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March 8th, 2011 RACHAEL DEWITT | Food Reviews & Stories
 

Cheap Eats 2011: Ya Hala

     
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Shaped like oversized M&Ms, the pita at Ya Hala comes out of the kitchen in steamy, soft heaps, ready to be dipped in your choice of creamy vegetable or bean paste. Ya Hala offers all the Lebanese staples—the tabbouleh($4.95) is refreshing, the lentil soup ($3.95) is comforting and the lamb kebab is tender and rich ($13.95). If you’d like a more surprising experience, try the shanklish ($4.95). These baby eggplants, poached, stuffed with walnuts, garlic and chile peppers and cured in olive oil, are like cool, savory vegetable grenades. Though Ya Hala is tucked away in Montavilla, it’s often crowded, especially on weekend mornings. When you’re done with your meal, and you want to bring the Mediterranean heat into your home, there’s a Middle Eastern food-imports store next door that can provide needed supplies.

 
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