Tuesday, September 8th, 2009
AD is back in town! We finally had the chance to get together and headed to Zaya on North Highland for a Mediterranean smorgasbord. I was particularly excited to try their babaganoush (they spell it Baba Ghanuj). The trick is to achieve a heady degree of smokiness from the eggplant. Zaya’s dip was almost perfect, smoky and texturally pleasing, with a pool of olive oil and diced tomatoes, served with the ubiquitous pita triangles. I bet their hummus is great too.
We also tried the Lahem-Bi-Ajeen, a pita pizza with spicy ground beef and lamb topped with onion, tomato, and drizzled with pomegranite molasses…..tasty!
Spanikopita, phyllo triangles filled with spinach and feta, were large, flaky, and delicious. The kafta kebabs, made with spiced ground lamb, were good but a little heavy on the bhar helou, a Lebanese spice mixture of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg, and would have benefitted from a bit more cayenne. The table next to us grew increasingly annoyed, and perhaps even a little embarrassed, with our chatter….what, doesn’t everyone talk about blowjobs at dinner? Me and AD had some catching up to do, the topic somewhat influenced by the slightly phallic kebabs (see photo).
Zaya’s extensive menu features mostly traditional Greek and Lebanese dishes like mujadarah (lentil stew), falafel, shish kebab, chicken and beef shawarma, and stuffed kibbeh but strays occassionally to satisfy the less adventurous diner. Worth a second visit.