by Luke Tsai
The popular San Francisco-based Senegalese restaurant Bissap Baobab is opening a new location in downtown Oakland, at 381 15th Street, giving the East Bay a much-needed new option for West African cuisine. During its soft opening period, which will kick off this Sunday, the restaurant will only be open for lunch, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday.
Proprietor Marco Senghor told What the Fork that to start out, he’s focused on creating a number of “express” options — African wraps and savory crepes available as quick takeout options — to cater to the downtown lunch crowd. It’s a notable approach, as African restaurants tend to be associated with long leisurely meals — which diners can still experience at Bissap Baobab if they order traditional Senegalese entrées like mafe (a peanut curry stew) and yassa (grilled chicken with mustard sauce).