Devon Baldwin

Devon Baldwin is a Bay Area native singer and songwriter, who also happens to love drinking whiskey, eating avocados in all their many forms, and documenting all of the above on her food and lifestyle blog.

Shaya

My best friend, Stephanie, and I made reservations at Shaya over a month in advance. A James Beard-winning Israeli restaurant in New Orleans with a gorgeous back patio and endless (yes, ENDLESS) wood-fired fresh pita bread is something you plan for. When it came time to confirm our reservation we were reminded that we booked it for 6 people in hopeful anticipation that our many New Orleans friends would come flocking to the table—but as it turned out we had no such additional friends, so it was just us (#nonewfriends?). I’ve had the pleasure of dining at Shaya several times in the past so I knew the drill: you’re gonna need some room for that pita bread, because you are not going to stop eating it. This is literally the best pita I’ve ever had the privilege of being in the presence of, so we ordered the baba ganoush, labneh, and ikra to transform the pita into an edible mop. My favorite of the three was definitely the ikra, a yogurt spread topped with paddlefish caviar (YES) and shallots. In addition, we ordered the lamb ragú hummus with crispy shallots, and the pita mopping continued. By the third or fourth steaming pita that was plopped in front of us without any request necessary, we were the most full we had ever been, yet still eager to devour the last dish we ordered: the falafel plate with an unreasonably good cabbage salad and cucumber tzatziki. The falafels were perfectly cooked and seasoned: brown and crisped on the outside and soft and green on the inside; the tzatziki was as cool and refreshing as it should be. We left with a huge box of leftovers (including some extra pita bread of course) that did not survive the night…and I’m literally still craving it right now. Anyone know any good Israeli restaurants in the Bay Area?

Soundtrack: Trouble - Cage The Elephant