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The innovation of Gail Lillian’s popular Liba Falafel food truck wasn’t the simple fact that she was serving falafel from a truck, but rather the colorful spread of seasonal salads, sauces, and other toppings that she’d set up on a counter outside, allowing customers to help themselves. So it’s no surprise that the highlight of Liba’s new Uptown Oakland brick-and-mortar restaurant is a dynamite serve-yourself fixings bar that includes a brussels sprouts slaw with julienned apple, soft-braised eggplant, crispy fried pickled onions, three different kinds of housemade hot sauce, and much, much more — a total of twenty different toppings in all. The falafel themselves are crunchy, sesame-seed-studded, and utterly sog-resistant, and the sweet potato fries are the best in town. This is the kind of fast food we can live with.

— Luke Tsai

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