Pureeing chickpeas into hummus makes eating them easier, just as pureeing the professor's sketchbook into confetti makes getting kicked out art school easier. Commit Middle Eastern flavor to memory with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of Lebanese and Syrian cuisine at Layalina Restaurant ) in Arlington.
Layalina Restaurant's menu traces its culinary ancestry back through generations of Lebanese and Syrian family recipes. Small plates jumpstart taste buds with veggie-friendly options such as the pomegranate hummus ($7.95) or the meaty ma'anick, a sautéed Lebanese-style sausage luxuriating in a lemon-butter garlic sauce ($8.95). The macarona bel shawarma ($17.95) cossets a portion of the pasta of the day with a yogurt-and-garlic sauce and morsels of beef or chicken shawarma, whereas tender lamb simmers in an herbed-tomato sauce in the cilantro-bedecked potato-shank entree ($21.95). The colorful rugs on the floor, walls, and ceilings create a warm Mediterranean ambiance that makes diners feel as welcome as a marshmallow man at a cookout.
Named after the owners' youngest daughter Layal and an Arabic word meaning "our nights," Layalina Restaurant makes every meal feel like a family dinner. The staff is dedicated to a high level of service that makes every guest feel at home, whether their local regulars or visiting dignitaries such as the crown prince of Bahrain. The decor adds to the inviting experience, with metal chandeliers casting a warm glow and colorful fabrics draped along the ceiling that evoke a tent canopy or hammocks hung playfully out of reach.
The menu showcases family recipes that blend Lebanese and Syrian traditions to create succulent kebabs and vegetarian dishes that earned praise from Gayot. The Washington Post highlighted flavorful appetizers, including the kafta bil jawz, a signature dish that combines lean beef with walnuts, pepper, bulghur, and an enchanting bouquet of herbs. The Post also recognized the hearty entrees, saying that "it would be a shame to miss out on fried lamb shank with creamy orzo."
5216 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, Virginia 22205