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Map1133 Solano Ave.
CA 94706
  • Middle Eastern & Mediterranean
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Middle Eastern food is enjoying a renaissance these days in the East Bay. Zaytoon co-owners and brothers Izat and Walid Eliyan are Palestinian and their cuisine leans toward the Levantine, or eastern Mediterranean/Middle Eastern end of the spectrum. Zaytoon pulls off a delicate balancing act in putting a contemporary fine-dining spin on what’s typically seen as fast-casual fare and doing it in a way that still feels generous without being pretentious in a sophisticated setting. Décor is moot if the food isn’t any good. Fortunately, the dining experience at Zaytoon, from cocktails to appetizers to main course to desserts, was excellent. Definitely start with a cocktail. The kitchen, led by head chef and co-owner Haitham Salman, does the basics really well, so the mazza platter is a must-order, and the meat dishes are also very good, with the kefta kebab and lamb shawarma most memorable and an excellent moussaka coming off surprisingly light. Less common items—maklouba and mansaf specifically—pushed Zaytoon over the top from merely very good into something special. Don’t skip dessert: head straight for the decadent crumbled baklava with vanilla ice cream and caramel or the tahini sundae. Serves lunch and dinner Tue.–Sun.

Additional Information:

Location: Albany
Price: $$-$$$
Features: Credit Cards Accepted
Full Bar
Reservations Accepted
Wheelchair Accessible

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