Why does this newcomer rate a Best Of award after only three months in business? Well, have you tasted Israeli chef Auny Abaya's hummus, velvety as a caress? Or his simple Jerusalem salad -- chopped onions, cucumbers, parsley, and lettuce tossed with the flashiest lemon vinaigrette this side of the Jordan? Did you know that Abaya is also aiming for 100 percent organic and sustainable ingredients? No? Then we have an assignment for you: Find this sunny little cafe. It's at the top of Solano, not far from the tunnel. Order the shawerma platter with either Niman Ranch lamb or organic, halal chicken. Take a triangle of nutty, char-edged wholewheat pita, smear a bit of the hummus on top, and press a few nuggets of spice-flecked, crispy meat into the chickpea spread. Add a spoonful of Jerusalem salad for crunchiness and a citrusy spark, and crown the mix with just a dab of Abaya's smoky, spicy homemade harissa. Then try and tell us we're wrong.
2936 College Ave., Berkeley, 510-540-7773
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