CRAVE: Kabsseh (you don’t know what that is, now you have to read the blog post)
American. Pizza. Burgers. Italian. Chinese.
Sometimes you need to mix it up a little.
Part of the fun of trying new restaurants is finding foods you can’t make yourself or are a little out of the mainstream. Don’t get me wrong, I adore burgers and love Italian food, but it’s fun to find something a little more rogue for a meal out.
This is how we ended up at Mazzat.
Upon entering, there was no one else in the restaurant. Refreshing since it is not on some top-must-eat-got-to-try-it lists, but a little unnerving all the same. You want other people there to validate it’s tasty food worth trying, but not to the point where you are in those 2 hour wait lines. Hmm.
Turns out we were just a touch on the early side, and by the time we left the place was packed.
Classified as a Lebanese restaurant, there are influences of Arabic and Mediterranean flavors, such as our first dish of delectable hummus and pita.
The menu is massive and has great options for sharing. Mazza means side dishes or small plates, a description which defines the menu options. Hot mazza dishes focus on ingredients like eggplant, cauliflower, and chickpeas cooked a variety of ways.
Try the Kebbeh, balls of deep-fried cracked wheat stuffed with ground beef and served with a garlic sauce. Yes, yes, yes.
Other dishes include Lebanese pizza, wraps, and salads. Then there is more hot mazzas, and some other traditional dishes based around marinated meats and rices with flavors like mint, lemon juice, cinnamon and garlic.
Last we tried (and loved) a traditional dish of Kabsseh — basmati rice cooked with green peas, onions, carrots and raisins, topped with tender chicken thigh cooked with tomatoes and finished with almond slivers.
There are so many things to try on this menu. Rahib, warek enab, mutabal, labne, shankaleesh. And you probably can’t tell me what is in any of those, which is reason enough to make a visit to this spot.
Learn more about this San Francisco restaurant on the Mazzat website.