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pane | Jul 31, 200608:17 PM     5

Last night my friend and I ate at Ziryab, a newish Middle Eastern place on Divisadero in Western Addition. The interior was more upscale than most of the schwarma factories I've been to in SF, with archways and warm lighting.

On to the food: As an appetizer we split the meza platter, which included hummus, babaganous, dolmas, olives, tabbouleh, cucumber yogurt drizzled with olive oil, and little hunks of feta, served alongside a plate of warm pita. The platter was delicious; the flavors fresh and distinct, unlike the muddled-tasting mashes I've had at other restaurants. For dinner I had a bowl of lentil soup, which was simple and delicious. My friend had one of the specials, a vegetable tajine. The vegetables were underseasoned and a bit bland. She finished only half.

Along with dinner, we each had a glass of Tempranillo, which clocked in at $5.50. There was a pretty impressive wine list with about 5 wines by the glass, but surprisingly only one red was served by the glass that evening. Service was friendly, but slow.

The weaknesses seemed to me like things that could be smoothed out over time. I will be back to weed through more of the entrees.

Also of note: they have a little patio out front where you can eat and smoke hookah.

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