I noticed about a month ago that Cable Car Pizza on Geary near 11th had redecorated its storefront, and added a big new sign - "CASA HOOKAH." Very intriguing. Checked out the website and found that they serve Arabic food in addition to the hookahs out front, and also offer live entertainment (music and belly dancing). Even more interesting.
So, I finally made my way over tonight and tried the food. Not the best in town, but certainly good and a nice, affordable, option for those of us in the Richmond. I had the Kofte Kebab - a single skewer with cooked vegetables (red and green peppers plus onions) and some rice. My partner had a beef and potato tagine. In addition, we ordered the cucumber/yogurt dish as a starter, accompanied by warm, homemade, small, pita breads. We finished the meal with their homemade baklava and Arabic tea (not as strong as Turkish black tea, and not as minty as Moroccan mint; but something in between). In addition to the middle eastern cuisine, the restaurant offers pizza (Cable Car Pizza is still being operated out of their kitchen).
There were quite a few people smoking hookahs in the front patio area (completely separate from the dining area). The place stays open until 2am. Turns out the bellydancing is Tu - Sat at 7pm, and again at 11pm. The place has a funky cafe feel to it, but with pillows and low tables. I'm guessing you would be perfectly welcome to just sit and sip tea for hours on end.
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