I recently stopped by Shaya Restaurant for a quick dinner right after work with a friend of mine. Shaya is a cozy little restaurant off of the popular Magazine Street in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is known for its Israeli cuisine with a mixture of southern flavors. Their website also says they get their inspiration from North Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Turkey, and Greece.
We ordered drinks and ate some bread and just chatted for a few minutes catching up on how our day went. I ordered a new cocktail that was on their menu called “monkey business.” The cocktail consisted of BumBu Rum, pineapple, and tiki bitters. It was actually really good. The bartender even included a black cherry and I love black cherries! You don’t get black cherries often in drinks so it is always a nice sweet surprise.
My dinner date and I were somewhat on a time crunch because shortly after ordering he realized we had to be somewhere so we didn’t really get to dine how we wanted to and do the whole spread of food and take a bunch of pictures, but we made it work. The staff was very nice and accommodating to our drastic change in schedule and had our food packed up for us instead of being plated. I was able to grab a few pictures while we waited and just off those pictures alone I know I’m coming back to get the full experience.
We started off with bread and hummus. We got the blackened shrimp hummus with beurre blanc (white butter sauce), celery, and green onions. As a New Orleanian I’m very big on how my shrimp is served. I hate going to places that try to serve me tiny shrimp so I was extremely happy to see large shrimp on my plate. I could see the southern influenced cuisine right in front of me. The shrimp was delicious! I don’t think I’ve ever mixed hummus with shrimp so it was a great combination. Yes, I also dipped my bread in it. Duh. I could have eaten that plate as a sandwich. Ha!
You can’t go wrong with good bread. For the few minutes we were there we were already on our second round of bread. Oprah wasn’t lying. I LOVE bread.
My main course was the lamb kofte. It is a Middle Eastern dish made up of ground lamb that is grilled and served kabob style.
We weren’t able to eat our full meal till hours later, but it was a great welcome home meal after an extremely long day. The lamb tasted like heaven. It was so good. My friend ordered the fish and I was too busy eating off my plate and his to take a picture, but all of it was extremely good. I am excited and plan on going back to take more photos and try more off their menu.