Lebanese Taverna

I'm not sure how I went this long without going to Lebanese Taverna; people mention it a lot, there are multiple locations, and we all know I love Mediterranean cuisine.

Recently we frequented the Pentagon City location. I thought about this article, then reminded my snobby self that everyone has their own idea of how to spell hummus. I don't make the rules at LT.

Here's what we had, and some notes...

The "hommos special" hommos topped with spiced ground meat, pine nuts and almonds, sprinkled with olive oil - fun take on the old favorite, would get again

Shwarma - sliced rotisserie lamb and beef served with tahini sauce - yum, I let J eat most of this because he's more carnivorous

Grape leaves - rolled with rice, chickpeas, tomatoes, mint and parsley - I liked these--again, I prefer my grape leaves to be slightly warm and just-made, and these were a little cooler than room temperature, but J liked that they were not "too salty." Who has been serving this guy salty grape leaves?

R'kakat - phyllo dough shaped like a spring roll, filled with cheese and herbs - Sounds up my alley, I know, and the first one was REALLY DECADENTLY GOOD, with
the thick melty salty cheese after a thin crispy outside, but the second one brought me to the conclusion that it was just toooo salty. ::slurps water::

Shish barak - meat and pine nut dumplings, cooked in yogurt and mint sauce - The sauce was good, the dumpling was ok but nothing spectacular. They didn't seem to go together, even though they literally were together. I didn't really catch a mint flavor, more of a cream/thick alfredo sauce thing going on. This was my least favorite, but it was still edible and tasted like food.

In the carb department, the traditional bread I've come to expect at Lebanese places (Zaytinya, Me Jana) was half-sized! Smaller may be better, but the ones at LT were not as warm/soft/fresh-seeming as their cousins. However, there was a lone whole wheat pita guy in there, so how about that?

Lebanese Taverna

1101 S. Joyce Street
Arlington, VA
Metro: Blue or Yellow Lines to Pentagon City


  1. I can walk to this place and I've tried just about everything they have.

    The most important item that you didn't try was "French Fries with Garlic Sauce"
    I forget the proper name of the garlic sauce; it's not something exotic or uncommon to Lebanese, but they just call it garlic sauce at LT.

    I'd also recommend the Kibbeh Yoghurtleih and Samboustik if you go back.

    Stick to Mezza size portions and you can eat a good variety for cheap.

  2. Thanks, Chris--I'll definitely be back, it was delicious and seems consistent.