Last weekend I was invited to try out a new Mediterranean restaurant called Yalla Mediterranea. I was supposed to go with my friend Lauren (from LaurenLivesHealthy.com) but unfortunately she was ill and could not make it 🙁 Despite the fact that I would be trying it out alone, I could not turn down an offer to try out a new restaurant (especially with Mediterranean type food, mmm). Let me just preface this whole post right now by saying that it was SO worth it.
Yalla Mediterranean describes itself as a fast-casual restaurant that offers fresh, healthy and flavorful Mediterranean fare. Walking into Yalla Mediterranean is like walking into someone’s garden … quite literally as there are small lemon trees in the center of the restaurant and a herb garden on the wall! I loved the atmosphere; you could tell this was a place that served wholesome and healthy food that cared about using quality ingredients. The menu is set up so that you first select a type of meal (pita wrap, salad or ‘Yalla’ plate), then a protein (which is grilled right in front of you) and finally (but not least) three delicious sides.
What Did I Eat?
Look at how cool that grill is! Basically, the meat is placed upon the grill and it cooks as it rotates down the grill. It takes all of 2-5 minutes. I was so impressed that Yalla offered wild Alaskan salmon as a protein choice, and for under $10. This place is so affordable and seriously so delicious. I chose the Yalla plate (which consists of you choosing rice with either lentils or grilled vegetables) with kefta (a lamb and beef meatball) with arugala and beet salad, Greek potato salad and Greek eggplant salad.
Honestly Fitness Verdict?
What did I think? DELICIOUS. I have never had a beet salad before which tasted this good, and the kefta was grilled to perfection. Everything was so fresh and flavorful!
Can’t Forget About Dessert!
And guess what I had for dessert? I had Greek frozen yogurt with honey and baklava AND a chocolate pita cookie!!! My God, my tastebuds were in heaven. The cookie was gluten-free as it was made out of almond flour and had a great chewy texture to it. The frozen yogurt was out of this world; truly a genius combination of foods.
Come to San Francisco Already!
Right now, they only have a location in Pleasant Hill but will be opening up new stores around the Bay. I have been told that a Yalla location will be opening up in Daly City (right next to ME) in April or May. I cannot wait and will be there all the time … like no joke. It is healthy AND affordable. Just typical that I will be moving out to Salt Lake City in June. I hope Yalla open up a location there soon!!
I hope this post gives you a nudge into trying out Yalla Mediterranean. And if you do, let me know what you think! The cool thing about Yalla is that they are open to new ideas and are forward thinking (they have a 1 bin policy and have made it so that everything in the store is compostable).