It’s hard to break out of habits. I try to make sure I sample a new cuisine every now and then, but I don’t always do it. Thankfully I was invited to dinner at Gazala, an Israeli Druze restaurant. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I kept an open mind. The menu offered familiar items, but with interesting ingredient combinations. We were told that a pie was a must have. We ordered the Mankosha Pie.
It was a thin circle of pita dough topped with oregano, olive oil, and toasted sesame seeds. It definitely wasn’t what I was expecting when I saw pie on the menu. It was well seasoned but not a taste I expected. There was a dryness to the seasonings, but the olive oil prevented it from actually being dry. When it came time to select an entrée, I attempted to order the Sautéed Shrimp. Our waitress told me it wasn’t very good and was namely for tourists. It’s not an authentic dish. I was taken aback by her commentary, but decided to heed her warning. We both ordered the Whole Fish Platter. He ordered the Branzino.
What a site to behold. Mine was about a 2 – 3 pound snapper topped with onions and parsley it had a tangy taste with higher levels of acidity than I’m used to.
The rice was a great neutralizer.
The meal was also served with a side of salad.
This is not your typical salad. It was a mix of corn and lettuce. It tasted fine, but was not exactly a good compliment to the other items on the table. I wasn’t particularly interested in dessert, but given the opportunity to try something new, I figured why not. We ordered the Osh Al-Saria.
It is described as creamy yogurt pudding prepared with oranges and rosewater. It tasted like sweet custard. It was good, but tasted extremely rich and sweet. The balance was best achieved when each bite included a bit of the crumbled pistachio.
Gazala’s was a great experience. It’s always nice to try something new. The fish was well seasoned and delicious and I really enjoyed the rice. I’m not sure what else I would order from the menu considering the waitress steered us clear of one of the items that looked good. I encourage you to check it out yourself, after all how many Druze restaurants have you come across?