Finally made it... great experience. Ali was charming and entertaining, as expected, and the food was terrific. We started with the appetizer combination of hummus, foul, babaganoush, falafal, which was delicious. I especially love the crispy fried romaine, dusted with sesame seeds and spices, that he puts on top- great consistency. The babaganoush was really smoky and great, and the falafal was perfectly sized.
I had the chicken kabab platter with rice, my husband had the soft shell crab special. The accompanying vegetables and seasonings for each dish were totally different, which struck me as an example of how this place takes much more of a "restaurant" approach than a typical kabab, falafal place- at least, in my experience. The soft shells were really great- and a deal, $19 for 2 crabs with rice and veggies.
Despite being incredibly full, we went for the dessert platter. This was perhaps the best part of the meal- caveat, I'm a dessert girl. I don't know the proper names of some of the desserts, but there was baklava, a yellow honey cake, yogurt, and something that my husband and I termed the "haystack," which was the highlight. Ali cooked up some fresh fruits (I think apples and maybe peaches?) with raisins and nuts and poured it over the top, tableside. Everything was crispy on the top and slightly soggy on the bottom from the fruit and its sauce... great stuff.
The bill was comparatively high for this genre of food, but the quality of the preparation and the food overall made it well worth it. You can taste the love and joy that he has for food. Highly recommended.