12 January 2011

Saha: Arabic Fusion cuisine in San Francisco California

Several years ago my husband and I dined at Saha in San Francisco. The concierge at the hotel suggested Saha because because I was a vegetarian and my husband was an omnivore. She thought we would both enjoy the food. She was right.

Last week we returned. My husband is still an omnivore and I am now vegan. I wanted to see how the food has held up over the years and specifically how well Saha accommodates the vegan diner.

All vegetarian items are marked with a "V" on the menu and most can be made vegan upon request. We decided to order off the small plates menu to enjoy a variety of dishes.

We started with Baba Ganoush & Pita ($7).
At first bite, this was very good but after a few more bites the "smokey" taste was overwhelming. Too much liquid smoke? Sadly, I couldn't finish it.

My next small plate was the Veggie Artichoke Heart ($10).
This unfortunate photo does not tell the real tale. This dish was delicious and by far my favorite of the evening. The artichoke was stuffed with roasted vegetables and tofu and served over a cilantro-mint sauce. Next time I might order two of these to serve as my meal!

Next up, the Yemeni Okra ($8).
This dish was good but a bit bland.

But Saha's Ravioli ($12)
more than made up for the rather tasteless okra. Though I tend to be a bit stingy with my vegan food when dining with my omnivore husband, I did offer him a ravioli and he agreed that it was delicious. (By the way, he ordered the Kofta ($12) but I refuse to take pictures of meat dishes.)

The atmosphere at Saha is fun and inviting. Bright colors, modern Arabic music, you feel transported -- even though you're actually in the lobby of the Hotel Carlton.

1075 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA 94109-5817
(415) 345-9547

JL | @JLgoesvegan
Post-40 JL became a marathoner and triathlete, changed careers and transitioned from vegetarian to vegan. She now blogs about vegan cooking (and wine!) and fitness. JL is a community college administrator and teaches nonprofit management at a local university. Follow JL on her blog and Facebook.

Photo credit:cc:flickr.com/photos/rantingfan