Laylah’s Patties and Jerk (Rolando), San Diego
Jamaican in San Diego! There aren’t many options if you want to get some good Jamaican food her in San Diego so when this restaurant popped up on my radar it was a must see/eat! It’s very vibrant inside as you can see and we were lucky enough to meet little Laylah herself (the owner’s daughter). We felt at home and they made us feel welcome when we perused the menu wondering what we’d get to try.
They had many drinks to choose from so we of course got the ginseng soda, because that makes sense. It was a hot day so a cold beverage was in order. But we didn’t finish it until the last bite of our meal. Would we get it again? Probably not. But it was interesting to try something that had pieces of ginseng root at the bottom of the bottle. A little sweet, a little weird, and not the best thirst quencher.
Fries are high on the list of priorities food-wise so we had to try to jerk fries. It was topped with some sort of sweet/spicy sauce. I had no issues with the sauce. Actually it was a welcome change to the normal fries with ketchup on top. But the fries themselves lacked a little punch. They were a little overcooked and fell short unfortunately. Maybe we got a batch that was sitting there for a while but there was promise there.
Onto the main courses! We ordered jerk chicken and oxtail. Now the pictures don’t translate as to the actual size of the portions they give you but the amount of food they serve on one plate is huge. Not only is the plate big but they pile on the food like one would at a buffet in Vegas. It comes with rice, vegetables, and plantains. There was a dollop of sauce also underneath the rice and the meats as well. The chicken was moist and cooked nicely. For me the flavor wasn’t as bold and in your face as I expected. If there was a blind taste test and someone gave me a regular bbq chicken breast and told me to compare it to this one I’d have a hard time telling the two apart. Yes I probably would be able to in the end, but my point is that the seasoning seemed a little held back and made me wanting more sauce or something to make it more jerk. Now the oxtail was a different story. They pack in the flavor and didn’t hold anything back! I loved this dish. It had a unique meaty kick to each bite and was super tender. The meat just fell off the bone. Everything else on the plate was pretty standard. We did have leftovers because the portions were so huge but that’s okay! I’d definitely come back and try some of the specials they have throughout the week, and of course come back for the oxtail. I’m conjuring up memories of it as I type right now. Go here if you’ve never had Jamaican food before. It’s a fun atmosphere and you’ll like the people that work there.
Laylah’s Patties and Jerk
5713 El Cajon Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92115