Isla Vida Afro-Caribbean Grill Opens in the Fillmore


Jay Foster doing his magic at Isla Vida. Photo: Melissa de Mata.


Get ready to tuck into quite the Afro-Caribbean spread at Isla Vida. Photo: Melissa de Mata.

Congrats to Jay Foster, Matthew Washington, and Erin Traylor for getting ~ISLA VIDA AFRO-CARIBBEAN GRILL~ open in the Fillmore District—they just did a trial run over the weekend! Boom.

Isla Vida will be open again this Wednesday, serving up wood-fired meats like jerk rotisserie chicken, tostones, Cubanos, and made-to-order churros. Chef Jay Foster says, “”With Isla Vida, we explore the next chapter of soul food, through the African diaspora in the Caribbean. We even custom-made a wood-fire grill for the kitchen. Cooking on an open fire lets us prepare the food the way our ancestors did.”

To recap, this black-owned business took over the former Black Bark BBQ space, and they’re interested in hiring people from the Fillmore neighborhood (as they say in a press fact sheet: “Training and mentoring is an integral part to the Isla Vida mission and vision of bringing Black-owned businesses back to the Fillmore neighborhood.”).

They are offering a fast-casual experience, and intend to run their own delivery service. Hours will be Wed-Sun 11am-8pm, with plans to open at 10am on the weekends for brunch soon (there’s outdoor seating too!). Welcome to the neighborhood! 1325 Fillmore St. at Ellis.