It really would be hard to find a bad thing to say about Mazza Luna, the new Lebanese restaurant and lounge on Van Ness, except that Van Ness has too much exhaust. The new upscale offering from the team behind Hayes Valley's Mazzat aims high on presentation, on all fronts, with an affordable price point so out of sync with 2014 S.F. that is almost defies belief.
To wit, nothing is over $14, and while nothing is particularly revolutionary, the execution on the "Lebanese sa'andweeshes" is superb. Personally, I have a strong bias for just about anything from the entire Mediterranean basin, but the lamb shawarma was about as ingenious as shawarma can be. Toasted like a panini and halved, it held together perfectly to the last bite, without a single drip of sauce. It's the size of a burrito, the meat was well-seasoned and the carrot-cabbage salad was both a nice acidic accent and a smart visual counterpoint. And it was only ten bucks!
Perhaps Mazza Luna's neutral interior is just a bit hotel lobby-ish, but the art, cushioned chairs, Spanish guitar music and little flourishes like a napkin plate feel special -- and the windows capture good sun. You could wine-and-dine clients here. You could take your boss here, or Grandma, or your date to the opera. You could just have lunch, or pop in late afternoon for a glass of wine, a hummus plate and halloumi cheese. Really, it's just all-around lovely.
Mazza Luna, 810 Van Ness Ave., 829-2730