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Jan 10, 2013 09:51 AM

Suggestions for Lebanese and Moroccan near East VIllage/LES

Hi All,

Coming into New York this Saturday to Tuesday and i wanted to know if you all had any good suggestions for Lebanese and Moroccan in the East Village Area or Lower East Side preferably. If there is a place that is not in that area but awesome that's OK also. Thanks in advance!!!


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  1. I think the standard answer would be Mogador.

    Ilili is more interesting, in my opinion, a little further out of the neighborhood you want, and the room is bigger, with lively bug tables for groups. It's slightly modern, but the flavors are classic.

    Gazala Place is midtown, so again out of your area, and it's an Israeli Druze establishment instead of Moroccan/Lebanese, but really good.

    3 Replies
    1. re: sugartoof

      I have a real love-hate relationship with Mogador. I like almost everything there, except that they have a recurring problem with rotten leaves in their mesclun, and every time the problem recurs and I complain, the proprietress reacts in an annoying way, making excuses like "It comes in a bag," "I get it every day," and "We have the best supplier." It just really rankles me. Why is it that a restaurant that makes dependably good tagines, egg dishes, composed salads, mezes - most everything - persists serving rotten salad to customers? The last time I was there, they got me another batch of salad, which they claimed was from a new bag, and it still had some rotten leaf tips in it. I really am not that hard to please when it comes to mixed salad, but I am really frustrated with this restaurant. I should add that this is more the exception than the rule, but when you're trying to do a low-carb diet and get mesclun as a substitute for potato sides, it doesn't work if it's inedible. And it was nice that they comped a few dollars on our bill last time (I hadn't asked them to), but what I really want is just to be able to depend on their mesclun and not worry that I'll get rotten leaves again.

      1. re: Pan

        I think that sums up Mogador accurately for me. Something about the pricing and service doesn't match the quality, and they've been around long enough that they can coast, because there are die hards who will keep going back. There are better versions of what they do, but it still remains a convenient option in the area.

        1. re: sugartoof

          I agree. This problem has happened on and off for several years, but I believe they were better in the 90s.

      1. Balade is probably your best option for Lebanese in the area although I would definitely travel the 15 or so blocks to ilili for something a little more upscale. Almayass is a recently opened outlet of an Armenian-Lebanese chain popular in Beirut. I have not been, but it is the only US location so perhaps worth a visit.

        1. Thanks so much for the suggestions!

          1. Byblos on Madison and 28th St and Al Bustan on E 53 are both excellent and serve authentic Lebanese/Syrian.
            Barbes on E 36 has very good Moroccan food.