Thursday, October 31, 2013

Gazala Place

When Dr. Mandoo came back to NYC, we met up a few times for lunch. She needed to get acclimated back to the real world aka NYC and I was happy to assist. First up, lunch at Gazala Place. This tiny little Druze Israeli restaurant in Hell's Kitchen has always caught my eye. There was always a person up front working some dough into fluffy round bourekas. Why did I never go before? I don't know. I don't really have an excuse. I just didn't. But finally Dr. Mandoo suggested we go and I was sure glad she did.
We started off the meal with a shared plate of falafel ($5.50) which came with 6 found falafel with a side of tahini.

These chickpea based fried balls were dotted with parsley, garlic, and spices. The crunch factor was intense. So incredibly crispy on the outside. I thought that maybe it was a bit overly crunchy but Dr. Mandoo loved it.
Next we shared the Moshakal Platter ($19.50) with grilled lamb, chicken, and kofta served with rice, hummus, baba ganoush, tahini, and vegetables. This was definitely sized to share. Tender pieces of grilled lamb and chicken and still pink on the inside kofta. All juicy, well seasoned, and delicious. The rice was fluffy and flavorful, the hummus smooth and nutty, the baba ganoush creamy and thick, and the vegetable dish of corn and cabbage was light and refreshing. We really enjoyed this dish a lot. It had a lot of flavors and textures going on but nothing was overly heavy. It was a very well balanced meal.
And we couldn't go to Gazala Place without trying out the bourekas. We ordered the spinach and cheese one ($5.50) which came with a hard boiled egg, hummus, and more vegetables. The boureka was a flaky pastry topped with seeds. Inside were layers upon thin layers of dough wrapping spinach and cheese. It was delicious and surprisingly light. I really enjoyed it and wouldn't hesitate ordering it again.
Overall, I really enjoyed Gazala Place. The food was really good and the service was friendly. The place was a bit empty when we went for lunch one day which is a damn shame. The food is pretty affordable and the larger platters are enough to share.

Gazala Place
709 9th Avenue
New York, NY 10019
(212) 245-0709
gazalasplace.com

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