The goods: Brickell has seen a slew of new eating options, from Peruvian sushi to down-home Mexican, but scoring a generous plate of hummus and shwarma has proved difficult. Until now. Meet Le Kabob, a new Middle Eastern spot blocks from Mary Brickell Village.
Ambience: Le Kabob’s décor is more mod than Marrakesh – pale brick walls, a glossy red bar framing an open kitchen and dozens of bottles of wine resting in stainless steel racks that line the walls. There’s a spacious outdoor patio in front where patrons lounge while smoking fruit tobacco from hookahs. The restaurant will even store engraved water pipes for regular customers – arguably the first hookah locker system in the city.
The grub: Traditional Middle Eastern cuisine with an emphasis on Lebanese classics. Expect charred meats, well-spiced meze-style starters and colorful platters of turmeric-flecked rice. Dinner begins with a basket of fluffy pita bread, the desired vehicle for the house hummus or Arabic mohamarah, made with ground walnuts, red peppers and olive oil.
Choose kabobs with beef, lamb, chicken, salmon or mahi mahi grilled on long metal skewers over an open flame. The Adana is a fragrant, foot-long ground chicken kabob, while the Lebanese Beftake is thinly-sliced marinated filet mignon. Vegetarians can indulge in falafel (chickpea fritters). Prices are moderate: Platters of kabobs rarely top $15 and sandwiches average $8. Several wines are available by the glass at a wallet-friendly $6-$12. Cap the meal with a pot of Lebanese sweet tea or a bracing cup of Arabic coffee.
Verdict: Middle Eastern classics in a stylish setting have finally landed on Brickell, giving the neighborhood some much-needed dining diversity.