Arabian Nights (Mission, SF)

Some friends that live in the Mission offered to pick up some takeout, so we left the choice up to them. They chose Arabian Nights because there is never a very long wait, which according to them is a rarity in the Mission if it’s popular. I’ve never been, but they described it as having very “interesting” decor, which might not attract too many hipsters. After checking out their website, I see what they mean.

The pita was outstanding, better than other places like Oasis in Oakland that make their pita fresh. It had a really good chew, which surprised me since the thinness of pita makes it difficult to develop a “chew”.

Hummus and fattoush salad were also excellent. We arrived too late to get any of the kefta (our friends’ favorite) but the cold chicken and lamb skewers were quite tasty, with the lamb being slightly better cold. All in all, a very good takeout meal, eaten an hour or so after it was picked up.

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Another takeout dinner from here was a huge success. Their fried meatball appetizer is very good, and another foodie friend also agreed re: pita. She wondered if they use high gluten flour. The texture is excellent, makes it hard to eat other pita.

Thanks for the report. Besides Oasis, what are the other places that you are comparing the pita from Arabian Nights to?

I’m a fan of Arabian Nights, despite the Disneylandish decor. We’ve eaten in the restaurant about 8 times, but never take-out. Their hummus is some of the best I’ve tried. The cauliflower is great, the rib-eye steak is actually excellent, and their rice is super flavorful (get that instead of fries.) their makdous is good too, and i love the pita served with zatar and olive oil at the beginning of the meal. In some respects it edges out Old Jerusalem because I like wine with my dinner.

Oh good, glad Im not alone in my opinion. Illnck, I havent had pita in the Middle East, but Ive gone to various places in the bay area that serve pita and Arabian Nights’ rendition is unique. Other places: pita not memorable. Hence I cant produce a list for you. If you are looking for a benchmark against a few of the places you have been to, feel free to list them and I can tell you if Ive had their pita.

Do they still allow people to smoke in the back patio? (I mean cigarettes, not hookah).

I don’t know, a friend picked up the food so I haven’t been there.

“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold