Not long after it opened, so I’m months behind in posting it here, we dined at Shaya on Magazine in New Orleans. There’s hardly a food award of note Alon and his restaurant haven’t won this year: James Beard Best Chef South, Eater Awards NationalEsquire’s Best New Restaurant – lots of other honors.

This oven is where the pita magic happens.

Shaya, New Orleans//

lamb kebab with tomatoes, pine nuts, tahini, cilantro – his recipe at the WSJ
Shaya, New Orleans//

duck matzah ball soup with escarole
Shaya, New Orleans//

Persian rice – crispy on the outside and soft inside
Shaya, New Orleans//

and one of the best things I’ve ever eaten: curried fried cauliflower with caramelized onions and cilantro. How can one say that hummus of all things is one of the best things ever? Because this one *is*:
Curried Fried Cauliflower Hummus at Shaya, New Orleans//

Perfection. The space is clean lines and comfortable — not staid — and children welcome (it was Shug who scarfed down the matzah ball soup and both boys (of course) inhaled every last crumb of pita). Best to order several items here and eat family-style so everyone can share. And we did. Delicious.

Thinking Alon’s recipe for whole roasted cauliflower with whipped goat cheese deserves a place on the Thanksgiving table this year.

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