Fresh Kabob, 1405 E. Sunset Road, serves favorites from the Mideast, both dishes familiar to Americans and some less well-known here.
" 'Shish' is tenderloin, and 'kabob' means that it is cooked on a stick or skewer on a flame," Hamid Ashraf, owner and executive chef, explains. "You'll also see 'kubideh' on the menu. That is ground beef, chicken or lamb cooked on a skewer. There's an art to learning to cook ground meat on a stick."
He notes that the restaurant steers clear of heat lamps and microwaves to focus on food served fresh. For instance, taftoon bread, a Mediterranean dish that is flat and 12 inches in diameter, is made fresh for every order in a traditional clay oven.
"We serve food that is 'halal,' " Ashraf adds. "Basically, that means that we comply with Muslim dietary law and serve only meat that was killed quickly in a humane manner, and we don't serve pork."
Specialties are served with fresh bread, saffron rice, tomato, onion, parsley, lime and mixed greens.
There also is a kid's meal, featuring chicken tenders and fries for $4.99.
Fresh Kabob is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday. It has counter service and seats 65 people.
Specialties: Veggie kabob ($8.99); chicken or beef kubideh wrap ($9.99); one beef shish and one beef kubideh ($14.99); one chicken shish and one chicken kubideh ($14.99); one lamb shish and one lamb kubideh ($16.99)
Salads: Feta salad, with four dolmeh - grape leaves stuffed with rice - and crumbled feta ($7.99); tenderloin chicken salad ($9.99); gyro salad ($7.99)
Kabobs: Ground beef kubideh, ground chicken kubideh ($6.99 each); ground lamb kubideh ($7.99); tenderloin beef shish kabob, tenderloin chicken shish kabob ($8.99 each); tenderloin lamb shish kabob ($9.99); 2-inch mix and match kubidehs ($9.99)
Shawarma and wraps: Shawarma, a pita sandwich filled with slow-cooked shredded beef and lamb or shredded chicken ($8.99 each); gyro with french fries ($5.99); falafel wrap ($4.99); french fry wrap, with cilantro, tomatoes, lettuce, chutney, jalapeno and vinegar ($6.99)
Sides: Hummus ($2.49); baba ghanoush ($1.99); saffron rice ($2.49); dolmeh, five stuffed grape leaves ($1.99); tabouli (99 cents); mast o-khiar, yogurt, cucumber, mint, traditional zest; mast-o-musir, yogurt, shallot, mint, traditional spices ($2.49 each)
Desserts: Baklava ($1.99); ice cream of saffron, pistachio, rosewater ($3.50)