Food & Drink
Naara Café: Best falafel in town
Published: September 4, 2013
Inevitably, the pizza; there are eight, including one labeled “Persian” (sausage and mushrooms), another with beef gyro meat, feta and tomatoes. For reasons that seem shaky in retrospect, we picked the veggie version with eggplant, olives, onions and tomatoes. Here’s another suggestion: ask the kitchen to cut way back on the mozzarella as it swamps the other, otherwise good, toppings and turns the pie into something that makes the delicate manakish even more attractive in comparison.
Naara’s pastries, such as the baklava, come from Pasha next door—leading us instead to try two unfamiliar drinks: the hot sahlab and the cold carrot juice with pistachio ice cream. The sahlab is theoretically made from the powdered root of a kind of orchid; dusted with cinnamon and chopped pistachio it comes across as cross-cultural comfort food. The more colorful carrot glacé balances virtue with pleasure; it’s best at the bottom of the glass—and beats a Blue Surfer hookah sesh by far, we suspect.
Hours 11am-2am Mon-Thurs; 11am-4am Fri-Sat; noon-2pm Sun
Best Bets The crisp and spicy manakish zaatar and the falafel in a wrap are standouts
The Skinny Naara tweaks the traditional hookah joint with some unexpected flavors that don’t involve elaborate pipes.