SAVOR THE FLAVORS OF THE MEDITERRANEAN AT SAJJ HOUSE

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Review by Maridian Broadus

June 20, 2016 (El Cajon) -- Are you out of ideas of what to cook for dinner? Does your palate crave something other than the ordinary salt and pepper fare that comes out of your kitchen? If you answered “yes” to at least one of the questions posed, then pack your appetite, flee your house, and head over to Sajj House (1255 Avocado Ave., El Cajon), a marvelous new Mediterranean style restaurant where you can savor the flavors of exotic spices.

My food-loving friends and I joyfully traveled to Sajj House and upon entering the restaurant we were immediately impressed with the wine bar and open view of the kitchen. We were graciously greeted with a welcoming smile, seated, handed menus, and were told of the specials of the day. The menu was filled with mouth watering flatbreads, shawarmas and an array of other delicious dishes. The owner is Iraqi and Lebanese; the chef is Persian (Iranian) and their heritage is reflected in the delicious cuisine.

An advantage of eating out with friends is that each person orders a separate item and everyone shares the food when it arrives to the table. I love this! Friend one ordered the Turkish Laham B’ Ajeen, which is a tantalizing flatbread with seasoned beef.  Friend two ordered the Chicken Shawarma, a spiced marinated chicken medallion entrée, and Zereshk polo, a Persian basmati rice with barberries, saffron and turmeric.  I rounded out our dinner order with a Fattoush salad made with romaine lettuce, radishes, tomatoes, crisp pieces of fried pita bread, pomegranate seeds, and other Mediterranean spices.

While waiting for our feast to arrive, my friends decided to take advantage of the beer and wine menu. Friend one ordered an ale called a 359, which is produced locally at the Coronado Brewery and found it to be quite refreshing. We also ordered an appetizer dish, Sambousek, to share. Friend two ordered a glass of Pinot Noir red and admired the full-bodied taste. As my friends sipped their spirits, I sat comfortably and enjoyed glancing at one of the several flat screen televisions located throughout the restaurant.

Before our food arrived, I decided to visit the ladies room to wash my hands. I am a stickler for clean restrooms and am very pleased to announce that the inside of the restroom mirrored the dining area; clean and well lighted.

The food arrived moments after my return to the table and it looked amazing. The Chicken Shawarma was aligned on a platter with golden rice beside it. The beautiful Fattoush salad overflowed in a bowl, and pickles were draped across the top of the flatbread. 

The food also tasted fantastic. The Chicken Shawarma and rice infused with spices tantalized our taste buds; the hot flatbread was crispy on the edges, and the salad was a vegetarian delight with the crunch of the romaine and fried pita bread.  Our favorite, however, was the sambousek—a filo-dough filled with a spiced meat mixture.

My friends and I enjoyed the ambiance of the Sajj House.  You can fit a feast at Sajj into any budget, where you’ll find many affordable items. The restaurant not only serves dinner, but is also open for breakfast at 8.00 a.m. serves lunch, and closes at 10:00 p.m. Monday through Sunday.

So the next time you want to get out of cooking at your house, I highly recommend Sajj house as a great destination. 

For more information, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/sajjhouse/  or call (619) 447-1500.