With the opening of its fifth location in New York, Naya comes with a new revamped and upscale decor. Brightly lit, cleaner and trendier, the casual Lebanese restaurant speaks the American language. Enter a long hall decorated with wood, greenery and old Lebanese tiles facing a long counter. To the right where the counter and open kitchen are ready for your orders; Choose a bowl or a wrap and follow the line.
It feels good around here, a famous Lebanese eatery preparing an order a minute and not in peak time. I was excited to try the food. Came at five in the afternoon then back for the lunch rush hour; I felt proud seeing hundreds of customers wait in line for Naya’s Lebanese wholesome food.
Unfortunately, almost everything contains garlic except the beef Shawarma and Kafta which I ordered with hummus, rice and freekeh. Naya’s choices; Hummus, tahini, feta cream, falafel and salads with a choice of mains like the meat balls, beef Shawarma and chicken on a bed of rice, freekeh or lettuce.
I liked the decor, the white brick walls, the long wooden tables, the open kitchens, the grills lively cooking chicken and the clear menu printed on the recyclable carton. All tables have an olive oil bottle for your use, to remind you of the Mediterranean.
PS: I liked the rice, freekeh and lettuce. Naya has a tasty falafel, a juicy kafta, and a tender beef. My observations: Beef looks dry but tastes good, tomatoes are cut too small in my opinion, diced like we do for tabbouleh and Baba Ghannouj is a little too watery for my taste. Kafta is full-bodied and juicy inside out.
I enjoyed my bowl with Naya’s Lebanese bread. Flavors of our country hit New York!
Naya is proudly Lebanese, five stores already and hopefully more to come in the near future. Support a Lebanese passionate entrepreneur, visit Naya next time you’re in the Empire State.