My wife and I stumbled up on this place after a really crappy ride from Big Bus Hop-On, Hop-Off Tours (my review of them will be up shortly.
We are both BIG fans of Mediterranean food, and given the great Yelp reviews, we decided to give it a try. It's not an ostentatious place, so it would be easy to walk right by. For the love of all that's holy, DON'T DO THAT.
We were greeted at the counter by a delightful, friendly member of the family that runs the place (and that was pretty cool, too -- it was clear it was a family-run restaurant that loves what they do). After mentioning my dairy allergy (yeah, I gotta be careful -- and I hate having to mention it), I was informed that their entire food menu was dairy free EXCEPT the spinach pie (my personal favorite Mediterranean food, of course, that I can no longer have).
But in the end, it mattered NOT in the least. My wife had the mezze, a selection of appetizers including hummus, taboulah, baba ghanoush, dolma, falafel, and served with pita. I am also a BIG fan of the dolma (stuffed grape leaves), and these reminded me of the first time I had them in Jerusalem -- that's how authentic they are. All she kept saying was "Wow." The pita came out fresh and warm, the hummus was amazing......there was not a thing on her plate that wasn't fresh and of the highest quality. Clearly, there's a lot of love that goes into preparing each dish. The ONLY problem is that their portions are so generous that my wife couldn't quite finish it all -- but that is NOT a reflection on the food.
I had the kibbi platter (four shells of mashed cracked wheat stuffed with ground beef, sautéed onions, and pine nuts. Served with a side of tahini sauce, hummus, cucumber salad, pita, garlic). From the first bite, I was in heaven. The beef was perfectly seasoned, the hummus was unbelievable and the tahini sauce........there's no describing it. You just have to try it for yourself. Like my wife, all I could do is marvel and say, "Wow."
To finish off the meal, my wife had the baklava, and I had the namora, a dairy-free almond cake. Again, wow doesn't even begin to describe it.
This place is simply amazing -- it was the best find we had in our time in SF. I agree with Irv S. -- run, don't walk, to Palmyra. They will make you feel like family and will serve you the best Mediterranean food you've ever had.
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