Mouthwatering scents from traditional tagines trickle through the horseshoe arches of this Moroccan eatery, offering olfactory hints at dishes served up à la carte and family style. Make a bold beginning with a bastilla appetizer, a bastion of Moroccan fare filling thin phyllo dough with chicken or vegetables ($14.99, $24.99 for medium). Next, sink teeth into entrees of vegetarian and meaty varieties, such as the lamb tagine with raisins and almonds in a sweet sauce ($15.99) or vegetable-studded couscous ($12.99). Families, friends, or barbershop quartets can feed on Fez's family-style feasts, which include soup or salad, a bastilla, a tagine or couscous, dessert, and Moroccan mint tea (starting at $46.99). The bistro's bar is open late on weekends to accommodate nocturnal noshers.
At Fairouz Cafe, waiters ameliorate appetites with a menu of classic Middle Eastern dishes. Hummus bel-shawarma ($9.95) jump-starts eating engines with a serving of hummus topped by slices of beef and lamb, created by cracking a meat piñata over the plate. The chicken kebab platter unites marinated, boneless chicken cubes with rice ($11.95), and the falafel sandwich corrals fried chickpea patties into bellies ($5.95). Combo appetizer plates such as the yogurt salad with diced cucumbers ($3.50) or the shakshouky, an eggplant salad with diced tomatoes and pomegranate extract ($5.95), juxtapose simple ingredients to accentuate their flavor, much like PB&J sandwiches or barbershop quartets with one rapper. Escort meals to hunger-vanquishing glory on a cascade of nonalcoholic beverages such as juices and smoothies ($4.50) or a toasty pot of Turkish coffee ($3.95). During meals, diners can enjoy the smoky flavors of a hookah (not included with this Groupon), soak in live or DJed music, observe the sensual stylings of a belly dancer, or keep up with sports on wall-mounted televisions.
At Gua-Rapo, you can enjoy a variety of sweet and savory small plates. The menu at Gua-Rapo does not include any low-fat options, so come ready to indulge. Pick your poison and toast your evening — drinks are also served here. Unwind on a budget, and enjoy happy hour's low-cost beers and simple eats. A great space for entertaining large parties, consider reserving the private room at Gua-Rapo for your next big event. Make the most of the warm summer months by dining outdoors in Gua-Rapo's beautiful outdoor seating area. Musical groups often perform live and DJs are common here, too. Dance the night away while Gua-Rapo's DJ spins the latest tunes. Loud crowds paired with a healthy sound system keep the volume level at this restaurant at the edge of ear-splitting.
Be sure to call for a reservation if the restaurant is part of your weekend plans — it can get crowded on Fridays and Saturdays. Gua-Rapo offers an informal dining experience for those who are allergic to jackets and ties. Hosting a swanky shindig? Call up Gua-Rapo for their catering services.
If driving doesn't appeal, you can take public transportation, with a nearby stop at Courthouse Metro (Orange). Find a space on the street or park in the lot not far from the restaurant.
The average check at Gua-Rapo will stay below $30 per person, so it's a relatively affordable option. Major credit cards — including Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express — are accepted.
Inside The Salsa Room, Latin artists such as Marc Anthony, Oscar D'León, and Gilberto Santa Rosa croon to diners pouring over a menu of steak and seafood dishes. Drawing on influences from Latin America and the Caribbean, the club's chefs construct a menu bursting with spicy, flavorful ingredients like a piñata full of jalapeños. Chorizo adds a splash of flavor to breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes, creating taste-bud-tempting fare such as the house specialty guiso de garbanzos con chorizo—a blend of chickpeas, beef, and spanish chorizo in a tomato-based creole sauce. On Wednesday at 8 p.m., salsa and bachata dance instructors take to the floor to lead patrons in the rhythmic steps and sly glances that compose Latin choreography.
Charcoal-heated grills sear hearty kebabs of halal meats at Afghan Kabob House, flooding the restaurant with the scents of roasting chicken, lamb, and beef. To accompany the skewers, cooks toss together leafy salads, bake pillowy naan in a tandoor-style oven, and unite seasoned rice with saffron or carrots and raisins. The menu also boasts 20 different flavors of shisha for its hookahs, which encourage diners to lounge around after their meal and practice forming the perfect ring or Möbius strip out of smoke.