With many restaurants in the western part of downtown Cleveland, Taza is still a relative island for the uniqueness of its Lebanese food concept among a sea of bars, grills, and other kinds of food. In fact, you set foot into the cavernous interior of the restaurant, and you’re almost blinded by the glitzy, gold interior. But turn your eyes quickly to the oversize bar and the wide menu of vegetable and Middle Eastern dishes, and you’ll find something great cooking up.
The menu has a lot of kinds of meat cooked up in several traditional ways. I even liked the appetizer pitas with olive oil and spaces.
- Shish Lamb: Lamb kababs, roasted vegetables, and Lebanese rice. The roasted vegetables are cooked perfectly, and the rice adds just a little bit of spice. I like the lamb but don’t order it medium; it’s chopped into large pieces and it’s not that great rare.
- Shawarma Plate: Beef shawarma with tahini sauce, french fries, and a tomato, onion, and parsley mixture and sumac spice. There’s something spectacular about the beef, it’s spiced nicely but could use a little more seasoning. In the meantime, the tahini sauce has a nice nutty flavor, without being overtaken by the garlic. The sumac mixture is good chilled, and the fries are great.
- Makanek: beef and lamb sausages in a pomegranate sauce with pine nuts and lemon. The sausage is great, not overly seasoned and the sauce is thick and good with pitas.
The service is nice, the people were very professional, and seemed to manage the dinner crowd well. I did have to wait a little longer than average for the food, but that’s not abnormal for a menu as complex as this one. I liked the atmosphere, too, particularly that outstanding porch. I didn’t find the place to be overly crowded, even though a ton of people seem to crowd into the place during meal times. All in all, it’s a great place to try, and at what I consider a reasonable price points given the quality of the food and the nature of the ingredients. Taza promises itself as an exotic spot where you can try some new food. It’s a great opportunity, and there’s a ton of delicious food.
- Apparently they don’t take reservations, so you’ll have to try to work around that.
- The bar has a lot of good beers and wines in stock, some of which are imports from Lebanon. I tried a few, and I would say that it does enhance the meal.
- The porch is great, I definitely suggest it.