pane has been trying to ask taxi drivers for restaurant recommendations; she figures if anybody really knows all the turf, it’s the cabbies. The latest recommendation: a beautiful little home-style Middle Eastern place called Old Jerusalem. She was impressed by the warm service, and the little touches—like fresh mint leaves in her glass of Alwazah tea.
The menu is surprisingly deep; there’s way more than your usual shawarma. There’s lamb and white beans, Jew’s mallow soup (Jew’s mallow is a pot herb used throughout Israel, Egypt, and Syria), and a rotating special of the day. On pane’s first visit, the special was bamyeh: chunks of fatty lamb and okra in a rich tomato sauce. Entrées come with great sides, too: little green olives, pickled turnips, deliciously garlicky tahini, and Turkish salad—an excellently spicy mix of stuff, high in tomatoes.
The Friday special is also excellent, a homey beef stew, fragrant and spicy with Middle Eastern flavors, says augustiner. He loves the stuffed falafel as well, fried to order, with caramelized onions and pine nuts at the center of each falafel.
And don’t forget to try the desserts, like shredded wheat and honey over goat cheese. Both desserts offered are house-made, and excellent, says farmersdaughter.
Old Jerusalem [Mission District]
2976 Mission Street, San Francisco
Board Link: Taxi Cab Recs: Palestinian