Wednesday, June 26, 2013

New Kid on the Block: Yafa {Food Review}

Last Friday, Jake and I went to a Summer Solstice celebration hosted by a good friend and his landlord. We kicked up our heels, charged our glasses, and reveled in the views of a verdant gorge out in Carmel Valley on the longest day of the year. It had all the makings of a great party - delectable eats, free-flowing wine, live music, and lively conversations with friends.



But the point of this post is to introduce you to a new kid on the (Carmel restaurant) block:  Yafa. 
This is a food blog, after all.


Many new restaurants require time to work out all the kinks. Like several months. Not so with newly-opened Yafa in Carmel. These guys have been open for less than a month and their food is impressive! Granted, I didn't actually eat at the restaurant, but the food at the party was fresh, light, and delicious. It's everything you want in a summer meal. And it was an absolutely perfect way to celebrate the Summer Solstice. 

On the menu: Watermelon Salad - piquant cubes of feta tempered the natural sweetness of the watermelon; two kinds of Hummus - one traditional and one with sun-dried tomato that was surprising - and tasty; their Pita Breads were pillow-y soft in the center with crisp, grilled edges. Carb-perfection.


Next up: Dolmas. Picking up an order of these would save me from having to make my own! And theirs are huge.


At first look, I thought those were slices of grilled eggplant on top of the salad. But, no, they were pears. Meaty, juicy, sweet pears were the star of the show atop the Grilled Pear Salad.


The Tabbouleh was exactly as I like it, heavy on the herbs with still crunchy cucumbers and fresh tomatoes. I make my own with lots of variations: Rhubarb-Oregano Tabbouleh, Quinoa Tabbouleh, and more. But Yafa's is traditional and exquisite.


They also provided a pasta dish with lamb and perfectly cooked rice. The verdict: Yafa's whips up some delicious, beautiful Mediterranean food. If you're local, get over there and try it out. Yafa Carmel. On Junipero at 5th. I know I will be heading over there. Soon.

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