Ordinarily, I would have stayed away from a new place right after it was reviewed by New York Magazine and the New York Times both gave it stellar reviews (and Sylvia Carter raved the week before), but curiosity got the best of me. I had to see how Moustafa and Ali were holding up. I went to both on Friday night.
Good news. Both seem to be not just surviving, but thriving. The Kabab Cafe was full from 9:00 - 11:00 p.m., but was firing on all cylinders. No problems whatsoever.
Mombar was packed, but during the time I was there, looked not to be a madhouse. Sure, service is not speedy, part of the pleasure of the place is relaxing and enjoying the space.
Best of all, Moustafa is still spending time with every patron. Moustafa's sister is helping out. Moustafa and Fakia both look tired, but obviously proud of their accomplishments.
I *would* call for a reservation at Mombar, though. Moustafa said there are many parties booked in the next four weeks or so.
And one big caveat. The new air conditioning unit, as of today, was down. If it's important to you, I'd check and make sure that the AC is working.
And FWIW, the sand shark of Ali's tonight ruled.
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