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A Taste of Africa

It's hardly highbrow, but the Cameroonian cuisine served by A Taste of Africa is to die for -- indeed, the hot sauce could kill a habañerophile. The restaurant itself is located at 3031 Adeline, but the best way to experience this food is from its truck at the Ashby Flea Market on weekend afternoons, with the sun beating down on your head. You sit at a scrappy outdoor table or on the curb of the Ashby BART parking lot, and the market's sounds and sights make the food seem all the more authentic. You've got live African drumming, the wafting aroma of scented oils and incense, and the vibrant colors of African clothes dangling from vendors' racks. There's also prime people-watching to accompany the food -- and oh, the food. Ndole, their specialty, is finely ground peanuts, spinach, garlic, ginger, and tomatoes sautéed in olive oil and served over seasoned jollof rice ($8). It comes with ewole, fresh spinach sautéed with tomatoes, garlic, and ginger. Also tasty is koki corn, which includes corn, bell peppers, green onions, spinach, tomatoes, ginger, and cornmeal, and comes with ndole and jellof rice ($9). Sule, plantains fried in olive oil or ewole à la carte (both $4) make nice side dishes. And be sure to ask for hot sauce, but test it first -- it's fiery. Never has pain been so tasty.

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