It was probably over 3 years ago by now that I first read reviews for this restaurant on Yelp, and they blew me away. The place consistently has 4.5 stars, now with over 300 reviews. I had to check it out, finally, for
Today's New Activity: A Visit to Gulzaar Halaal Restaurant
What always surprised me about this place, when reading about it or the times when I did think about visiting, was that I'd never ever noticed it. I read that it was located on the extreme west end of San Carlos, as street I've traveled countless times by car, bus, and foot (for periods of my life on a daily basis), but I couldn't picture it in my mind. Maybe that's because the storefront is about as conspicuous as a baby gnat.
Choosing didn't take long, since there were only a handful of vegetarian items on the menu. Actually, there were only a handful of items on the menu, period. But I think this is definitely an example of knowing what you do well and sticking to it.
When I saw how tiny the place was and that only a single elderly man was doing everything, I understood that the food would really have to be amazing for the restaurant to have garnered the kind of reviews it did.
And you know what? It was.
I ordered a veggie samosa and the Manakesh (a pita-like flatbread) topped with thyme and cheese and both were wonderful! The look of the kabobs and briyani plates in the pictures on Yelp could *almost* make me want to forego my vegetarianism. Almost.
The owner was very friendly and personable, and though while Monkey and I waited for our food I did feel the slight discomfort I can often feel when Muslim men--in what I know is an effort to show utmost respect for women--end up making me feel incredibly uncomfortable for sharing the space, that was all from the patrons. The owner himself made me feel very welcome and even complimented Monkey on how well-behaved he was :)
I only wish I'd sought this place out when I lived nearby. But I'll definitely recommend it and venture back when I get the craving. Knowing it's so close to Falafel's Drive In is gonna make for some tough decisions when I'm in the area though!