This week, Counter Culture caravans to La Kabbr, the city’s only “out” Iraqi restaurant (though other Middle Eastern restaurants sometimes have Iraqi proprietors). The interior is currently being repainted, so it may be completely different when the place reopens in about a week.
In addition to the usual Middle Eastern standards–kebabs and bread dips–La Kabbr offers several Iraqi specialties, including quzi (a boiled lamb shank prettily decorated with raisins, shredded carrots, freshly shelled peas, and slivered almonds), and masgouf–a freshwater fish sauteed with onions and peppers, a dish seen at cafes that line the Tigris River.
The $19.95 meze combination is an astonishing deal, particularly for Hell’s Kitchen.
Most dinners come with soup or a salad–pick the lentil soup, which wears shreds of caramelized onion bravely on its breast.
The cryptic “cream chop” is really just an excellent chicken schnitzel.
Masgouf is made, not as it is on the Tigris with catfish, but with farmed northern pike from Canada.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 15, 2009