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Jun 27, 2007 01:57 PM


Can anybody tell me about restaurant LIZA, 14 Rue de La Banque or
LE SOUK, 1 Rue Keller?

Thanks, Alanatty

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  1. Le Souk is not Middle Eastern; it is Moroccan.
    Liza is Lebanese.

    I have not been to either, but Liza is supposed to be contemporary Lebanese. At any rate, if you go you will almost surely notice a big difference in how cuisines are interpreted in France compared to the US.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Steve

      Thanks, Steve. A lot of English-speakers think the Maghreb (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, sometimes taken to include Mauritania and at least half of Lybia... until the place the desert hits the sea) is in the Middle East; it is North Africa. Arabic makes a distinction between the Machrek and the Maghreb (East and West).

      1. re: lagatta

        Thanks for the enlightening info. I've heard these terms before, but I frankly did not know what they mean. Mashreq seems to be the most common English spelling, as where you used the French 'Maschrek.' Naturellement.

        The reason I pointed out the difference is because the cuisine is so different, though they are often lumped together as Middle Eastern in guidebooks and restaurant listings in order to promote ignorance. Well, I suppose that's not the reason they do it, but that is the effect.

        Getting back to the OP, I can't give you a personal recommendation for this food in Paris, though I have heard fabulous things about L'oasis for Moroccan food, and Al Karam for Lebanese, both in the 15th arrondisement - where there is a sizable concentration of these cuisines. I'm pretty sure they both have websites, so you may want to look them up.

        1. re: Steve

          Yeah, if I'd have been writing formally, for a publication or a translation, I would have researched the more common English spelling, but worry already about being too much of a stickler (as Lynn Truss says), so don't bother looking such things up - EXCEPT for the exact spelling of restaurants, addresses and websites.

          I have a Lebanese friend who has lived in Paris for decades; some time I'll ask him for the best Lebanese restos there. I googled "meilleurs (best) restaurants libanais à Paris" and this list came up: it is in French: if you need any translations you can't find through google translate or babelfish, I'll be glad to help.

          The Maghrebi communities in Paris and suburbs are huge, (both Arabo-Berber-Muslim and Sephardic-Jewish, from all the former French colonies and protectorates) and the restos range from scruffy working-class caffs and street-food - the latter can be very good, though - up to very elegant, classical cuisine restos.

          Yes, they are very different cuisines. Maghrebi cuisine, despite the heavy Arab influence, is fundamentally Berber, and African. Both also share a veneer of French influence, usually rather happily integrated in their tables.

          This reasonably-priced Lebanese resto, in Montmartre (!) gets a very good rating, though I have never been there:

    2. I've been to Liza several times and have been to the chef's earlier restaurants in London and Paris. The cuisine is a modern spin on traditional dishes, quite inventive. The decor, service, etc, are top notch. The wine list is excellent, too. I highly recommend it. Oh, they do a wonderful brunch on Sundays.