Bay Area Eats: Tawla SF
Tawla SF is modern mediterranean dining at its finest.
One of my favorite things about San Francisco is that you can take a world food tour of sorts without ever leaving the 7×7. Not only does San Francisco pride itself on having the best of the best in terms of food and quality of anywhere in the world, but we are a melting pot of cultures, which make neighborhood gems like Tawla all the more special.
Tawla is the dream-come-true for first-time restaurateur Azhar Hashem, a former engineer and Google employee who wanted to recreate the foods of her native Jordan and challenge San Francisco’s view of what Mediterranean food can be. The result was a beautiful daily-changing menu full of influences from Greece, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan and Iran with a Californian farm-fresh focus.
The vibe of Tawla is happy, homey and chic. It’s a neighborhood place made for feasting with friends. And the menu, perfect for sharing, is the ultimate complement to that.
There is an extensive and delicious a la carte menu of cold and hot mezes as well as seafood and meats, but I recommend doing either the Tawla Selection – A complete selection of cold and warm mezes, Ilnas, and an unlimited amount of both house and seeded breads made to share at $47/person, or the Tawla Feast – an ultimate Eastern Mediterranean feast of Tawla’s best dishes including cold and warm mezes, large-format Ilnas, and an unlimited amount of both house and seeded breads.
I also highly recommend choosing one of their three wonderful wine pairings to go with your meal. Each pairing option features four wines from around the world expertly chosen by Wine Director Shaundon Castonguay to subtly elevate each course’s unique flavors, and your Tawla experience as a whole.
What to order:
Tawla’s dipping bread is to die for. In a city known for it’s bread, this is some of the very best I’ve had in the entire city. Come hungry- You will want more and more.
The Eggplant Maqluba
This was my favorite dish on the menu. Charred eggplant casserole with finely sliced fried zucchini chips in a delicious tomato sauce. It instantly became one of my favorite dishes I’ve ever had.
The Halibut Molokhia
Yum. These were paired with the most delicious dessert wine (a 1998 Chateau Gireaud), and I can still taste the honey-glazed fried dough goodness.