Bridging the gap in sit-down Kosher between Jewish enclaves in Rogers Park
, former head chef of local grocery chain Garden Fresh Market, Moses Aliel, hopes to treat Evanston to Rabbi-friendly meat-on-a-spit skewers, all the rage in Levant cuisine. It's kept company by regional faves, from house-made falafel to hummus so creamy you might suspect some lactose rules were broken.
But Aliel keeps it authentic with laminated Hebrew blessings available at the counter and a trio of desserts that will make any dairy lover think twice. Skewers and entrees start at $13 for a single cut of meat, with lamb and steak pushing the upper $20s.
The slightly thinner, chewier version of naan, called laffa, is not to be missed when pulled hot from the tabun (clay) oven. It is easy on the starch for blissful pairings on the sesame- and oregano-dressed hummus. Another highlight: the plethora of sides Aliel serves, like a Korean BBQ-esque free-for-all dubbed the "salad festival" for $6 a person. It bursts with flavors like spicy Moroccan eggplant and tomato- and garlic-based matbucha.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Gavin Paul