Baguettes, frites, and bouillabaisse are French, and so is merguez, basically the French version of the burrito. The brick-red cumin-cayenne-coriander-harissa-hottened lamb sausage comes from Algeria, which offers a rich and complex cuisine amazingly little-known Stateside. But no-frills, humble Hasnia seeks to change that by bringing merguez, couscous, and ras el hanout—a spice blend containing cinnamon, cardamom, clove, allspice, turmeric, ginger, mace, and much more that is North Africa’s answer to garam masala or herbes de Provence—to the forefront, along with burgers, skewered meats, semolina, chickpeas and other vegetables like carrot, turnip, and zucchini plus “white sauce.” Sriracha, Cholula, and other hot sauces are on offer, and don’t miss
Hasnia’s sweet, intense mint tea or the house-made kalbelouz, an almond-crowned couscous cake whose semolina-based batter is left to rest overnight before baking. Saturated with orange-flower water, it’s a magically sticky surprise. It’s a fine way to start your North Africa education. Serves lunch and dinner daily.