Jannah / Yaya Cuisine

4.7
151 reviews
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$30 and under
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Iraqi
Come experience what Herb Caen called "Baghdad By The Bay" with legendary San Francisco Chef Yahya Salih. He blends traditional Mesopotamian dishes with California/Mediterranean influences. Combining his life-changing experience with California cooking pioneer Jeremiah Tower and the traditional dishes of his native Iraq, Salih has carved a niche for himself as one of the premiere chefs in the San Francisco Bay Area, with the only restaurant in the city that replicates Mesopotamian cuisine. Formerly Yaya Cuisine, Jannah provides a modern and fresh atmosphere in which to experience a 3000 year old culture and enjoy wine from California, Argentina, Lebanon, Turkey and more. Jannah is the perfect place for memorable events like birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, engagements, graduation, family gatherings and corporate events!
What 151 People Are Saying
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Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.6
food
4.6
service
4.3
ambience
4.6
value
Noise · Quiet
100% of people would recommend it to a friend
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NK
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 7, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wow! I highly recommend the Meza platter of 3 different ganoushes plus tabouleh-a meal in itself. Every dish is full of flavor and beautifully prepared. Save room for dessert-baklava is the best around. Great wine menu and attentive and personable service.

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B
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on June 2, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Delicious food. More tasty sounding dishes than I could eat, so I'll definitely be going back to try some more of them. Very nice ambiance as well. We sat at the booth on the back wall, and it was very comfortable.

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LS
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 30, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This restaurant seems to be a big secret and it really shouldn’t be! It’s spacious so you don’t feel cramped and it’s easy to have a conversation with your dining companions. The food is DELICIOUS! If you enjoy middle eastern food, Jannah has a fantastic and interesting menu. The dipping sauces (mama ghanoush, baba ghanoush, papa ghanoush, hummus etc...)are all interesting and tasty. All 4 at my table had kabobs (lamb, salmon, chicken) and we all enjoyed our dishes. The restaurant is family owned and run and the service is terrific! I highly recommend checking it out. I believe they also do parties..

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Great change of pace from traditional mediterranean food, but also had some classics on the menu as well. Great food, the staff was very attentive and helpful, and I honestly I thought the prices were low in comparison to the rest of the city. Not to mention there’s also free parking across the street, which seals the deal for coming back again. Great overall experience

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OT
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on April 14, 2019
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 5

Lovely service. Interesting food, especially the Mamaganoush.

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US
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on April 9, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The closest place to the University of San Francisco, where I work, where we can be treated and fed just like a dear family member would. It is not just delicious food, it is personal customer care too what keeps bringing us back tao Jannah.

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OT
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on April 6, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Deliciosa la comida! El carnero suave y la berenjena la mejor!!!!!

The food delicious!!! The lady was very nice and kind. The babaganoush was the best!

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G
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on March 9, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

And really nice place for dinner and quiet conversation with friends. The food is very well prepared and a tasty intersection of Middle eastern and and South Asian flavors IMHO...we will be back.

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NY
San Francisco
48 reviews
Dined on February 28, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always the food was good with excellent service. I introduced another one of my friends to Jannah and she said will bring her friends there as well.

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m
Hawaii
8 reviews
Dined on February 15, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great food as always! Service was excellent. Truly a hidden gem in SF!

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J
San Francisco
119 reviews
Dined on February 6, 2019
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 4

Family-run neighbored spot serving authentic and very tasty Iraqi cuisine. Nicely presented and a good value.

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y
San Francisco
66 reviews
Dined on January 26, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

We are regulars. I continue to love this place. The food is creative and outstanding. My go-to is the kebab on fatoosh salad. The lamb dolmas are wonderful (as are the vegetarian ones). I'm always tempted by the biriani and phyllo dishes. Plentiful portions of tasty and satisfying food and friendly service!

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NY
San Francisco
49 reviews
Dined on January 24, 2019
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wafa and her husband YaYa who own Jannah serve authentic dishes. They are tasty and plentiful. It's a great place to have dinner parties as well as just have lunch or dinner with a friend. I recommend Jannah. You will be pleased.

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s
San Francisco
23 reviews
Dined on January 3, 2019
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 4

We've eaten here several other times, but this night seemed a bit off -- pita was stale for instance.

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M
London
7 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Great friendly service in a cozy casual atmosphere with flavorful generous portions.
Location: with easy parking in the garage near by, right north of the Panhandle.
Atmosphere: casual, with bar seating options, a small alcove with traditional Bedouin seatings as tables for 2-6 people. Lounge music isn’t too long.
Service: although usually quite packed and seemingly short on staff this place runs smoothly without much wait.
Food: “simple” deceiving menu leads to great find, great flavours. I am a great fan if their version of the babaganoush, i.e. mamagaboush. Vegetarian options even though much less are really great.

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R
San Francisco
29 reviews
Dined on December 23, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Jannah/Yaya was a new experience for us. Food and service were excellent. Our party of four tried a wide variety of starters and main courses, and everyone was enjoyed by all. We were first in just before 6pm, but it quickly filled up by 6:20pm so it is well-known and popular.

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SI
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 5

We had a great time! The food was delicious, the night was relaxed, and our group of 6 had enough room that we didn't feel squished. The place had a low noise level, and we had great conversations without having to yell or stain to hear each other. Wonderful!

We really enjoyed ordering a lot of different things and sharing them family style. Totally recommend this. Start with the combo of 3 dips platter, add a salad, another appetizer or two, and a main or two. Yum!

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SF
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on December 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Excellent, inventive food at a great price. Large portions; six of us all brought food home.

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J
San Francisco
31 reviews
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We always go there when we attend a concert up the hill at St. Ignatius Church. The Iraqi food is really outstanding, with recipes that are clearly "family" recipes, and not just "the usual" middle Eastern ones. Prices are very reasonable, and the service is friendly and efficient. A real gem !

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SP
San Francisco
3 reviews
Dined on November 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great spot to celebrate special occasions.
The food is delicious, and the plates are packed with color. The portions are generous; great staff!

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NY
San Francisco
49 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

As always the food was scrumptious, the atmosphere cozy, Wafa the owner a delight, YaYa her husband and owner an excellent Chef. A must restaurant to go to.

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FL
San Francisco
11 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 3

An excellent family-run ethnic (Iraqi!) restaurant with tasty original food (especially the homemade Iraqi desserts), friendly homey reception, a comfortable environment and plenty of birthday enthusiasm. We were helped through the unfamiliar portions of the menu and felt like genuine guests with welcoming hosts. We will be back!

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NL
Central Coast
5 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

We absolutely loved it! There were 5 groups celebrating a birthday! Great spot for celebration!

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s
San Francisco
14 reviews
Dined on November 3, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

I didn't like the sweet sauce that went with the lamb. My wife liked her dish.

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NK
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on October 30, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wow, this is my absolutely favorite restaurant in the city. Food is delicious, generous portions, gorgeous spices and the staff is attentive, friendly and welcoming. A great model for any one wanting to open a restaurant!

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S
San Francisco
29 reviews
Dined on October 26, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I've been to Jannah many times. This time my friends joined me for their first dinner at Jannah. Everyone thought it was exceptional. We had Mama Ganoush, Fatoosh Salata, Grilled Eggplant, Kuzi, and Lamb Shank. Everything was delicious!

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RA
1 review
Dined on October 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great middle eastern - specifically Yemini - food. Many dishes we only see there - including various phyllo dough specialties. Great dips - so it's a good place for groups like us who had some vegetarians and some meat eaters.

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OT
San Francisco
1 review
Dined on September 21, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Falafel pizza is a must! Generous portion sizes. Lamb bamia is fantastic

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CR
San Francisco
4 reviews
Dined on September 21, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Mediocre food overall. Best things we had were the hummus ( original) and lamb/chicken kabobs. The beef biryani in Phyllo dough had SO much ginger it was inedible. The eggplant appetizer sauce was overly sweet and did not pair with the eggplant well. Rice, salad and vegetables were not noteworthy, just plain. The baklava itself was good but did not need a sauce at all. The saffron in the sauce was distracting and did not go with the rice pudding or baklava. Would not go back.

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NY
San Francisco
49 reviews
Dined on September 16, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Jannah is among my favorite restaurants. This time I ordered the Kuzi. It's a very tasty dish. I also like their deserts because they are not overly sweet.

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j
1 review
Dined on September 15, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

Outstanding middle eastern food. Iraqi to be precise, but very much reminded me of Moroccan.

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DF
1 review
Dined on September 14, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Iraqi food! Who knew? This place has interesting and delicious food that you cannot find just anywhere. I consider myself a serious foodie and would definitely return.

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OT
San Francisco
76 reviews
Dined on September 8, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 3ambience 4

We had muhamara, Urook pizza, and grape leaves as appetizers. Next time we'll leave off the grape leaves, as the first two dishes were plenty. Four of us split an order of kuzi and an order of perdaplow, which were delicious but more similar than we expected. Lots of food, with some left over for take home. Service was spotty; our beers were empty too often and too long. Otherwise a very pleasant evening.

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CM
San Francisco
8 reviews
Dined on September 5, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

This is a very good family run restaurant featuring Middle Eastern cuisine. They have been in various locations for many years (due to the unfortunate San Francisco landlord problems) and we were very sad when they had to close their location on 9th Avenue , when it was YaYa's. If only we had known that they still existed, now under the name Jannah (their daughter).

The food is very good and plentiful; and we could actually have a nice conversation without having to yell above noise (as is the problem at many other restaurants). We will go back, for sure!

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E
San Francisco
20 reviews
Dined on September 2, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

Nice representation of an unusual cuisine we don’t have much access to. Nice homey touch and feel, a few good wines, and a good location.

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SF
San Francisco
5 reviews
Dined on August 31, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Large portions, some dishes excellent (eg eggplant, lamb shank) but some were average, so overall uneven.

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SC
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Everything was delicious - except maybe the dried lime juice. Tasted like stale iced tea. Get the pomegranate juice instead

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H
London
113 reviews
Dined on August 18, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 5ambience 2

Delicious appetizers, but underseasoned mains (lamb shank, while tender, was woefully underseasoned, as was the sauce it came with).

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M
Grand Rapids
55 reviews
Dined on August 9, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 2ambience 2

Let me start with the positives. The heaven salad (Jannah means heaven) had really tasty eggplant and the molasses pomegranate dressing was incredibly flavorful. There was, however, way too much of it. The lamb shank itself was likewise fantastic, but paired with somewhat lackluster basmati rice and giant pieces of steamed, unspiced vegetables, so nothing outside the lamb shank itself about this dish was really appealing. The service is not very attentive, even though it was a quiet weeknight. Overall there is a little bit of Iraqi centered cuisine, but the dishes are unimpressive as wholes, and I just don't think this is among the better experiences for food from this region.

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BC
San Francisco
2 reviews
Dined on August 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 3

We were stunned by the unique snd delicious flavors of this Middle Eastern/ Mediterranean Cuisine & Unique Wine list.

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