjoy the outdoor parklet. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings the short block closes to cars and Jaranita’s tables spill out onto the street alongside those from neighboring restaurants, creating a festive atmosphere.

“Though the pandemic has been challenging for the restaurant industry, we’re excited to kick-off a new year by introducing our new Peruvian wood-fired rotisserie concept to San Francisco locals and visitors alike,” said Cussato, who has spent the past seven years honing his craft with the internationally-renowned La Mar. “With Jaranita, we offer an approachable menu with takeout and delivery options as well as open-air dining.” 

Jaranita features traditional, authentic dishes showcasing free-range, pasture-raised chicken rubbed with Peruvian spices, slow-roasted meats cooked over charcoal on the rotisserie, and classic dishes that have put Peruvian cuisine on the world map. The menu also features a variety of organic vegan and vegetarian dishes as well as sandwiches and salads, cebiche, empanadas, and tapas, all served with an array of incredible sauces. This is vibrant food with outstanding flavors that lure. To enjoy a meal here (or at home) is to remind ourselves that joy exists within our current daily reality. 

A menu favorite is the succulent Pollo a la Brasa served with aji Amarillo and huacatay sauces, fries, and house salad (whole chicken, $27.95; half chicken, $17.95; quarter chicken, $13.95). The Cebiche offerings include Cebiche de Pescado: catch of the day fish in classic leche de tigre ($16.95), Mixto: catch of the day, squid, and shrimp in rocoto pepper with leche de tigre ($16.95), and Leche de Tigre: mixed seafood in rocoto pepper leche de tigre and topped with chicharron de calamar and served with choclo corn and fried cancha corn ($9.95). Empanadas ($4 each) include carne, pollo, and vegetarian. 

Fresh salads include the Rotisserie Salad with carrots, beets, cucumber, queso fresco, avocado, and an outstanding Jaranita dressing that should be sold by the bottle ($10.95), and Quinoa Salad with roasted bell peppers, red onions, cucumbers, and roasted corn, tossed with a rocoto pepper, cranberry and sesame vinaigrette ($10.95). Sanguches include the Churrasquito: sliced tri-tip beef marinated in anticuchera sauce and seared over the grill, topped with tomatoes, avocado, melted white cheddar cheese, rocoto pepper aioli, and chimichurri sauce ($11) and a Quinoa Burger served on an Acme bun with lettuce, tomatoes, rotisserie dressing, rocoto pepper-mango chutney and caramelized onions ($9.95).

Piqueos, or small plates, feature Coliflor: whole roasted cauliflower with ocopa sauce and topped with toasted peanuts and queso fresco ($9), and Salchipaps Jarana: sausage, hot dogs, rotisserie chicken bites, fries, aji Amarillo sauce, rocoto pepper cream, and huancaina sauce ($12); 

Also from the grill are Pollada: half heirloom chicken glazed with anticuchera sauce, served alongside roasted potatoes and choclo (corn on the cob) ($18), Picanha (beef culotte): top sirloin grilled with chimichurri, served alongside roasted potatoes and choclo ($21.95), and Churrasco: grilled flat iron served over cannellini bean tacu-tacu and topped with a traditional chorrillana sauce ($25). 

Jaranita Classics include Arroz con Pollo: quarter rotisserie chicken with cilantro aji Amarillo and fried rice ($18), Aji de Gallina: chicken breast stewed in aji Amarillo, pecans, and parmesan cheese ($16), and Seco con Frejoles: braised short ribs in cilantro and aji Amarillo sauce and served over cannellini beans, and rice along with Peruvian corn and topped with criolla salad ($24). A variety of sides are available such as Yuca Frita ($5); Green Rice with chiles and herbs ($5); Tacu Tacu: beans and rice cooked with onion, garlic, and aji Amarillo ($5); and Chimichurri Mashed Potatoes ($5). Postres (or desserts) feature Chocolate Cake with layers of dulce de leche, Tres Leches: sponge cake soaked in a mix of three different types of milk and served with whipped cream and strawberries, and a variety of seasonal fruit sorbet flavors (all $8.95).

The beverage menu will soon feature creatively handcrafted cocktails, but until then, make sure to add to your take-out order a bottle of El Cholito de la Marina, a delicious lime juice, cucumber, and jalapeno concoction to which you can add your own pisco or tequila. Salud!

Jaranita is located in the Marina District at 3340 Steiner Street, San Francisco. Phone: 415.483.6372. Hours: 11:00 am to 11:00 pm, seven days a week. To-go and delivery is available via DoorDash and Caviar.

Photos courtesy of Jaranita



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