News & Politics

June 2004 Mama Ayesha’s

Good Lebanese food at fair prices.

Restaurants are admired for their cooking. What makes a place loved is usually a connection with a person. Even though Mama Ayesha is no longer with us, her spirit of hospitality and generosity still fills this much-loved Adams Morgan institution, where you'll find a warm welcome and good Lebanese food at fair prices.

The beginning at a Middle Eastern restaurant is a selection of mezze: hummus, puréed chickpeas rich with tahini and olive oil; smoky baba ghanoush made from roasted eggplant; spritely tabbouleh, ground wheat enlivened with mint, parsley, and lemon juice; Helen's Salad (named for longtime customer Helen Thomas), diced cucumbers dressed with garlic, mint, and yogurt; crisp-fried falafel; and cabbage stuffed with ground lamb and spices. They're available separately or in a combination platter that's a bargain at $14.50.

For a main course, you won't go wrong with the kebabs–lamb, beef, chicken, or fish with vegetables and rice. On the "From the Oven" section of the menu are a succulent lamb shank and Musakan, a delicious half chicken baked with onions, pine nuts, and sumac.

Don’t Miss Another Big Story—Get Our Weekend Newsletter

Our most popular stories of the week, sent every Saturday.

Or, see all of our newsletters. By signing up, you agree to our terms.