what: Tilapia entree
cost: $13.95 dinner ($8.95 lunch)
where: Ariana’s Restaurant, 1720-A Sunset Blvd., 796-4430
It’s been almost a year since Ariana’s chef and owner Moe Sarwary first opened this unique Mediterranean spot in West Columbia. What makes it unique? It’s one of the few places in town that serves the lighter side of Greek cuisine, along with several other flavors from the borders of Central Asia. This week’s bite is a dinner portion of two lightly marinated and grilled filets of tilapia, served atop pita bread along with turmeric potatoes. Comes with basmati rice that’s been perfectly steamed to a distinct, toothsome texture, and the tzatziki-like house yogurt sauce, for drizzling over everything. The meal also comes with a side Greek (or Greek-American, to be more accurate) salad, but I upgraded to a summery Horiatiki salad with marinated tomato, cucumber, bell pepper, feta and kalamata olives. Also not to be missed on the appetizer menu: aushak ($5.25), a crispy-fried Afghani dumpling stuffed with leeks and topped with the house yogurt sauce and beautiful, bright orange lentils. (The menu description describes the lentils as a “meat sauce” but Mr. Sarwary says he opted to make it more authentic by skipping the meat. File under: secretly vegetarian.)
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