berkeley food #9: truly mediterranean

1984 Shattuck St.
Berkeley, CA 94704
(510) 540-9997

Another winner here. I had dinner there on Monday with Stefani–it wasn’t the first time, but it was the first time that I rememered in time to write a fair impression. The interior of the place is pretty plain, with maybe 20 tables and a few booths. It does have an open kitchen, which I always find encouraging. It was pretty empty when we went in around 9, so the service was fast. The staff is very helpful and attentive (I’m no expert at this kind of food). We started with some “arabic tea with mint” that was delicious. I’m not sure what kind of tea it was but it came with several fresh mint leaves floating in it that I let infuse until I was done drinking it–very soothing. I had sabanekh (lamb and spinach stew) with saffroned rice on the side, and Stef had roasted chicken. Previously I’ve had roasted lamb, falafels, dolmas, hummus, baba,
tabouleh, cucumber salad, and kanafeh for dessert, which is sort of a spin on baklavah.

It’s all been very tasty. Fresh, hot, and convincing enough to fool a neophyte like me into believing it’s “truly” mediterranean. I’ve already been back to this place twice, and I can see the pattern continuing. Cheap, fast, filling, friendly.

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