September 23, 2023


Be Inspired By Food

11 Favourite Eating places for Center Jap Food stuff in Sonoma County

Oh hummus, we have accomplished you so improper. The staple of Center Jap delicacies, created with humble chickpeas, olive oil and tahini, under no circumstances deserved to be produced into “brownie batter” flavor. But the a lot of, lots of means hummus has entered into our day-to-day lives also has brought us nearer to other flavors of nations around the world like Greece, Turkey, Syria, Palestine, Israel, Iraq, Iran and quite a few other folks.

As soon as all but impossible to discover in Sonoma County — or actually even outdoors substantial towns or pockets of immigrant communities — spices like saffron, sumac, cinnamon, cumin and turmeric are starting to be more prevalent in local fare. Tzatziki sits following to onion dip at Trader Joe’s. Pitas are just as well-known loaded with peanut butter and jelly as they are with falafel.

With the appearance of various Middle Eastern restaurant newcomers on the nearby dining scene, it appeared time to honor some of our favored haunts for hummus and the many other dishes of this wide culinary landscape. And even though lumping together the prosperous cuisines of each and every region and region below a one banner is as foolish as saying American meals is composed only of hamburgers, warm canines and apple pie, it all has to commence with a frequent thread that’s universally comprehended.

So we’ll plant a flag with hummus and go from there, since every person loves a superior hummus. In addition to some best bets, just about every cafe will get a hummus rating from 1 (not terrific) to 5 (magnificent). And we guarantee, no brownie batter hummus will be included.


Boro Baba: In April, I waited for practically two several hours for a flavor of this pop-up restaurant’s “modern Persian delicacies,” practically supplying up as the evening grew colder and colder. It was so value it. Kebabs are their signature, and our most loved was the Joojeh kebab, with saffron- and yogurt-marinated hen with basmati rice and roasted tomatoes. What really brought it residence, nevertheless, had been the sides, like Shirazi salad with cooling cucumber, tomato, pickled pink onion and herb dressing or try out the feta with spicy fennel salad and pickled newborn almonds. No hummus on the menu. Enjoy for impending pop-ups at

Grill Santa Rosa: Dismiss the dull name, because there’s lots to appreciate here. We managed our expectations for this modern addition at the Santa Rosa Plaza (the former Rubio’s), but we had been astonished by the very well-crafted dishes. Go for the chilly mezze plate, a sampling of hummus, baba ganoush (roasted eggplant dip), tabbouleh, tzatziki, dolmas and crisp falafel. It is lots significant for sharing. Test the lamb gyro as very well. Hummus: 4. 1016 Santa Rosa Plaza, Santa Rosa,

Falafel Hut: This longtime San Rafael favorite just opened in downtown Santa Rosa (in the former Gerard’s Paella site). The falafel is off-the-charts tasty, and we cherished the kibbie (floor lamb and bulgur wheat with a light cinnamon spice). Factors are however obtaining up to speed, so we won’t be as well rough on the really fantastic chicken shawarma that could be enhanced with more seasoning. Hummus: 3. 701 Fourth St., Santa Rosa,

A Mediterranean feast from Santa Rosa Grill. (Heather Irwin/Sonoma Journal)

Gold standards

King Falafel: This hidden gem is possibly the best falafel location in Sonoma County. It is accurately the form of no-frills eatery that focuses on what it does very best — falafel. Go for the King falafel the place you can pick out toppings such as pickles, eggplant, tahini, crimson shatta, tzatziki or tabbouleh. Hummus: 4. 100 Brown St. 150, Sebastopol

Sam’s Mediterranean: You won’t stumble on this out-of-the-way deli except if you expend a ton of time cruising quiet office environment parks wanting for gap-in-the-wall lunch spots. Fortunately, I do, and this charming small place is a Middle Jap treasure. Their panini-fashion chicken shawarma wraps are a delicious entry position, with carefully spiced meat and melted cheese. It will come with garlic and sizzling sauces and a Greek salad. Hummus: 4. 613 Martin Ave., Suite 111, Rohnert Park,

Genuine Doner: Here’s another stunner that has stood the test of time. We’re specially fond of the doner wraps — prolonged rolls of lavash bread with sliced meat or kebab snuggled within. We also adore the Pink Sultan, a roasted beet and yogurt dip. Hummus: 5. 307 F St., Petaluma, realdoner.internet

Kibbie, ground beef with cracked wheat and pine nuts, from Falafel Hut. (Heather Irwin/Sonoma Magazine)
Mezze platter from Falafel Hut in Santa Rosa. (Heather Irwin/Sonoma Journal)

Far more than Center Eastern

Fourth Road Marketplace and Deli: This community sandwich shop helps make a necessarily mean tabbouleh, and it is the only place I have found for mujadara, an addictive lentil and caramelized onion dish. Hummus: 4. 300 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa,

East West Cafe: I’ve often given this local charmer small shrift soon after a few of lengthy-back disappointments. Currently, however, I have been really amazed with the chicken shawarma and vegetarian mezze plate. Hummus: 4. 557 Summerfield Road, Santa Rosa, and 128 North Most important St., Sebastopol,

Israeli breakfast with labneh, za’atar, pita, green hummus and fruit compote at Pearl restaurant in Petaluma. heather irwin/PD
Israeli breakfast with labneh, za’atar, pita, inexperienced hummus and fruit compote at Pearl cafe in Petaluma. (Heather Irwin / Sonoma Magazine)


Stockhome: The Swedish cuisine in this article also incorporates influences of Turkish road food stuff which is widespread in Sweden, but section of the menu sets aside meatballs and lingonberries for kebabs, pita-wrapped falafel, fattoush salad and saffron rice. The eggplant dip is out of this earth, and the grilled halloumi pita is equally amazing. Hummus: 5. 220 Western Ave., Petaluma,

Pearl: This chef-run restaurant takes inspiration from the flavors of the Center East and turns them into unforgettable foods. Dishes transform up, but the picnic plate with tabbouleh, hummus, labneh and refreshing pita is required. We also enjoy the Persian meatball tagine with herbed yogurt, lamb burger and shakshuka, a brunchy dish with spiced tomato stew and eggs. Moroccan rice pudding is a ideal, perfumed ending. Hummus: 5. 500 Initially St., Petaluma,

Grossman’s: This Jewish-fashion deli focuses on a huge selection of dishes, from latkes to zhug. We love the nuanced falafel that really don’t hit your belly like a bomb, little one artichokes with labneh and sumac, quinoa tabbouleh and, indeed, I’m heading to say it once again because I take in it so much, the Sabich platter with fried eggplant, falafel, tahina and amba, a sauce created with pickled mangoes. Hummus: 5. 308 Wilson St., Santa Rosa,