We spent Thursday night in London due a flight scheduling peculiarity, and headed directly to Noura, the Lebanese restaurant about which Howler had raved, when we arrived in town at about 10pm. (It has the advantage of bing a 5 minute walk from our hotel in Mayfair.)
The place was jumping, and we had a wonderful meal. We were too lazy to choose from the encyclopedic list of mezze, so we ordered one of the set menus. Everthing was prepared with care, and had a unique taste -- none of the generic sameness that you find in many middle eastern restaurants. Standouts were the bamia (okra), with a hint of coriander; the juiciest fried stuffed kibbe we have ever had, with the ends molded into sharp and curving points by a real virtuoso; light and herby felafel; baba ganoush; cheese rissoles; and the ground and cubed lamb kebabs. The hommos was merely very good, but the other dishes were so outstanding that it paled in comparison.
We are eager to return to sample more dishes, and even more eager for them to open a branch in NY (they already have places in London and Paris). A link to their menu is below.
HOWEVER, I could not see what the big deal was about the chicken shawarma. Not much flavor other than somewhat dessicated scrapped up chicken pieces. The toom sauce was great -- sort of a lighter riff on skordalia, but we wished that we had stuck to the excellent kebabs. What's the story, Howler?