Lebanese chef Philippe Massoud’s Ilili Box sits in a shipping container on the edge of Madison Square Park, and is the grab-and-go offshoot of his successful nearby Mediterranean restaurant, Ilili. The stand serves an inventive menu that gives Middle Eastern fast-food staples a few global twists. No dish exhibits the culinary mash-up better than the Korean falafel: Zingy cucumber kimchi, fresh sliced scallion, creamy “Korean” tahini, bright basil, and crunchy yet fluffy falafel balls are housed in a pita or served over greens, the diner’s choice. It’s a unique flavor combination that will have you rethinking the well-known Middle Eastern meal — and wondering why kimchi isn’t topping falafel everywhere.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 15, 2014