Saturday Date Night (Dinner and Movie): Jan 15, 2011 @ 6:00 PM
I was already feeling under the weather but I did not want to miss out on our Saturday Date Night.
Prior to catching a movie at Japantown's Kabuki, I wanted a homey, feel-good date night dinner. All I wanted was just some plain comfort food. I heard about this 5 month old Lebanese cafe in the Hayes Valley. We had no idea what it looked like or if it was even date night worthy.
Enrique and I were pleasantly surprised when we saw a cozily lit little place on the corner of Fell.
Mazzat is a cafe. A small cozy and contemporary cafe/wine bar with glass cabinets filled with mouth-watering mediterranean meat pies and desserts.
The far-end wall is a floor to ceiling wine cabinet. Little tealight candles add a touch of a little romance on each table.
The young Lebanese couple who own and run the place were very friendly and welcoming. They told us that Mazzat opened in December 2010. Both the husband and wife found the time to talk to us in between serving customers about the Lebanese food that they serve at their restaurant. They take pride that the recipes are from the home country.
And for $49 (a glass of wine, Diet Coke, after taxes and before tip) Enrique and I ate well with plenty of leftovers for later. We had:
6 hot/cold Mediterranean tapas for $25, an order of the meat pie to go and Kasbah rice dish. Mazzat's menu is extensive and mouth-watering. They came with a basket of hot buttered pita bread.
It was hard to pick ONLY 6 dishes but we chose:
1. Chicken Pita
2. Baba Ganoush
3. Fried Halloumi Cheese
All of the above dishes were generously served and tasty. However, our favorites were the halloumi cheese and the moussaka. The moussaka was extra tasty with lovely spices and great for eating with the pita bread.
The real star of the show was the KABSA ($10).
The female owner asked us if we wanted to try this rice dish of pine nuts, raisins and exotic spices. She told us that she wanted our honest opinion because she wanted to know if she should include this rice dish as part of the regular menu. The rice was cooked for 5 hours and the spices were from abroad. According to her, Kabsa is not Lebanese by origin but this dish has become popular among Lebanese folks during the last few years.
We were wowed! The Kabsa was very delicious. So full of spices and we devoured the whole thing. It came with nice chunks of lamb which my guy happily obliged to eat by himself.
The $5 generously poured Chardonnay was nice and crisp, and paired well with the dishes. ($18 for a bottle of either their white or red.)
Mazzat is a great addition to the already eclectic culinary resume of San Francisco.We left Mazzat full and satisfied vowing to go back again and again.
FOODIE GIRL'S RATING: 4 Stars
0 Star: Never again!!! These people should not be in business.
1 Star: Chalk it to bad experience. Live and learn.
2 Stars: Very disappointing but there it has some good things to offer.
3 Stars: It is okay but do not expect much. I will still return.
4 Stars: I like it! I will be singing your praises!
5 Stars: I will be dreaming of you at night!
6 Stars: Perfection (or close to!)