Thursday, October 11, 2012

Aladdin

Like thousands of others, after watching The Avengers movie in theater last year, I left wanting to eat shawerma.

That led to me buying a google offer for Aladdin, a Lebanese restaurant, which offers shawerma on their menu.

Aladdin Meza Platter ($27) Hommos, tabouleh, baba ghanouj, chicken and lamb shawerma, dolma, falafels, aladdin’s hot sauce, garlic sauce, pickles, served with pita bread

To get a good idea of what the restaurant has to offer, we started with the Meza platter, which offers almost a little of everything in the restaurant. I’m not sure why this was listed in the entree section instead of the appetizer section, since it was recommended to us as an appetizer.

This was a lot of food. We actually had a hard time choosing entrees after this because a lot of the ones we were considering were already covered in this platter.

One thing I noticed was that a lot of the dishes had a strong lemon taste. Unfortunately, I don’t really like lemon in my food, so I found a lot of the dishes to be pleasant until the sour acidic taste of the lemons hit. My favorite ones ended up being the non-lemon flavored dishes. Here’s some close-ups of some of the appetizers:

Chicken and Lamb shawerma!


This was my main reason for coming and while it wasn’t what I expected, I did enjoy it. The strips of lamb and chicken were lean and tender and marinated in various spices.

Shish Kabob Mix ($23) Three skewers of chicken, koufta and lamb tika served with basmati rice, garlic sauce, hommos, lebanese salad, and freshly baked pita bread

Here’s the starter salad:

Since we had already covered the shawerma in the appetizer, I ended up choosing kabob for my main entree. I couldn’t decide which one I wanted and luckily there was an option for three different ones. The chicken was very moist. The koufta was quite salty. The lamb was okay, but a little tough to chew because it was cooked so well done and it had a lot of char.

Koufta Kabob ($19) Two skewers of ground beef mixed with onions, parsley, and seven spices.

Strangely, while my koufta had been a salt mine, DH’s was just fine.

Lamb Tika Kabob ($20) Two skewers of marinated cubes of Australian lamb, charbroiled on an open fire

My friend chose the lamb tika and enjoyed it.

We barely made a dent into our entrees after all those filling appetizers, so there was a lot of leftovers.

The service here was quite friendly. We liked the decor, especially the heavy metal plated tables.

I haven’t had much experience with lebanese cuisine so I don’t know how this is in terms of authenticity. My favorite part was actually the shawerma. I thought this place was pleasant but I didn’t love it. I previously ate at Alforon and had enjoyed the food there a little better in terms of flavors and spices.

Aladdin
3900 Vermont Street
San Diego, CA 92103
http://aladdinsd.com/
Aladdin Mediterranean Cafe - Hillcrest on Urbanspoon

 

8 Responses to “Aladdin”

  1. 1

    caninecologne — October 11, 2012 @ 6:06 am

    I was here a couple of years ago with a friend. I liked the decor and the service here. They had some sort of garlic dip that I really liked. We had kabobs, salad and some dolmas which we enjoyed.

    Ooh, ‘heavy metal’ tables! I didn’t notice that before! Very nice!

    • Kirbie replied: — October 11th, 2012 @ 8:26 am

      Yeah we were admiring the tables. It was hard for me to take a picture of it. They had this garlic dip that looked so much like mashed potatoes. I kept thinking they were until I tasted it. haha.

  2. 2

    caninecologne — October 11, 2012 @ 4:19 pm

    Yes, i thought the garlic dip was something else! i liked it!

    as for other lebanese places, right around the corner from Eclipse is Mama’s Bakery on Alabama St. I like their garlic sauce there too! they also have schawarma/wraps there. kirk recently posted on his revisit to mama’s bakery.

    • Kirbie replied: — October 12th, 2012 @ 9:09 am

      Oh yeah, that place has been on my list!

  3. 3

    Connie — October 12, 2012 @ 9:59 am

    The Avengers made my husband want to eat shawerma, too! We love going for Mediterranean food. Usually the appetizers makes us so full that the entree goes home with us for another meal. I think the tabletops are beautiful.

    • Kirbie replied: — October 12th, 2012 @ 11:22 am

      That’s how I feel about the appetizers too! Especially since they are served with bread so it’s so filling. Next time I should just skip the entree.

  4. 4

    Kate — October 17, 2012 @ 6:17 pm

    I’ve had a lot of Lebanese in my day and this place is great! Of course, I’m a fan of lemon so I found that to be a great attribute of their food. Their hummus is so silky smooth and the felafel is light and fluffy in the middle, super crisp on the outside! I haven’t eaten there in a while… now you’ve got it on my mind!

    • Kirbie replied: — October 18th, 2012 @ 8:24 am

      I liked the falafel here a lot too.

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