West African food is a rarity in the East Bay. That alone makes five-month-old Kendejah, located in downtown San Leandro’s Pelton Plaza, a must-visit for offering the only taste of Liberia in the Bay Area. On any given day, you’ll have five or six entrées to choose from. Jollof rice, oxtail stew, and attieke are always available. Additional specials are attached to specific days. Many of the dishes feature beef, smoked turkey, and chicken, coated with a sauce of stewed vegetables. Spooned over rice, it’s soul-warming, homey comfort food. Liberia’s first eight presidents were all freed slaves born in the United States, so its cuisine is a unique mix of West African and American flavors.

— Janelle Bitker


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