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Old Jerusalem in the Mission [San Francisco]

escargot3 Feb 11, 2013 01:25 PM

Some friends want to go here and I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions of what to order, and what not. How's the lamb?

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  1. Robert Lauriston RE: escargot3 Feb 11, 2013 01:56 PM

    Mossabaha, baba ganoush, ful, stuffed falafel, lamb with okra, molukhia. Save room for kunafa.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Robert Lauriston
      escargot3 RE: Robert Lauriston Feb 11, 2013 02:34 PM

      now I'm excited. lamb with okra!
      thanks

      1. re: escargot3
        Robert Lauriston RE: escargot3 Feb 11, 2013 02:38 PM

        That's one of the daily specials. This might be out of date:

        Sunday - Maklouba (Upside Down) - chicken over seasoned rice, eggplant & vegetables

        Monday - Seeniyeh - baked chicken with potatoes, onions, garlic & bell pepper cooked in special tahini sauce. served with rice

        Tuesday - Bamla - fried okra and lamb cooked in special tomato sauce. served with rice

        Wednesday - Mousakhan (Palestinian Dish) - savory palestinian dish of oven-roasted half chicken atop freshly baked arab flatbread with lots of sweet onions, roasted pine nuts, and deep-red-summer

        Wednsday - Mousakhan (Palestinian Dish)

        Thursday - Green Beans - lamb & green beans cooked in special tomato sauce served with rice

        Friday - Baked Kufta - seasoned ground beef and lamb with chunks of potatoes, tomatoes, onions and bell peppers in special tahini sauce

        Saturday - Mansef - lamb, rice and arabic bread with a creamy yogurt sauce, topped with toasted pine nuts.

    2. Cynsa RE: escargot3 Feb 11, 2013 03:10 PM

      A favorite of ours! We're there every Halloween after we distribute candies to the families with trick-or-treaters on Mission Street.
      Tuesday's special of Barnia/lamb with okra looks good to me, too. Every day is a good day at Old Jerusalem.

      1. escargot3 RE: escargot3 Feb 11, 2013 11:28 PM

        what a great place. felt transported back to the Middle East.

        -Best baba ganoush I've had in the US - a pool of olive oil in the center, with some small diced veggies sprinkled round.
        -Great plate of pickled turnip and olives brought to the table with warm pita. And a few other items to dip pita in.
        -the chicken on skewers was fabulously tender and marinated in a nice blend of spices.
        -not so pleased with the lamb kabob. kinda dry & tough. perhaps an off nite.
        - we were lingering long after we finished eating, enjoying an animated conversation (did I mention the acoustics are such that you can have a pleasant conversation even tho the resto was full - albeit it's a small resto) and they brought over complimentary glasses of tea with fresh mint. very lovely touch. much appreciated.

        i look forward to the next visit.

        1. d
          davidg1 RE: escargot3 Nov 10, 2013 08:04 PM

          The only Middle Eastern restaurant in SF that I would describe as good. This is a 9/10, and there 's nothing else that even merits a 5.

          Hummus, Moussahbaha and baba ganoush that's as good as what you'd get in Lebanon, or Israel/Palestine. Amazing lentil soup. All made fresh every day. Fresh pickles, thick Israeli style pita. All you need.

          Hummus is really the test of any place. It's basic, and if your don't know how to make it, then what DO you know how to make? I'm talking about Truly Mediterranean, Sunrise etc., that make 3rd-rate Arab food. and yet get consistently high ratings on Yelp, SF Weekly etc. (Presumably from people who have never had the real thing).

          7 Replies
          1. re: davidg1
            Robert Lauriston RE: davidg1 Nov 11, 2013 08:34 AM

            Yeah, I can't think of another Middle Eastern place that's so consistently good across the menu.

            Truly Mediterranean deserves high ratings for their great lamb schawerma wraps and falafel wraps. I don't know that those are at all traditional, but they're delicious. Everything else I've ordered there seemed like a mistake.

            Similar story with Sunrise, their falafel are tops, nothing else I've had from them was very good and some dishes were really bad. I just get the falafel in a bag.

            1. re: Robert Lauriston
              d
              davidg1 RE: Robert Lauriston Nov 11, 2013 08:56 AM

              I agree that Sunrise's falafel is good, and also get it in a bag. TM's falafel is good too, but I find the wrap to be dry. Soaking it in what passes there as tahini (aka "tahini water") makes it wetter, but not tasty.

              1. re: davidg1
                Robert Lauriston RE: davidg1 Nov 11, 2013 09:16 AM

                Truly Mediterranean's lavash is dry, but the wraps work for me because the filling has a lot of wet sauce. If the bread weren't dry I think the wraps would just fall apart.

                1. re: Robert Lauriston
                  d
                  davidg1 RE: Robert Lauriston Nov 11, 2013 10:10 AM

                  yeah, the wet sauce is their tahini, watery, makes the filling soggy too. but a dozen falafel balls in a bag goes great with a giant martini at Blondie's...

                  1. re: davidg1
                    Robert Lauriston RE: davidg1 Nov 11, 2013 10:22 AM

                    Doesn't the falafel wrap have yogurt-cucumber sauce and the lamb has tahina sauce?

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston
                      d
                      davidg1 RE: Robert Lauriston Nov 11, 2013 10:38 AM

                      Not when I've had it, which has been some time. I don't like yogurt, so I'd be able to spot that sour taste (I think).

                      To tell the truth, the tahini they put on the table at OJ isn't so great. They need to go next door and buy a jar of Al-Arz.

            2. re: davidg1
              d
              Dustin_E RE: davidg1 Nov 11, 2013 08:46 AM

              my roommate grew up in Riyadh, and he would agree this place has by far the best middle eastern food in sf.

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