Somerville gets a multicultural oven
by Rob McKeown
This is new for Davis Square: an opening that involves neither latte nor
Guinness. Resembling a cross between a curry joint and a falafel stand -- with
a hint of Japanese steak house thrown in -- Kababish dishes up a host of
Turkish, Greek, and Indian specialties, and a superlative mango lassi ($1.95)
The theme here is that all the meats -- kebabs, shwarma, tandoori, and even
teriyaki -- are cooked in a tandoori oven. That turns out to be either a
blessing or a curse, depending on the dish. Beef shish kebab ($3.75 to $5.75),
the menu MVP, is all sweet meatiness in its cloak of tahini sauce and warm
pita. Tandoori chicken ($6.95) is a decent sandwich stuffing, but is too bland
to be the centerpiece of an entrée. Lamb shwarma ($3.75 to $5.75), the
ubiquitous gyro meat, is almost bipolar: highly flavored but forbiddingly dry.
Another candidate for sandwichdom.
But leave the tandoori oven behind, and you've got a spinach pie (3 for $2.99)
that's light and clean tasting; samosas (2 for $2.99) that are greaseless,
delicate, and crunchy, their potato filling displaying spicing finesse; and
dipping sauces, rice pilaf, and Greek salads ($3.25) that are meal enough for
most. All in all, the multiculti approach is working.
Kababish, located at 195 Elm Street, in Somerville, is open Monday through
Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 5 to
10 p.m. Call (617) 623-3354.
The On the Cheap archive