Tuesday, April 16, 2013


phase 1 @the avenues

wow. it's been some time since i've posted about my eating adventures. that isn't to say that i haven't been eating because that would be grossly incorrect.  i've been busy, but mostly lazy - thank you, b, for the reminder and push!

so ... here goes!

i can't seem to break the very american attitude regarding restaurants in malls. that is, if a restaurant is in a mall, in my mind, there is no way it will be good. that's what i thought until i came to kuwait. i'm slowly, but surely, coming around. much of this is due to the way life runs here in this desert town. especially in the summer (of course), when it's so gosh darn hot, malls become mini city centers. people go to malls to spend their days. it's also convenient because the 2 favorite kuwaiti pastimes are eating and shopping. hahaha ... and so, some really good places to check out are in malls, shopping centers, hotels, etc. the eateries in malls are far from the food court spaces i'd grown accustomed to (yes, there are food courts as well); rather, they are just like more typical restaurants and just happen to be attached to (and have entrances into) the larger mall/shopping areas.

as a result, when i have guests from the states, the last place i want to take them to eat is to the mall. there are lots of really great places to eat in kuwait, why go to the mall? i even "yelled" at one of my local colleagues (it was more like insisting, though it sounded like yelling in my head) about not taking guests to eat at the mall. sigh. it's taken me almost a year to "get over" the stereotypes of eateries at malls; i can't imagine taking "foodies" to a restaurant at the mall (unless, of course, i could go through my entire explanation as to why i would opt to take them to eat at the mall).

and so, when c&j visited me here in Q8, where i did get the chance to explain to them the whole mall situation and because we were at the mall to run a few errands, i was less hesitant about going to lunch at leila (wow, that was a huge huge huge introduction to my lunch here).

the aforementioned colleague told me that there was a good restaurant at the avenues serving lebanese food. i couldn't get that out of my head. so, when i got the chance, i wanted to check it out.

seeing that we were early for lunch (or for any meal according to local standards), we were quickly seated and our servers were immediately attentive (as is the way with lots of places here). we made a selection of a variety of lebanese dishes, all to be consumed family style. there were the standard favorites - hummous, fattoush, etc. and then some of my favorites, including chicken liver (yay iron!). there isn't a whole lot of culinary creativity or "art" that went into the dishes, but each one was solid and definitely satiated our appetites for local (as local as you can get in kuwait, anyway) cuisine. and besides it being in a mall, leila gave a sort of "home cooking" feel, something we all seem to look for. even the "pita" served out of plastic bags sort of reminded me of funny things moms often do (and the rolls, not served in plastic bags, were delicious). all of that aside, i will likely visit leila again and put it on my list of recommendable restaurants.

note: if you look closely at the first photo, there's a young lady, in pink, totally giggling. that's because she had photo-bombed my photo of the leila store front - my new favorite person! my camera was too slow to catch her in the act, but i'm all for it. photo-bombing ftw!

1 comment:

Shafinah said...

There was a Leila's in Qatar I went to every so often that served lots of great Lebanese food and the hookah... yum! So glad you're gettin your foodie on over there :-)