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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Zaytoon's Lamb Shawerma

Posted By on Tue, Jul 20, 2010 at 7:39 AM

click to enlarge Slices of rotisserie lamb, broiled tomatoes, onions, and tahini wrapped in lavash ($7.95). - JOHN BIRDSALL
  • John Birdsall
  • Slices of rotisserie lamb, broiled tomatoes, onions, and tahini wrapped in lavash ($7.95).
Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Owner of the three-week-old Valencia wrap shop is the scion of the sprawling clan that claims Mission munchy merchants Phat Philly and Urban Burger. Zaytoon works from the same playbook, sourcing meat that can hold its head high (see: Niman lamb), and serving it up in a fast-casual format friendly to drunks and guys seeking to lay down a protein base before turning into drunks.

click to enlarge ED U./YELP
The narrow slip of a room is tiled in gorgeous olive-oil greens (well, "zaytoon" does mean "olive" in Arabic and its cognates), with bottles of actual Palestinian oil for sale on shelves near the register.

Two basic food choices here: falafel and shawerma, with elements of both laid out, minus lavash wrap, as a platter. Once you come to terms with the rather resistant lavash, the falafel's just fine, the lamb shawerma better. Chewy shreds of meat shaved from the rotisserie are tasty ― plenty of sweaty, petting-zoo richness ― but it's the mint-flecked yogurt sauce that makes it frolic. Opt for an add-on handful of feta, we imagine, and the thing would be damn near impossible to harness.

Zaytoon 1136 Valencia (at 22nd St.), 824-1787.

Follow us on Twitter: @sfoodie. Contact me at John.Birdsall@SFWeekly.com

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