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The Conversant Critic: Laffa

Tulsa’s Brady Arts district has many hidden gems, and Medi-Eastern restaurant Laffa is one. Right in the mix of art galleries and theaters, this small restaurant on Main Street prides itself in traditional Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food. Offering a wide selection of cultural dishes, Laffa is a chill and cozy restaurant with modern vibes.

We went before the crowds appeared so we were seated quickly, and our waiter served us right away. He recommended the Feta Fries as an appetizer since they were half off due to happy hour. This was my first time trying Mediterranean food so I was slightly nervous, to be honest.

These fries however were my favorite part of my experience. Feta fries are exactly like sweet potato fries but seasoned with feta and chopped parsley and drizzled with spicy Koshari and tzatziki sauces. Sweet, crunchy and fried just right, Feta Fries are a treat, and the generous portion size makes it perfect to share with others.

Next I tried the Laffa bread with black eyed pea hummus. These were a perfect pair, making up a delicious appetizer. The warm, soft bread literally drooped over my plate because of its large size. Soft and subtle enough to be easily torn, the nicely seasoned bread paired well with the hummus. The hummus was surprisingly tasty. A smooth mixture of black eyed peas topped with spicy Middle Eastern condiment Zhoug, the hummus complemented the bread to make an enjoyable appetizer.  Keep in mind the Laffa bread can only be bought during times when business is slow. During busy times, Greek Pita bread is the next best thing.

I wasn’t sure what to choose for the main meal but I finally decided on the M’chica Wa Nazzi. This dish has a plethora of spices mixed with tomato and coconut creamed spinach topped with spicy tomato orzo pasta and crunchy spicy chickpea noodles. It may be because of my lack of familiarity with Middle Eastern food, but this dish was hard for me to enjoy. The dish came out hot but the creamy spinach mixed with tomato was not a good combination. The best part of the dish was the well cooked and flavorful orzo pasta. I would not suggest this dish for first timers. The Shawarma chicken breast or Maghreb nachos may be good choices for first time guests.

I finished my visit by trying the Turkish Delight for dessert. This sweet treat is nothing like the jelly-like treats Edmund Pevensie ate in the Chronicles of Narnia. Instead, it’s rosewater  ice cream with a cinnamon chocolate sauce topped with salted pistachios and whipped cream. In the first bite I could taste a nutty cinnamon and strawberry mixture, but the ice cream left a unique, understated flavor a little hard to describe. The treat was tasty and a good dessert to wrap up the meal.

For those looking for a special place to get non-traditional food, Laffa is a good start to try many dishes and experience how another culture enjoys everyday food.